Manchester City will be confident of getting a result at Bolton Wanderers having already beaten them 6-2 in October.
However, only Manchester United have won home and away against the Trotters this season, so Kevin Keegan’s under-pressure team will have their work cut out f they wish to emulate last Autumn’s efforts.
Sam Allardyce’s line-up should include Jay Jay Okocha, who is back from African Nations Cup duty.
The Bolton players will want to impress ahead of next week’s League Cup final against Middlesbrough.
‘Boro, who travel to Newcastle, have only lost three times on their travels this season. Steve McLaren’s side will be in confident mood after their 3-2 triumph at Old Trafford in the last round of Premiership fixtures.
Leeds United visit Old Trafford without the suspended pair Mark Viduka and goalkeeper Paul Robinson.
Manchester United, nearly at full strength could welcome back Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He has been missing from the squad for five months since undergoing knee surgery.
It might be interesting to see how United’s younger players respond to comments made yesterday by skipper Roy Keane. Keane questioned their general attitude this season and suggested that one or two of the younger brigade need to buck up their ideas. .
Arsenal were dealt further injury blows following the midweek internationals. England’s Ashley Cole and the Brazilian Gilberto Silva became fresh casualties ahead of the vital clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. However, the ploss of that duo is offset by the return of leading scorer Thierry Henry, who returns to the starting line-up after missing last weekend’s FA Cup clash at Highbury.
Chelsea have won their last three in the Premiership, but their previous three with Arsenal at home have all ended in draws annd just a week ago, ann understrength Gunners team knocked the Blues out of the FA Cup.
Claudio Ranieri’s team also have a long list of injury worries but they could be boosted by returns from Damien Duff and Hernan Crespo.
Blackburn Rovers visit the Valley where Charlton Athletic will be hoping to turn around a poor sequence of results since Scott Parker’s transfer to Chelsea. Jonathan Stead will be hoping to continue his good early run of form in the side. Any points taken from 6th placed Charlton would extend Blackburn’s run to five unbeaten away from home.
Tottenham will welcome back a number of former players when Leicester City visit on Sunday. It will be a first return for Steffen Freund. Despite being a popular figure among the fans the midfielder never scored a competitive goal for Tottenham in his four year stay. This will be his third game for Leicester. Freund previously had a brief loan spell at German club Kaiserslautern.
Swede Olof Mellburg, and Darius Vassell have both recovered from illness and should start fr Villa in the Midlands derby. Birmingham City chairman David Gold told the Evening Mail: “We go into Sunday’s game at Villa Park under a lot less pressure than they do.”
Birmingham beat their bitter rivals twice last season in their first season back at the top.
Elsewhere, Everton make the long trip to Southampton, and Fulham take on Wolves at Molineaux.