Barclays Premier League briefing

Team news and statistics for the rest of this weekend's action in the Barclays Premier League.

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Paolo di Canio: His Sunderland side will look to recover from the 6-1 defeat to

Paolo di Canio: His Sunderland side will look to recover from the 6-1 defeat to

(Current league positions in brackets)

Sunday, May 5

Liverpool (7) v Everton (6)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will have virtually a fully-fit squad to

choose from for Sunday's Merseyside derby. The long-standing shoulder problem which prompted captain Steven Gerrard's substitution last weekend is not expected to prevent his participation after treatment in the week. Forward Fabio Borini is edging closer to match fitness after his appearance from the bench at Newcastle following a lengthy lay-off, and the Italian is likely to be among the substitutes again.

Everton could have Darron Gibson back available, but Toffees captain Phil Neville has been ruled out. Manager David Moyes said midfielder Gibson, who missed last Saturday's 1-0 win over Fulham through an injury picked up a week earlier against Sunderland, has a chance of featuring but Neville has a knee problem which will rule him out of his last Merseyside derby before his career as an Everton player finishes this summer.

Last season: Liverpool 3 Everton 0, Everton 0 Liverpool 2

Last five league matches: Liverpool W D D D W; Everton D W D L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 30; Marouane Fellaini (Everton) 12

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

Man Utd (1) v Chelsea (3)

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expects to have Paul Scholes back in his squad for the first time since January. Scholes has been missing with a knee injury and is widely expected to announce his retirement at the end of the season, so Ferguson seems to be preparing him for a farewell appearance.Danny Welbeck (knee) is out but skipper Nemanja Vidic has recovered from a calf strain.

Ashley Cole is back from his European suspension for Chelsea's trip to Old

Trafford. Eden Hazard came off as a precaution in Thursday night's Europa League semi-final defeat of Basle and could drop to the bench as Rafael Benitez faces a selection balancing act once again, with Wednesday's crucial clash with Tottenham also a consideration. Only Oriol Romeu (knee) is a definite absentee, with striker Demba Ba available again after being cup-tied against the Swiss champions.

Last season: Chelsea 3 Man Utd 3, Man Utd 3 Chelsea 1

Last five league matches: Man Utd L W D W D; Chelsea L W W D W

Top scorers (all competitions): Robin van Persie (Man Utd) 29; Fernando Torres (Chelsea) 20

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

Monday, May 6

Sunderland (15) v Stoke (12)

Striker Stephane Sessegnon will miss out for Sunderland after failing in his

appeal against the red card he was shown against Aston Villa on Monday. He will begin a three-match ban against the Potters. Manager Paolo Di Canio is giving little away about his fitness concerns, but striker Connor Wickham (calf) is expected to miss out once again, while leading scorer Steven Fletcher (ankle) and skipper Lee Cattermole (knee) were ruled out of the run-in several weeks ago.

Stoke have concerns over defenders Marc Wilson and Andy Wilkinson and

midfielder Glenn Whelan. Wilson missed last weekend's win over Norwich with a hamstring problem and remains a major doubt, as do Wilkinson (back) and Whelan (groin), who were both forced off during the game. Winger Matthew Etherington returned from a back complaint as a substitute at the Britannia Stadium last Saturday and could start.

Last season: Stoke 0 Sunderland 1, Sunderland 4 Stoke 0

Last five league matches: Sunderland L L W W L; Stoke L L L W W

Top scorers (all competitions): Steven Fletcher (Sunderland) 11; Jonathan Walters (Stoke) 10

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).


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Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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