English Premiership

Nani back for United

2012-04-07 12:56
Nani (File)
London - Winger Nani is available for Manchester United's home match with Queens Park Rangers on Sunday after recovering from the ankle injury that has sidelined him for the last five matches.

United manager Alex Ferguson told reporters he was delighted Nani was back in training, adding, "He is a good addition because he is such a talented player."

However, Ferguson said neither Michael Owen or Anderson were yet fit enough to feature in the game which, if United win, will give them an eight-point gap over Manchester City, who have a later kickoff, at the top of the table.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed that Mario Balotelli will be available for the match with Arsenal on Sunday after being involved in a minor car accident on Thursday.

Mancini said he was hopeful top scorer Sergio Aguero would be fit for the visit to Arsenal after his foot injury. Defender Joleon Lescott is also back in his plans after recovering from a hip problem.

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has urged fans to be patient after the team fell back to eighth in the table after six defeats in their last seven league matches, their worst run for 59 years.

"There are a lot of challenges ahead this season. I'd ask the supporters to be patient; we will get it right," he said on the club website (www.liverpoolfc/tv) before Saturday's home match against Aston Villa .

"We have had a mixed March. We're in a league position we're not happy about and we need to look at ourselves and try to move up the league as soon as possible."

Chelsea, who are fifth in the table, five points behind Arsenal and Spurs, will be without skipper John Terry and defender Ashley Cole, while Frank Lampard is extremnely doubtful for Saturdfay's match against Wigan Athletic at Stamford Bridge.

Caretaker coach Roberto Di Matteo told a news conference on Friday that Terry would miss the game because he has two cracked ribs, while Cole has an ankle problem and Lampard damaged a thigh during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Benfica.

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Terry Connor told reporters on Friday he would retain Roger Johnson as skipper for the "foreseeable future" despite his on-field bust-up with goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey during last week's defeat to Bolton Wanderers.

Connor said he had spoken to both players and was satisfied the matter is settled.

"Roger is captain for the foreseeable future," he said.

Bottom club Wolves continue their fight for their survival at Stoke City on Saturday .

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he had no new injury worries for the match against Manchester City and would name the same squad as the one that lost 2-1 to Queens Park Rangers last week.

Wenger thought Abou Diaby and Francis Coquelin might resume training next week, while the next few weeks would determine whether midfielder Jack Wilshere had any chance of playing this season. Wilshere has missed the entire campaign following ankle surgery.

Fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur are at Sunderland on Saturday and Aaron Lennon, who came on as a substitute against Swansea last weekend, could make his first start for a month following his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Tottenham captain Ledley King will have a test on his knee later on Friday.

Sunderland, who are chasing a Europa League spot for next season, are likely to have Wayne Bridge back in the side against Spurs after he missed last week's match at Manchester City under the terms of his loan agreement.

However defender John O'Shea (calf) and Lee Cattermole are doubts.

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