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Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic says he won"t back to best for two months

I won't be back to best for two months, admits returning United defender Vidic

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UPDATED:

10:54 GMT, 30 December 2012

Nemanja Vidic has admitted it will take at least two months before he is back to his best.

The Manchester United skipper completed the second game of his comeback from knee surgery in Saturday's 2-0 win over West Brom at Old Trafford.

Heads up: Vidic competes with Gabriel Tamas during United's clash with West Brom

Heads up: Vidic competes with Gabriel Tamas during United's clash with West Brom

He certainly made his presence felt too, guiding United's defence to only their fourth clean sheet in the Premier League this season, which ensured they head into 2013 seven points clear of Manchester City.

However, Vidic is refusing to accept his comeback is complete. After virtually 16 months on the sidelines, including rupturing his cruciate during the devastating defeat to Basle last December, the 31-year-old knows there is plenty of work ahead.

Looking good: Vidic (right) has made a welcome return to Manchester United's defence

Looking good: Vidic (right) has made a welcome return to Manchester United's defence

'The doctor is managing the games I am playing at the moment,' he told MUTV.

'Over the first two or three months I have to really look at that because sometimes I might have a reaction. This is a process I have to go through.

'I am glad I have managed to play after three months. It is nice to be on the pitch and playing games.

'Hopefully I can play more often so I can build my form and play better.'

Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3 – match report

Aston Villa 0 Wigan 3: Lambert's hapless youngsters wiped out yet again by rampant Latics

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UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 29 December 2012

Crisis club Aston Villa alarmingly dropped deeper into a Premier League relegation battle with another abject performance against Wigan.

The visitors, meanwhile, moved out of the bottom three with a conclusive victory to record their first win in seven matches which highlighted Villa's dramatic shortcomings.

Villa, watched by club owner Randy Lerner, never recovered from a disastrous start when Ivan Ramis gave the Latics a morale-boosting lead after only three minutes.

Opener: Ivan Ramis (right) celebrates his goal which got proceedings underway

Opener: Ivan Ramis (right) celebrates his goal which got proceedings underway

It's raining goals: But sadly for Paul Lambert they're all going against his hapless Villa side

It's raining goals: But sadly for Paul Lambert they're all going against his hapless Villa side

MATCH FACTS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Herd, Clark, Lichaj (Albrighton 64), Lowton, Ireland (El Ahmadi 63), Holman (Bowery 63), Bannan, Bennett, Weimann, Benteke.

Subs not used: Given, Westwood, Stevens, Carruthers.

Booked: Bannan, Lowton, Weimann.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Jones (McArthur 65), Beausejour (Gomez 79), Kone (McManaman 87), Di Santo, Maloney.

Subs: Pollitt, Boselli, Stam, Golobart.

Booked: Boyce, Maloney.

Goals: Ramos 3, Boyce 52, Kone 56.

Att: 33,374.

Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

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Two goals in the space of four minutes
early in the second half from Emmerson Boyce and Arouna Kone sealed
Villa's fate as their confidence visibly evaporated. They have now
shipped 15 goals in three games.

In the continued absence of such
players as Darren Bent, Richard Dunne, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Charles
N'Zogbia and Nathan Baker, the options open to under-pressure manager
Paul Lambert are very limited as illustrated in this latest defeat.

Just how much a lightweight Villa are
missing the commanding presence of Dunne was highlighted as early as the
third minute when Wigan took a shock lead.

Villa's inability to defend set-pieces
was blatantly exposed in the third minute after the ball ran out for a
corner as Matthew Lowton appeared to handle.

Jean Beausejour's accurate corner was
perfectly placed for the unmarked Ivan Ramis to mark his return to
action after missing six games with a powerful header past the
transfixed Brad

It was the 13th goal conceded by Guzan
and Villa in three games and once again gave the West Midlands club a
steep hill to climb.

Penalty decisions have gone against
Wigan this season and on this occasion they were again out of favour
when Stephen Ireland appeared to foul Shaun Maloney.

Seconds later Maloney had a wild shot
from the edge of the area with a gaping goal at his mercy when Villa
were again on the wrong foot.

Villa battled hard to retrieve the situation but they lacked a cutting edge.

Christian Benteke was extremely
subdued and it was left to the industrious Andress Weimann to pressurise
Wigan's defence in which Ramis and skipper Gary Caldwell were rock
solid.

Leap: Ramis nodded home to get another day of misery for Villa underway

Leap: Ramis nodded home to get another day of misery for Villa underway

Pulling the strings for the visitors
was Shaun Maloney. The Scottish international formerly played for Villa
but was allowed to return north of the border because he was homesick,
before joining Wigan last year.

Benteke finally found a route through
Wigan's defence in the 36th minute with a rasping shot only for the goal
to be disallowed with Weimann in an offside position.

After Emmerson Boyce and Maloney were
booked for reckless tackles Villa's best chance of an equaliser fell to
Brett Holman two minutes before the break when the Australian grazed the
crossbar with an angled shot.

All these efforts in search of an
equaliser were to no avail as seven minutes into the second half Wigan
consolidated their lead.

Boyce raced through despite the
attention of three Villa defenders and took a return pass from Arouna
Kone to fire his low shot past Guzan.

Early bird: Ramis headed home a corner after just three minutes against Villa's hapless defence

Early bird: Ramis headed home a corner after just three minutes against Villa's hapless defence

In the 56th minute Kone himself got in
on the goalscoring as he took a through pass from Di Santo as he sliced
his way through Villa's dithering defence to score from a tight angle
despite a challenge from Guzan.

Villa made a triple substitution sending on El Ahmadi, Bowery and Albrighton for Ireland, Holman and Lichaj.

The changes resulted in more attacking play but the damage had been done as Wigan were content to absorb the pressure.

It was the 13th goal conceded by Guzan
and Villa in three games and once again gave the West Midlands club a
steep hill to climb.

Penalty decisions have gone against
Wigan this season and on this occasion they were again out of favour
when Stephen Ireland appeared to foul Shaun Maloney.

Seconds later Maloney had a wild shot
from the edge of the area with a gaping goal at his mercy when Villa
were again on the wrong foot.

Despair: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd look miserable during their defeat

Despair: Stephen Ireland and Chris Herd look miserable during their defeat

In the money: Emmerson Boyce popped up to double Wigan's lead

In the money: Emmerson Boyce popped up to double Wigan's lead

Villa battled hard to retrieve the situation but they lacked a cutting edge.

Christian Benteke was extremely
subdued and it was left to the industrious Andress Weimann to pressurise
Wigan's defence in which Ramis and skipper Gary Caldwell were rock
solid.

Pulling the strings for the visitors
was Shaun Maloney. The Scottish international formerly played for Villa
but was allowed to return north of the border because he was homesick,
before joining Wigan last year.

Benteke finally found a route through
Wigan's defence in the 36th minute with a rasping shot only for the goal
to be disallowed with Weimann in an offside position.

After Emmerson Boyce and Maloney were
booked for reckless tackles Villa's best chance of an equaliser fell to
Brett Holman two minutes before the break when the Australian grazed the
crossbar with an angled shot.

All these efforts in search of an
equaliser were to no avail as seven minutes into the second half Wigan
consolidated their lead.

Crunch: Franco Di Santo (right) goes in on Villa's Joe Bennett

Crunch: Franco Di Santo (right) goes in on Villa's Joe Bennett

Three and easy: Arouna Kone rounds Brad Guzan and tucks in the third

Three and easy: Arouna Kone rounds Brad Guzan and tucks in the third

Boyce raced through despite the
attention of three Villa defenders and took a return pass from Arouna
Kone to fire his low shot past Guzan.

In the 56th minute Kone himself got in
on the goalscoring as he took a through pass from Di Santo as he sliced
his way through Villa's dithering defence to score from a tight angle
despite a challenge from Guzan.

Villa made a triple substitution sending on El Ahmadi, Bowery and Albrighton for Ireland, Holman and Lichaj.

The changes resulted in more attacking play but the damage had been done as Wigan were content to absorb the pressure.

Laughing matter: Roberto Martinez saw his side bang in the goals for their first win in five

Laughing matter: Roberto Martinez saw his side bang in the goals for their first win in five

Shake on it: Martinez greets Villa mascot Hercules the Lion

Shake on it: Martinez greets Villa mascot Hercules the Lion

West Ham planning to fight Newcastle"s over move for French striker Loic Remy

Wanted: West Ham planning to fight Newcastle over move for French striker Loic Remy

PUBLISHED:

23:15 GMT, 19 December 2012

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UPDATED:

23:15 GMT, 19 December 2012

West Ham are keen to hijack Newcastle's move for Marseille striker Loic Remy.

Agent Willie McKay held talks in London with Marseille president Vincent Labrune on Tuesday evening and a proposal has been discussed that could see West Ham's Modibo Maiga go the other way.

Multiple target: West Ham are hoping to hijack Newcastle's move for Marseille Striker Loic Remy (pictured)

Multiple target: West Ham are hoping to hijack Newcastle's move for Marseille Striker Loic Remy (pictured)

Gabriel Obertan had been proposed as part of negotiations to take France international Remy to Newcastle and talks will continue over the next few days.

QPR have also shown interest in Remy but their league position will make any deal for the 25-year-old difficult.

West Ham's Modibo Maiga

Newcastle's Gabriel Obertan

Makeweights: West Ham could offer Modibo Maiga (left) and Newcastle Gabriel Obertan (right) in any deal involving Loic Remy

Loic Remy welcomes Newcastle interest in signing him from Marseille

Remy welcomes Newcastle interest after Pardew lines up Marseille hotshot

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 18 December 2012

Marseille striker Loic Remy has confirmed he would be interested in a move to Newcastle United.

The French club want Toon winger Gabriel Obertan as part of any deal for Remy, 25, but value the France international striker at around 16million.

Remy said: ‘Newcastle are a very good team, they are a big club with good players, very good fans and a nice stadium that is always full.

Toon target: Loic Remy could be set to swap Marseille for Newcastle

Toon target: Loic Remy could be set to swap Marseille for Newcastle

'The window opens in January, and
there will be speculation from now until the window closes – if I have
to leave then all parties must be happy. I have a contract so let's wait
and see what happens.'

Newcastle's need is accentuated by the on-going situation surrounding current leading scorer Demba Ba.

Up in the air: Demba Ba has a 7.5m release clause in his Newcastle contract

Up in the air: Demba Ba has a 7.5m release clause in his Newcastle contract

The
Magpies have played down previous links with the former Lyon, Lens and
Nice forward, but with Ba yet to agree a new contract at St James' Park
which would remove his infamous release clause, the club is understood
to be ready to bolster the manager's attacking options.

Pardew has no desire to allow Senegal
international Ba, who has 11 goals to his name so far this season, to
leave Tyneside, and the player himself has repeatedly spoken of his
happiness at the club.

However, amid speculation that
Arsenal, Chelsea and QPR among others could be ready to battle it out
for his signature next month, his admission in an interview with a
French TV company that the Gunners would be an attractive proposition
added to the sense of unease.

Roger Federer plays with Gabriel Batistuta and Boca Juniors

Federer's at it again: After swapping skills with Pele, tennis ace plays with lethal ex-Argentina striker Batistuta

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UPDATED:

01:18 GMT, 14 December 2012

Fresh from showing off his silky smooth skills with Brazilian legend Pele, Roger Federer was at it again, this time with lethal ex-Argentina striker Gabriel Batistuta.

The world tennis number two swapped skills, and shirts, with 'Batigol' in a game of football-tennis at the home of Boca Juniors, the Bombonera stadium.

Argentinian World number seven Juan Martin Del Potro was also inside the stadium, just hours before the pair played their second exhibition match in the city of Tigre.

Roger Federer, Juan Manuel Del Potro and Gabriel Batistuta (left to right) pose for photos inside Boca Juniors' Bombonera stadium

Roger Federer, Juan Manuel Del Potro and Gabriel Batistuta (left to right) pose for photos inside Boca Juniors' Bombonera stadium

Control: Roger Federer (right) and Juan Martin Del Potro (left) took part in a game of football-tennis just hours before their second exhibition match in the Argentinan city of Tigre

Control: Roger Federer (right) and Juan Martin Del Potro (left) took part in a game of football-tennis just hours before their second exhibition match in the Argentinan city of Tigre

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer heads a ball next to Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro and Argentinian former footballer Gabriel Batistuta

And the Swiss superstar had kind words to say about his Argentinian rival, whom he holds a 13-4 record over, although Del Potro has won the last two.

'He is already among the best,' Federer told ESPN. 'Now he just has to train hard and stay on the same path.

'He was number four, he's now number seven, but he could be number one. Sometimes the difference is in the small details.'

Federer is on tour in South America, visiting Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

His next tournament will be the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on 2nd January before the Australian Open begins on 16th January.

Swap: Federer was at it last week swapping shirts and gifts with Brazilian legend Pele (left)

Swap: Federer was at it last week swapping shirts and gifts with Brazilian legend Pele (left)

Manchester City v Everton, Arsenal v Swansea, Liverpool v Southampton, Fulham v Tottenham, QPR v Aston Villa, West Brom v Stoke live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Follow the action from around the grounds as it happens

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 1 December 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Manchester City host Everton at the Etihad Stadium in one of six 3pm kick offs. Elsewhere it is Arsenal v Swansea, Fulham v Tottenham, Liverpool v Southampton, QPR v Aston Villa and West Brom v Stoke. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Live scores

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Arsenal 0-0 Swansea

Fulham 0-0 Tottenham

Liverpool 1-0 Southampton

Manchester City 1-1 Everton

QPR 1-1 Aston Villa

West Brom 0-0 Stoke

West Ham 3-1 Chelsea FT

Click here for the live Premier League table

All the latest from FA Cup (R2)

All the latest from the Championship

All the latest from League Two

All the latest from the Scottish Cup (R4)

15.59: From InfostradaLive:

Manchester City have scored 20 second half goals this season – only Manchester United (21) have more in the division.

15.54: It's now half-time at QPR where the hosts are drawing 1-1 with Aston Villa.

We've not heard much from the Hawthorns but Stoke had the best chance in the first 45 minutes with Kenwyne Jones' heading just wide of the post.

15.51: From Sportsmail's Dominic King:

Half time, neither Roberto Mancini or David Moyes look especially pleased. Mancini just had a row with David Silva. Lots of gesticulating.

15.48: Half-time in all the Premier League games except at QPR following that six-minute delay following Mbia's injury.

The midfielder has been taken straight to hospital with what we understand is a neck injury after a clash with Gabriel Agbonlahor.

15.45: GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 Southampton

Seconds after Suarez hits the bar from a free-kick, Glen Johnson crosses for Daniel Agger to head home.

15.44: GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 1-1 Everton

Edin Dzeko is pulled down by Fellaini and Carlos Tevez equalises from the penalty spot.

15.43: PENALTY (Manchester City)

15.40: From Sportsmail's Sami Mokbel:

Worrying moments for M'Bia. Being stretchered off with a serious looking neck injury. Paramedics on the field.

For the record, Shaun Derry has replaced him on the pitch.

15.38: The game has stopped at QPR as Stephane Mbia is being attended to by a large medical team.

It looks very serious as there is a stretcher waiting to take him off the pitch. I will try and bring you more news on the QPR midfielder's condition as soon as it comes in. Let's hope he is okay.

15.35: GOAL! Manchester City 0-1 EVERTON

Completely deserved too. Marouane Fellaini needed two attempts to beat Joe Hart in the box but he bundles the ball home following Leighton Baines' cross.

15.34: And from Sportsmail's Laurie Whitwell at the Emirates Stadium:

Arsenal finally into their grove. Getting about Swansea more. Jenkinson again architect for Cazorla header but straight at Tremmel.

15.32: From Sportsmail's Dominic King:

Been an assured start from Everton, different proposition from last season. Manchester City a little disjointed. Silva & Nasri been quiet so far.

No way past: Wojciech Szczesny keeps out Angel Rangel's strike for Swansea

No way past: Wojciech Szczesny keeps out Angel Rangel's strike for Swansea

15.29: Negative reputations are biting back this afternoon as Luis Suarez is denied a penalty for Liverpool.

The striker plays a neat one-two with Lucas before seeing his shot saved – despite being held back inside the box.

15.26: Seconds after Gareth Bale is booked for diving again (I'm not sure it's the correct decision) Fulham blow a great chance.

John Arne Riise's low cross finds Mladen Petric, but the Croatian's low strike is well stopped by Hugo Lloris.

15.24: Villa nearly retake the lead instantly as Benteke heads home for the visitors but it is ruled out for offside. I'm not certain it is you know, I would like to see it again.

15.21: GOAL! QPR 1-1 Aston Villa

It's a deadpan look from Harry Redknapp but he must be relived at seeing his first goal as Hoops boss after Jamie Mackie heads the hosts level from Samba Diakite's cross.

15.19: William Gallas does indeed replace Dawson for Spurs.

15.18: More injury woe than goal so far as Michael Dawson's injury hell looks like it has started another chapter.

The Tottenham defender has gone down injured at Fulham and he is gesturing towards the Spurs bench to make a sub. Big shame for the centre-back.

15.16: Only Wojciech Szczesny is keeping Arsenal level at home to Swansea. Angel Rangel is found in acres of space for the Welsh outfit, but he is denied by the Polish stopper before winning a corner.

15.14: Great game at Craven Cottage. Spurs looked in control early on but the hosts counter and waste the best chance of the game so far as Kerim Frei fires off target.

Aussie rules: Brett Holman fired Aston Villa ahead

Aussie rules: Brett Holman fired Aston Villa ahead

15.12: GOAL! QPR 0-1 ASTON VILLA

Cracking strike from Brett Holman. The midfielder benefits from good hold up play from Christian Benteke and scores his first goal for the club with a great strike that the hands of Robert Green failed to keep out.

15.11: Bright start from Spurs and there is nearly a goal for the returning Clint Dempsey. The American turns Philippe Senderos before curling just wide.

15.09: Bad news for Manchster City. Aleksandar Kolarov has been forced off early with a groin injury with Pablo Zabaleta replacing him.

15.07: Swansea go very close at Arsenal as Ashley Williams blows a great chance inside the box from eight yards. How the Swans could have done with Michu in that position instead.

15.04: Start how you mean to continue and Southampton have tried to test Pepe Reina from distance with Rickie Lambert firing just wide from 35 yards.

In the balance: Everton's Darron Gibson (left) attempts to control the ball

In the balance: Everton's Darron Gibson (left) attempts to control the ball

15.01: Away we go folks.

14.59: The teams are out across the country including at Liverpool where there has been a minutes' applause for Under Nine academy player, Stephen Packer, who very sadly passed away this week.

14.56: Some final pre-match reading from Sportsmail's Dominic King as he looks at the 10 things to look out for this weekend.

14.53: So there are the teams, now check out Martin Keown's preview on the weekend action with his Boot Room.

The former Arsenal defender claims this is the week the table starts to take shape.

14.49: Full line-ups from Loftus Road where Harry Redknapp takes control of his first home game as QPR boss:

QPR v Aston Villa
QPR: Green, Bosingwa, Nelsen, Hill, Traore, Mbia, Diakite, Granero, Wright-Phillips, Taarabt, Mackie. Subs: Murphy, Derry, Ferdinand, Park, Cisse, Da Silva, Hoilett.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Lichaj, Holman, Herd, Westwood, Bannan, Benteke, Agbonlahor. Subs: Given, Ireland, El Ahmadi, Bent, Delph, Weimann, Williams.

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Back at the Cottage: Clint Dempsey makes his first return to Fulham since joining Tottenham in August

Back at the Cottage: Clint Dempsey makes his first return to Fulham since joining Tottenham in August

14.46: Now for the London derby from Craven Cottage where Fulham boss Martin Jol will hope to dent the Champions League hopes of his former side:

Fulham v Tottenham
Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Senderos, Hughes, Riise, Frei, Diarra, Sidwell, Dejagah, Berbatov, Petric. Subs: Etheridge, Kelly, Baird, Karagounis, Richardson, Duff, Rodallega.

Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen, Lennon, Dembele, Sandro, Bale, Defoe, Dempsey. Subs: Friedel, Gallas, Sigurdsson, Falque, Walker, Livermore, Carroll.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside)

14.43: And from the Etihad Stadium where unbeaten Manchester City hope to reclaim top spot against an Everton team who were the last side to win at the champions in a league game two years ago:

Man City v Everton
Man City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov, Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Nasri, Dzeko. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Javi Garcia, Sinclair, Aguero, Toure, Balotelli.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Gibson, Osman, Naismith, Fellaini, Pienaar, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios.

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

14.41: Full line-ups from the Hawthorns where West Brom will hope to capitalise on Chelsea's defeat by going third outright in the table:

West Brom v Stoke
West Brom: Myhill, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Yacob, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Rosenberg, Gera, Long. Subs: Daniels, Ridgewell, Morrison, Brunt, Lukaku, Odemwingie, Tamas.

Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Cameron, Walters, Nzonzi, Adam, Whelan, Etherington, Jones. Subs: Sorensen, Palacios, Edu, Whitehead, Upson, Kightly, Wilkinson.

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

Back in action: Lucas Leiva (right) makes his first Liverpool appearance since August

Back in action: Lucas Leiva (right) makes his first Liverpool appearance since August

14.39: Time for Liverpool to start picking up wins as Brendan Rodgers' side are only four points off the bottom three going into today's game with Southampton:

Liverpool v Southampton
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Allen, Shelvey, Gerrard, Sterling, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Sahin, Henderson, Downing, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Wisdom.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Puncheon, Cork, Schneiderlin, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert. Subs: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka, Reeves.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

14.37: It's full-time at Upton Park where West Ham have come from behind to defeat Chelsea 3-1.

Delight for the Hammers and only more agony for the Blues and Benitez.

14.36: Full line-ups from the Emirates Stadium where just one point separates Arsenal in seventh and Swansea in eighth:

Arsenal v Swansea
Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Gervinho, Podolski. Subs: Mannone, Rosicky, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Squillaci, Coquelin.

Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton, Ki, de Guzman, Shechter, Michu. Subs: Cornell, Monk, Moore, Tiendalli, Agustien, Richards, Donnelly.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

14.33: England defender Joleon Lescott makes an unexpected return to the Manchester City side to face his former club Everton in the Barclays Premier League.

Lescott, who has not even made the bench for the previous two games, comes in to replace in-form Matija Nastasic at the Etihad Stadium for his first start for more than a month.

Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko are paired up front while Everton are unchanged from the side which started their midweek draw with Arsenal after Leighton Baines proved his fitness.

Back in the side: Harry Redknapp recalls Shaun Wright-Phillips (right) to the QPR starting XI

Back in the side: Harry Redknapp recalls Shaun Wright-Phillips (right) to the QPR starting XI

14.30: QPR start Robert Green against Aston Villa today after regular No. 1 Julio Cesar fails to overcome a groin injury.

It is the England international's first start since playing Manchester City on September 1, while Harry Redknapp replaces Djibril Cisse with Shaun Wright-Phillips for his first home game at the Rs helm.

Eric Lichaj and Chris Herd come into the Aston Villa starting line-up, while Darren Bent is named amongst the substitutes at Loftus Road.

14.27: Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva makes his first appearance for three months after being selected to face Southampton at Anfield.

The Brazil international has only 74 minutes of previous Barclays Premier League action but is immediately recalled, along with Jonjo Shelvey, as manager Brendan Rodgers makes two changes from the defeat at Tottenham.

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins, a boyhood Liverpool fan, goes with the same team which drew with Norwich in midweek.

14.24: West Brom head coach Steve Clarke makes six changes from the side beaten at Swansea in midweek for the home Barclays Premier League clash with Stoke.

Clarke hands a debut to Swedish international striker Markus Rosenberg and also brings in Steven Reid, Goran Popov, Zoltan Gera, Graham Dorrans and Shane Long.

Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones makes his first league start of the season. He replaces Peter Crouch who had dental surgery after losing two teeth in a challenge with Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini.

Gunning for goals: Arsenal's in form winger Theo Walcott (centre) shakes off a knock he suffered at Everton

Gunning for goals: Arsenal's in form winger Theo Walcott (centre) shakes off a knock he suffered at Everton

14.21: Arsenal forward Theo Walcott recovers from an ankle knock to face Swansea in this afternoon's Barclays Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Lukas Podolski recovers from a virus after missing the midweek draw at Everton, Gervinho comes into the side with Olivier Giroud on the bench, while Laurent Koscielny (thigh) misses out.

Swansea, just a point behind the Gunners, are without winger Pablo Hernandez as referee Mark Clattenburg takes charge of the match.

14.18: First up we have a London derby already underway at Upton Park where West Ham are doing battle with Chelsea.

The visitors have endured two goalless draws under interim boss Rafael Benitez but there has been two goals in east London.

Click here to see which way they have gone and follow the action live with Martin Domin.

14.15: Just when you have got over the midweek action in the Premier League, Saturday comes around with another bumper set of fixtures.

It's a good set list too, with the Premier League champions, a London derby and Harry Redknapp's first home game in charge of QPR on the bill of matches. Team news on the way.

Five alive: Arsenal, Tottenham Manchester City, Liverpool and QPR feature from 3pm

Five alive: Arsenal, Tottenham Manchester City, Liverpool and QPR feature from 3pm

Aston Villa aim to ruin Harry Redknapp"s Loftus Road welcome party

Lambert ready to act the Villain for Harry's Loftus Road welcome party

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UPDATED:

20:51 GMT, 30 November 2012

Paul Lambert has warned Harry Redknapp that his Aston Villa side are happy to play party-poopers, saying: ‘We want to keep QPR down there.’

A narrow win over Reading on Tuesday has lifted a little pressure from the Scot’s own shoulders as the Birmingham club jumped out of the bottom three this week.

Three more points will lift Villa to within sight of mid-table and Lambert said that while he knows QPR will be boosted by Redknapp’s arrival, he has no intention of joining in the merriment.

Preparations: Gabriel Agbonlahor and Aston Villa in training at Bodymoor Heath on Friday

Preparations: Gabriel Agbonlahor and Aston Villa in training at Bodymoor Heath on Friday

‘Harry going in there will automatically give them a lift, as he is a brilliant manager,’ said Lambert. ‘It’s an extremely tough game for us. But we would be happy to win and keep them down there.’

He revealed Richard Dunne may have played his last game for Villa, given his mystery groin and hip problem. He is out of contract in the summer, so may move on in January.

Talking tactics: Harry Redknapp (left) at QPR training on Friday morning

Talking tactics: Harry Redknapp (left) at QPR training on Friday morning

Aston Villa v Arsenal live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Aston Villa v Arsenal – as it happens from Villa Park

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UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 24 November 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Aston Villa host Arsenal at Villa Park to conclude Saturday's action. The Gunners are riding high on confidence following their qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League and travel to a Villa side involved in a battle against relegation at this stage of the season. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Aston Villa 0-0 Arsenal (5.30pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Weimann, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke.
Subs: Given, Ireland, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Lichaj.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud.
Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Coquelin, Arshavin, Gervinho.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Click here for the live Premier League table

All the latest from the Championship

37min: A mistake from Szczesny sees him handle the ball outside the box under pressure from Gabriel Agbonlahor, giving Villa a free-kick on the left flank and the keeper a booking.

36min: Villa are stretched at the back again but the backline keeps its shape as Cazorla's 25-yard shot is blocked.

35min: There are signs that Arsenal are starting to make their class tell as they are now seeing more of the ball and forcing the hosts to drop deep.

When Villa do get possession back, they try to pass the ball around but are quickly forced into a hurried clearance.

32min: After that fine opening Villa have struggled to to test Arsenal in the last 15 minutes but will be happy that they have limited Arsenal going forward. The rain continues to fall in Birmingham.

29min: And this is a full chance. The Gunners break down the right and after the ball finds Ramsey inside the area, his shot through a crowd of Villa bodies and across goal is well blocked by Guzan.

27min: Half-chance for Arsenal as the ball bounces loose for Lukas Podolski inside the box, but Brad Guzan is quickly off his line to claim before the German can shoot.

25min: From InfostradaLive:

Arsenal have scored at least twice in four of their last five PL visits to Villa Park.

22min: But we are soon back at the other end where Villa think they have won a free-kick on the right side of the box.

As it turns out, Karim El Ahmadi is booked for diving after Santi Cazorla makes no contact with his attempted tackle. A great call by Lee Mason and his officials.

20min: A minute of appreciation from the Villa fans who applaud in support of their captain, Stiliyan Petrov who is battling illness.

During it, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fires wide at the near post for Arsenal.

19min: From there Westwood crosses for Benteke who climbs above Laurent Koscielny to head wide back across goal.

18min: Another Villa corner as Bannan's chip into the box is headed behind by Kieran Gibbs. It was crucial too as had he missed it, Benteke would have been one-on-one with Szczesny.

16min: The home fans are really starting to get behind their side as they force the Gunners into a number of errors.

Christian Benteke scuffs a shot from a poor Carl Jenkinson header inside the box as Villa continue to chase every ball.

14min: Excellent passing from Villa. A neat passing move precedes Westwood picking out Andreas Weimann on the left side of the box with a lofted ball, and his cross is pushed behind by Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny. The corner though comes to nothing.

11min: Barry Bannan's inswinging delivery from it is decent and powerful but no one can make contact as it flies wide at the far post.

10min: And his side win a free-kick to the right deep in Arsenal's half after Aaron Ramsey's sloppy lunge on Ashley Westwood.

9min: Aston Villa boss, Paul Lambert is serving a touchline ban today and judging by the weather it's a good match to observe it.

The Scot is watching from the stands but will be impressed how his side has stifled Arsenal so far.

6min: The away side continue to probe for an opening as Kieran Gibbs plays a hopeful low cross into the box but Villa comfortably clear.

5min: Olivier Giroud's cross from left is headed behind by Ron Vlaar for a corner, but the set-piece into the box evades everyone.

3min: Arsenal are trying to settle into their passing game but plenty of appetite from Villa so far who are pressing all over the park. No chances.

Tough in the tackle: Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (right) attempts to tackle Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar

Tough in the tackle: Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (right) attempts to tackle Aston Villa's Ron Vlaar

Kick-off: Arsenal, in yellow, get us going with Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla.

17.25: It's a chilly evening in the West Midlands and the rain is falling to accompany it as the players make their way out.

17.20: From InfostradaLive:

The starting lines up for both teams have a combined average age of 24 years and 252 days old – the youngest of any PL fixture this season and youngest since Manchester United’s 8-2 home win against Arsenal in August 2011 (23-314).

17.15: Arsene Wenger has said pre-match he expects a direct approach from Aston Villa and that he is prepared for it.

That's providing Paul Lambert's side can get the ball of course. The hosts could spend much of this game chasing shadows.

Back in the team: Aaron Ramsey replaces the rested Jack Wilshere for Arsenal

Back in the team: Aaron Ramsey replaces the rested Jack Wilshere for Arsenal

17.10: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert recalls midfielder Karim El Ahmadi in place of Stephen Ireland for the home Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal – but there is no place amongst the substitutes for fit-again striker Darren Bent.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger makes three changes from the line-up which qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League via the midweek win over Montpellier.

Full-backs Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs replace Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen while midfielder Aaron Ramsey comes in for the rested Jack Wilshere.

17.05: The full line-ups from Villa Park:

Aston Villa v Arsenal
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Weimann, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Ireland, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Lichaj.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Coquelin, Arshavin, Gervinho.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

17.00: On paper this isn't really a contest. Aston Villa looking well short of confidence and stuck inside the bottom three go up against an Arsenal side starting to go up through the gears again.

An away victory is surely on the cards but i think I may have said something like that when the Gunners visited Norwich recently…team news up next.

Gunning for success: Arsenal will hope to pile more misery on Aston Villa at Villa Park

Gunning for success: Arsenal will hope to pile more misery on Aston Villa at Villa Park

Newcastle handed Euro boost after Bruges axe boss George Leekens

Newcastle handed Euro boost after Bruges axe boss Leekens

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UPDATED:

14:56 GMT, 6 November 2012

Newcastle United's Europa League opponents FC Bruges have been thrown into turmoil ahead of this week's meeting in Belgium.

The Belgian side have sacked manager George Leekens after a run of six games without a win.

Axed: Georges Leekens

Axed: Georges Leekens

The former Belgium manager, who was in his second spell at the Jan Breydel Stadium, was dismissed after the 1-0 defeat to Zulte-Waregem at the weekend.

Reserve team coach Philippe Clement will be in charge for Thursday's clash with Newcastle in Bruges which the Belgian side need to win to stand any chance of staying in the competition.

Bruges lost 1-0 at St James's Park last month, thanks to a Gabriel Obertan goal, but performed well in front of more than 2,500 travelling fans.

Leekens, 63, who managed nine different Belgian clubs as well as taking over the national team twice, had vowed to exact revenge this week with a fully-fit side, while injuries will force Alan Pardew to name an even more makeshift Newcastle side than usual.

Darren Bent injury latest: Aston Villa to assess striker

Injury fears for Bent as Villa await news on latest ankle blow for striker

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UPDATED:

09:51 GMT, 5 November 2012

Injury fears: Darren Bent suffered a knock in training on Friday

Injury fears: Darren Bent suffered a knock in training on Friday

Aston Villa are set to assess the fitness of striker Darren Bent, who has suffered an injury to the ankle which sidelined him for the final three months of last season.

Villa's 18million record signing sustained the latest setback in training on Friday and was ruled out of the weekend 1-0 win at his former club Sunderland.

Bent has been replaced in the starting line-up by Christian Benteke in recent weeks but another lengthy spell out of action would still be a blow to the midlands club.

Villa boss Paul Lambert said: 'Darren hurt his ankle on Friday in training.

'It is the same ankle he hurt against Wigan (in February). I know it was serious then.

'Is it serious I don't know yet. He will get treatment on it during the week and we will see.

'He was really hobbling on Friday and we couldn't take a chance on him with Sunderland.'

Bent suffered last season's ankle problem against Wigan in late February and it ended his hopes of being part of England's Euro 2012 squad.

The form of Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor, who have scored five goals between them in the last three games, has meant he has been had to be content with a substitute's role in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Villa left-back Eric Lichaj has been ruled out of Saturday's home game against Manchester United after collecting his fifth yellow card of the campaign at the Stadium Of Light.

Lichaj's absence could prove crucial as first choice left-back, Joe Bennett, aggravated a knee problem against the Black Cats.