RVP fit for United, Mario returns for City
Robin van Persie has shaken off a knock and will be fit for Manchester United's Premier League clash at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday but defender Phil Jones could be sidelined for up to 10 weeks with a knee injury.
Dutchman Van Persie, who struck a hat-trick in the 3-2 win against Southampton in United's last game, suffered a strain on international duty but manager Alex Ferguson said he had recovered in time for the visit of Wigan.
"On the injury front, everyone's fit, apart from the ones we know about - Jones and (Chris) Smalling," Ferguson said at his pre-match news conference.
"Jones was a bad blow for us. He got an injury in training last weekend and he'll be out for eight to 10 weeks."
Wayne Rooney is still out with a cut leg.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said Sergio Aguero could play against Stoke City on Saturday after being sidelined since the opening day of the season with a knee injury.
The Argentina striker was feared to have sustained a serious injury but Mancicni said his recovery had gone well.
"We will try this morning with Sergio," Mancini said on Friday. "And after we try we will decide. He is getting better."
Italian Mario Balotelli is also available after recovering from an eye problem.
Early leaders Chelsea, who will be protecting a 100 percent start against local neighbours Queens Park Rangers on Saturday, will have John Terry and Ashley Cole available, manager Roberto Di Matteo said.
Terry injured his ankle playing for England in Moldova and missed Tuesday's draw with Ukraine, while Cole missed both England games.
It is the first meeting between the sides since Terry was cleared of racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand in July and the clubs are still discussing whether the pre-match handshake formalities will go ahead as normal after they were abandoned in the previous two meetings between the clubs.
Arsenal may not risk midfielder Abou Diaby against Southampton on Saturday as manager Arsene Wenger looks ahead to a busy week ahead with a Champions League opener and an away trip to Premier League champions Manchester City.
"He is 50-50 at the moment," Wenger told Arsenal's website. "It is a small muscular problem that is very minor. But of course we are in a situation that, because we play so many games now, should we take a gamble with him or not?"
"We are playing on Saturday, Tuesday, then go to Man City."
Theo Walcott is expected to be fit after pulling out England's squad for the match against Ukraine with a virus.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul has been ruled out for two or three games with an elbow injury, manager Alan Pardew said. Krul suffered the injury while on international duty and will definitely miss Monday's clash with Everton.
Captain Fabricio Coloccini is also a doubt for Monday after damaging his hamstring while playing for Argentina.
Dwight Tiendalli could make his debut for high-flying Swansea City against Aston Villa on Saturday after being signed on a free transfer to ease the club's defensive injury problems.
The former Dutch under-21 international arrived at the Liberty Stadium this week to add some cover after Neil Taylor was ruled out for the season with a broken ankle.
"I hope I can show what I'm capable of, whether that's this Saturday or the next game," the former Twente player said.
Former England, Liverpool and Manchester United striker Michael Owen could make his Stoke City debut against Manchester City on Saturday.
Owen, a free agent who joined after the transfer window closed, could even link up again with another of England's discarded strikers in the form of Peter Crouch.
"There's no doubt that I've played with Peter a number of times and we've done pretty well together, that's there for all to see," Owen said this week.
"It would be pretty disrespectful, though, for me to come in and say 'I'm looking forward to playing with Peter Crouch'. There are a lot of good players here, and it's certainly not in my contract that I'll be starting every game."