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BIRM'HAM v

SWINDON

WITH Peter Ndlovu away on international duty for Zimbabwe, Birmingham recall striker Paul Furlong. Despite missing the past two months because of injuries and suspension, the ex-Chelsea star is still City's top scorer on 16 goals.

For Swindon, Alan McDonald (calf), Lee Collins (shoulder) and Philippe Cuervo (achilles) are all doubtful.

CHARLTON v PORTSMOUTH

IT'S a case of two in, two out for high-flying Charlton. Mark Bowen (back) and Richard Rufus (flu) are fit to return to the defence. But Mark Bright (groin) and Paul Mortimer (hamstring) are ruled out of attack.

Defender Michalis Vlachos makes a welcome return for Pompey who also have midfielder Alan McLoughlin fit.

HUDD'FIELD

v W BROM

PAUL BARNES is missing from the Huddersfield forward line on two counts.

The 30-year-old is struggling with an ankle injury to add to a one-match ban.

Teenager Chris Adamson will make his third successive appearance in goal for West Brom. Paul Mardon and Mickey Evans are now ruled out for the season.

IPSWICH v

PORT VALE

KEY defenders Tony Mowbray (groin) and Jamie Clapham (shoulder) face fitness tests, but Ipswich boss George Burley will not gamble with the play-offs looming.

Vale wait on midfielder Stuart Talbot as they aim to secure their first League win at Portman Road. The 24-year-old is battling to shake off a hamstring injury.

OXFORD v

TRANMERE

OXFORD have Simon Marsh and Joey Beauchamp suspended, which makes skipper Phil Gilchrist's recovery from a groin injury all the more welcome.

Tranmere have doubts over injured John McGreal and flu victim Micky Mellon, but Lee Jones is fit to resume in attack after shaking off a virus.

SHEFF UTD

v BURY

STAR man Vassilis Borbokis (ankle) and Roger Nilsen (virus) are fit again for United. But Gareth Taylor (toe) and Ian Hamilton (groin) are doubtful, and Shaun Derry (knee) is out for the season.

Midfielder Mark Patterson, a former Blade, is ineligible. A clause in his transfer deal excludes him because United are chasing promotion.

STOCKPORT

v FOREST

STOCKPORT are expected to keep an unchanged side with Kevin Cooper and Chris Byrne again in midfield. Simon Travis is left on the the bench once again.

Forest skipper Colin Cooper has not recovered from a knee injury so Jan Olav Hjelde again deputises. Geoff Thomas has a hamstring injury.

STOKE v

NORWICH

STOKE wait on late tests on Danny Tiatto, Richard Forsyth and Peter Thorne. But midfielder Paul Holsgrove is available after a midweek reserve run-out.

Norwich's Craig Fleming, who scored in the 5-0 win over Huddersfield, is doubtful. John Polston stands by.

Winger Darren Eadie (cheekbone) is out.

SUNDERLAND

v CREWE

JODY CRADDOCK is in line for a recall as Sunderland step up their promotion bid. Either Chris Makin or Darren Holloway will make way. Alex Rae is also in contention for a starting berth.

With Crewe safe from the drop, boss Dario Gradi has told his team to enjoy themselves. Lee Unsworth misses out with a hamstring injury.

WOLVES v

READING

RECORD scorer Steve Bull will be axed by Wolves. Steve Claridge and Don Goodman are paired in attack, while Lee Naylor replaces injured Steve Froggatt.

Reading trained with only eight fit players this week. And with Andy Bernal and Robert Fleck banned, options are severely imited for boss Tommy Burns.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 18, 1998
Words:549
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