Arsenal boosted by Szczesny return

LONDON - Brief news ahead of this weekend's Premier League matches.

Second-placed Arsenal hope to have four players return from injury for Sunday's clash with Liverpool.

Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has recovered from the finger injury picked up against Barcelona in the Champions League.

"We still have some tests to make but Wojciech is back in full training so it could be Szczesny (to start)," said Arsene Wenger on the club's website.

Defender Johan Djourou (shoulder) and midfielders Alex Song (knee) and Denilson (toe) are also hoping to return.

Brazilians Alex and Ramires will miss Chelsea's trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday with minor injuries, manager Carlo Ancelotti said.

"We have two little problems with Alex and Ramires, they will not be involved in the game tomorrow," Ancelotti said on the club's website.

"They have a little muscle problem, so for two or three days they have to stay off and they come back for Birmingham (on Wednesday)."

Centre-back Alex, who only returned this month from a long-term knee injury, came off late in Tuesday's Champions League defeat by Manchester United, while midfielder Ramires was sent off for a second yellow card in that game.

Blackburn Rovers forward Junior Hoilett is a doubt for their clash against Everton on Saturday with a hamstring strain.

"We are hoping with extensive treatment from the medical and physio staff that we can get him at least on the training pitch on Friday. So he is a doubt," said Rovers boss Steve Kean on club website.

Everton midfield pair Tim Cahill (foot) and Mikel Arteta (hamstring) are nearing fitness but may not make the squad for this weekend.

Blackpool midfielder David Vaughan will miss his side's match against bottom club Wigan Athletic on Saturday with a hip injury.

"There's slight muscle damage and there's a fear that it may have pulled a piece of bone off his hip," manager Ian Holloway told the club's website.

Birmingham City wingers David Bentley (groin) and Jean Beausejour (hamstring) are available for their match with Sunderland on Saturday. Striker Nikola Zigic remains a doubt.