Fabregas ready for Arsenal return

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

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas is fit to start at Blackpool on Sunday but midfielder Alex Song has been ruled out with a knee injury, manager Arsene Wenger said.

Fabregas is getting over a hamstring injury and was restricted to playing the last half-an-hour after coming on as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers last weekend.

Winger Theo Walcott is a doubt with an ankle injury and will have a late fitness test.

"Cesc is fit to start," Wenger told reporters. "Song definitely won't play but he should be available for next week. There is a big doubt about Walcott, it's his ankle again."

Chelsea defender Alex will return to the Chelsea squad for Saturday's game against Wigan Athletic after a four-month spell on the sidelines, manager Carlo Ancelotti said.

The centre-back, who has been out since undergoing knee surgery in December, will be on the bench at Stamford Bridge.

Alex's compatriot David Luiz is set to return to the centre of the Chelsea defence having been ineligible for Wednesday's Champions League defeat by Manchester United.

Midfielder Yossi Benayoun may feature for the first time in six months following surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon. He came on as a substitute for Israel just over a week ago.

Manchester United will be without Rafael for Saturday's visit of Fulham because the full-back has a bruised knee but he will be fit for Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Chelsea, manager Sir Alex Ferguson said.

He added that there would be some changes to his lineup, with an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City to come next weekend, as United count on the depth of their squad in their pursuit of a treble.

"When you have a run of important games... you depend on your squad not on your team," he told a news conference. "That's the great value of having a good squad."

The other notable absentee on Saturday will be striker Wayne Rooney who will serve the first of a two-match ban he picked up for swearing into a television camera after scoring a hat-trick in last weekend's 4-2 victory at West Ham United.

Tottenham Hotspur winger Aaron Lennon is doubtful for the visit of Stoke City on Saturday with the virus that forced him out of the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Real Madrid just before kick-off.

"He will be in today and we'll... have a look to see if he feels any better. He's picking up a bit but we'll have to wait and see," Spurs manager Harry Redknapp told reporters. "He will be doubtful."

Tottenham's Scotland full-back Alan Hutton is sidelined for the rest of the campaign after knee surgery with Redknapp saying: "He has had an operation and is out for the season."

Niko Kranjcar is not fit after suffering a foot injury in the goalless draw at Wigan last Saturday and fellow midfielder Steven Pienaar is also out with a groin injury.

Midfielder Tom Huddlestone is expected to return to the side on Saturday which will give Tottenham a boost before they host the second leg of their tie against Real on Wednesday.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish hopes Manchester City will have one eye on their FA Cup Semi-Final against Manchester United ahead of their league clash at Anfield on Monday.

"We don't know what team they'll put out, we don't know if they'll be focused on the semi-final or not," Dalglish told reporters.

"I'm sure they place equal importance on their position in the league but when you see a trophy at the end of it sometimes your concentration wanes a wee bit."

Liverpool are sixth in the table, five points adrift of Tottenham in fifth - the only remaining Europa League spot.

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Mick McCarthy has brushed aside reports that in-form winger Matt Jarvis is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Jarvis's impressive displays earned him a first England cap last month when he came on as a second half substitute in the draw with Ghana at Wembley.

"I gave a very honest answer last week but from there some people managed to get a 'He's for sale' out of it.

"So this week I would just say that at this moment in time he's not for sale at any price and neither is anybody else.

"What is lovely about this club is that nobody needs to be sold because we are financially sound."

Wolves play Everton at Molineux on Saturday.