Previews: Reds racked with injury problems

LONDON - Brief news ahead of the weekend's Premier League matches with Liverpool hosting Fulham, Manchester United meeting Blackburn and Bolton Wanderers tackling Chelsea.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will miss his team's visit to Fulham on Saturday along with defender Glen Johnson.

Gerrard has failed to recover from a groin injury sustained earlier this month while on duty for England while Johnson tore his calf earlier in the week.

"Gerrard still has a problem with his groin so he won't be available this weekend," manager Rafa Benitez told the club's website on Friday, adding better news on the state of striker Fernando Torres.

"He is improving. He's been training and working with the physios. It's a difficult situation because if you play games, you often don't have too much time to get fit again."

Midfielder Alberto Aquilani is also unavailable due to a virus.

Manchester United's first-choice central defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are both doubts with calf problems, meaning manager Alex Ferguson may have to rely on Wes Brown and Jonny Evans when United host Blackburn on Saturday.

Ryan Giggs could also be missing, Ferguson told a news conference on Friday.

"Ryan Giggs is a doubt but we hope he will be ok, Ferdinand and Vidic are both doubts and we will have to see what they are like."

Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, set to start against Chelsea on Saturday, has called time on his international career.

The Finn, 34, made his debut against Malta in 1998 and won 55 caps.

"I believe that it is now the right time to give younger Finnish goalkeepers the chance to play on the international stage," he told Bolton's website.

"There have been players like Brad Friedel, Jamie Carragher and Paul Scholes who have benefited by retiring from international football, and I hope that my decision will allow me to continue performing for Bolton Wanderers for many years to come."

Aston Villa keeper Friedel, 38, is set to make his 200th consecutive Premier League appearance when Villa travel to Everton on Saturday.

The previous record of consecutive games played, 166 set by Portsmouth keeper David James in 2008, was overhauled by Friedel last November and Villa's manager Martin O'Neill expressed his amazement at the American's run which began in 2004 when he was at Blackburn Rovers. Friedel joined Villa from Blackburn in July 2008.