Terry to return for Chelsea

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

Chelsea captain John Terry will return from injury and start against Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday while Michael Essien returns from suspension and injury. Brazilian defender Alex is unavailable after knee surgery.

"John Terry will play, he trained well all this week completely," manager Carlo Ancelotti told reporters. "He didn't have a problem, showed a good condition, tomorrow will start.

"Essien comes back from the suspension, (Yuri) Zhirkov is unable to play tomorrow because he is not fit and (Frank) Lampard maybe next week could be his last out of the game. It will be important for him to be involved in the game against Tottenham."

Everton manager David Moyes will celebrate his 400th game in charge of the club at Chelsea with England defender Phil Jagielka doubtful after being injured in last week's defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

"We have a bit of a doubt over Phil Jagielka and we will have to see how he is," he told reporters.

Moyes will have captain Phil Neville back along with midfielder Marouane Fellaini but Mikel Arteta is starting a three match ban.

Manchester City's Mario Balotelli, who scored twice against Salzburg in the Europa League on Wednesday, has been told to step up the work rate by team mate Patrick Vieira ahead of the home game to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

"If he wants to be one of the top strikers in the world, he needs to work harder," he said. "The demands of the Premier League are a bit different from Italy. He just has to get his focus on the game. But the positive is that he's scoring and that's a good start."

Premier League leaders Manchester United's away game at Blackpool on Saturday has been postponed due to a frozen pitch, the home club said on Friday.

"(Match referee) Mr Peter Walton expressed concern that the severely affected areas of the playing surface would not thaw sufficiently for the game to be completed," a statement on Blackpool's website said.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson had good news about injured striker Michael Owen, who is back in training: "He's doing very well. He took part in the football side of it yesterday but I would say he's two weeks away," he told MUTV.

"We need to make sure he does a good stint of football training before we bring him into the games."

Arsenal's Samir Nasri is expected to be fit for Saturday's home game against Fulham after picking up a slight knee injury against Wigan in the League Cup on Tuesday, but Robin van Persie is doubtful.

"He (Nasri) should be alright. Apart from that, we do not have any fresh players injured," manager Arsene Wenger told Arsenal TV. "I will see how Robin recovers. I rotate a bit from game to game at the moment. So I'll see. But we have quite a strong squad available".

Blackburn Rovers, thrashed 7-1 by Manchester United last weekend and hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, have told French defender Pascal Chimbonda that the 31-year-old is free to leave in the January transfer window.

"We are not going to renew his contract," said manager Sam Allardyce. "His determination is to find a new contract and we feel for both concerned it is better to let him see what he can get in January."

Birmingham City fans will be in the spotlight at St Andrews, where Tottenham Hotspur play on Saturday, after violent scenes in their League Cup clash with local rivals Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Tottenham will have defender Michael Dawson back on the bench for the first time in three months after the England man injured his ankle on international duty.

The London club's league top scorer Rafael van der Vaart and defender Younes Kaboul have been ruled out of the trip.