Arsenal duo face late tests before derby

Brief news on Friday ahead of this weekend's Premier League matches:

Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs will undergo late fitness tests before Sunday's North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, manager Arsene Wenger told a news conference.

"We [will] make a decision about them tomorrow," Wenger said as his fourth-placed side prepared to host their third-placed bitter rivals.

Arsenal will be hoping to improve their fortunes after their last realistic chance of silverware evaporated last week when they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Sunderland and thumped 4-0 by AC Milan in their Champions League last 16 first leg.

Tottenham Hotspur will have striker Emmanuel Adebayor back for the trip to his former club after he twisted his knee in training last week.

Fellow forward Rafael van der Vaart is also fit after a three-game absence, while left-back Benoit Assou Ekotto should be ready to play after a minor groin operation, manager Harry Redknapp told a news conference.

Defender William Gallas remains sidelined with a calf problem and Tom Huddlestone is out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

Premier League leaders Manchester City will make changes to their team for Saturday's visit of Blackburn Rovers after the midweek victory over Porto in the Europa League.

"We'll need to change the team, you must if you play every three days," manager Roberto Mancini, whose side are two points clear of Manchester United, said on the club website.

Mario Balotelli could return after serving a four-match ban but it is probably too soon for fellow striker Carlos Tevez to make an appearance after returning to training having apologised for his lengthy unauthorised absence from the club.

Blackburn Rovers captain Christopher Samba is in talks with wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala over a move before the transfer window closes in Russia on Friday.

"I think negotiations are ongoing at the moment," assistant manager Eric Black told reporters. "I don't really know the details and I'm not really in a position to comment further on that, but negotiations are ongoing."

Defender Samba, who has been vocal in his criticism of the club's Indian owners Venky's, had a transfer request turned down last month.

Champions Manchester United are waiting to see if Wayne Rooney will have recovered from a throat infection in time for Sunday's trip to Norwich City.

The striker missed Thursday's Europa League last 32 second-leg defeat by Ajax with the problem.

Defender Rio Ferdinand, who was rested for the European game should return to the squad, while midfielder Ryan Giggs could make his 900th appearance for the club having been made to wait to reach the milestone after not being selected against Ajax.

Chelsea winger Juan Mata is available for Saturday's match at home to Bolton Wanderers despite breaking a finger in Tuesday's 3-1 defeat