Torres replaces Eto'o; Ireland reutrns for Stoke

Striker Fernando Torres returns to start for Premier League leaders Chelsea in today’s clash with relegation-threatened Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Torres replaces Eto'o; Ireland reutrns for Stoke

Crystal Palace v Chelsea

Striker Fernando Torres returns to start for Premier League leaders Chelsea in today’s clash with relegation-threatened Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Torres replaces Samuel Eto’o, who has a hamstring injury, and midfielder Frank Lampard comes in for Oscar in the other change from the side which beat Arsenal 6-0.

The Blues are seeking to consolidate their position at the top of the standings ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg at Paris St Germain, and face an Eagles side unchanged from the XI which began the last-gasp loss at Newcastle.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Ledley, Puncheon, Bolasie, Jerome.

Subs: Parr, McCarthy, Ince, O’Keefe, Murray, Hennessey, Bannan.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Matic, Lampard, Schurrle, Torres, Hazard.

Subs: Oscar, Mikel, Salah, Ba, Willian, Kalas, Hilario.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

***

Stoke v Hull

Stoke boss Mark Hughes makes one change to his starting line-up for the Barclays Premier League clash with Hull at the Britannia Stadium.

The sole adjustment from the 4-1 win at Aston Villa sees Stephen Ireland, available again after being ineligible for that last outing, replacing Wilson Palacios in the team.

Palacios is named as a substitute along with fellow midfielder Charlie Adam, who is returning to the matchday squad after suspension.

There are two alterations to the visitors’ first XI from their 2-1 loss at West Ham, with goalkeeper Steve Harper coming in for the injured Allan McGregor and defender Liam Rosenior taking the place of the benched Maynor Figueroa.

Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters, Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie, Ireland, Arnautovic, Crouch.

Subs: Muniesa, Palacios, Adam, Guidetti, Etherington, Wilkinson, Sorensen.

Hull: Harper, Chester, Bruce, Davies, Elmohamady, Meyler, Livermore, Huddlestone, Rosenior, Long, Jelavic.

Subs: Figueroa, Koren, Fryatt, Jakupovic, Sagbo, Aluko, Quinn.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

***

West Brom v Cardiff

West Bromwich Albion are without injured striker Victor Anichebe for the crucial Barclays Premier League relegation clash with Cardiff at The Hawthorns.

Baggies boss Pepe Mel brings Morgan Amalfitano and Matej Vydra back into his starting line-up as he goes in search of his first home win since taking charge.

Looking to end a run of eight straight away league losses, Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes three changes following his side’s 6-3 thumping by Liverpool, with Ben Turner, Andrew Taylor and Aron Gunnarsson all starting.

West Brom: Foster, Reid, McAuley, Dawson, Ridgewell, Amalfitano, Morrison, Dorrans, Mulumbu, Sessegnon, Vydra.

Subs: Myhill, Lugano, Gera, Berahino, O’Neil, Thievy, Roofe.

Cardiff: Marshall, Theophile-Catherine, Caulker, Turner, Taylor, Da Silva, Medel, Mutch, Gunnarsson, Bellamy, Campbell.

Subs: Whittingham, Jones, Cowie, Cala, Daehli, Lewis, Zaha.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

***

Swansea v Norwich

Swansea manager Garry Monk has made just one change for his side’s vital clash with Norwich at the Liberty Stadium.

The Swans are just five points clear of the drop zone thanks to a late midweek draw at Arsenal, and Monk brings in Ben Davies for Neil Taylor at left-back.

Chris Hughton’s Canaries – two points and one place above their hosts – also make just one change with Ryan Bennett replacing the injured Joseph Yobo in defence.

Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Ben Davies, Britton, Shelvey, Routledge, Michu, de Guzman, Bony.

Subs: Amat, Taylor, Hernandez, Dyer, Canas, Tremmel, Vazquez.

Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Ryan Bennett, Bassong, Olsson, Snodgrass, Howson, Tettey, Hoolahan, Elmander, van Wolfswinkel.

Subs: Whittaker, Johnson, Hooper, Bunn, Gutierrez, Becchio, Redmond.

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

***

Southampton v Newcastle

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew makee three changes for the match against former club Southampton.

Hatem Ben Arfa and Massadio Haidara are brought into the starting line-up at St Mary’s, where goalkeeper Rob Elliot makes his first top-flight appearance of the campaign in place of the injured Tim Krul.

Saints make one alteration for the match, with Calum Chambers coming in for the injured Nathaniel Clyne at right-back.

Southampton: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, Steven Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert.

Subs: Schneiderlin, Ramirez, Do Prado, Gazzaniga, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher.

Newcastle: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Coloccini, Haidara, Tiote, Anita, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Gouffran, Cisse.

Subs: Santon, Gosling, De Jong, Shola Ameobi, Steven Taylor, Dummett, Alnwick.

Referee: Andre Marriner (W Midlands)

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