Date: 19th April 2007 at 1:40pm
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The big pre-match news so far is the fact EMO is rated as 50/50 to make the game on Sunday. A groin strain has only added to the problems standing in the way of his comeback which will surely be delayed for another week or more. Glenn Roeder and Nobby Solano were quick to chip in with their views on it. Reading between the lines Roeder seems to have ruled him out:

GR:

“At this stage I have not even discussed with Michael as to whether he will be back for us on Sunday. He is 50-50, but he will not return until, in my opinion, he is in pristine condition. And he has had a slight groin strain which he picked up in shooting practice at the end of last week. His groin is a bit sore, but this is what happens when players have been out for a long time in as much as they pick up niggles in other parts of their body. At the moment we are being very careful with Michael, as we would with any other player, but he certainly has not been ruled out of the Chelsea game. However, if in the end he is ruled out, then we will start looking to our next match at Reading.’

Nol:

“There is no rush for Michael this season. I think the manager is protective over him because next season he will be very important and we do not want to take risks with him. We need somebody to score goals and Michael is important for us. There is no rush for him because we are not fighting against relegation and it is not vital he plays. It would be great to see him back, of course, but there is no pressure on him.’

In other news it seems Steve ‘Sheepteeth` McClaren will be at SJP to take in the game this weekend. With Parker, Dyer, Terry, Lampard, Wright-Phillips and Joe Cole all available, along with the likes of Steven Taylor and James Milner, there`s a bumper crop of England players for the future failure to take stock of.