Price could start against Hammers

LEWIS Price will make his senior debut against West Ham on Saturday if Kelvin Davis fails to recover from his hand injury, writes Derek Davis.The 19-year-old Ipswich Town keeper, who has been on the bench for every competitive first team match since the 4-1 win at Derby County at the end of last season, will be told today to get himself mentally and physically prepared to face the likes of Jermain Defoe.

LEWIS Price will make his senior debut against West Ham on Saturday if Kelvin Davis fails to recover from his hand injury, writes Derek Davis.

The 19-year-old Ipswich Town keeper, who has been on the bench for every competitive first team match since the 4-1 win at Derby County at the end of last season, will be told today to get himself mentally and physically prepared to face the likes of Jermain Defoe.

Davis dislocated a finger towards the end of the 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic and although it slipped back into place almost immediately there is still a large amount of swelling around the joint.

The free signing from Wimbledon will not train today or tomorrow and a decision will be made on Saturday morning on whether he will play.


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Blues boss Joe Royle said last night: "It is still very swollen and sore and Kelvin is at best 50/50 to play on Saturday. We will see how he is but if he does not make it then Lewis will make his debut.

"It is only right that he is given his chance."

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Andy Marshall remains frozen out although he remains hopeful a move can be sorted out soon.

Marcus Hahnemann at Reading is doubtful for Saturday with a knee injury and unsubstantiated reports continue to link Marshall with the Royals.

Wolves have also expressed an interest in Marshall through his agent but have invited former Newcastle United goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek to train with them this week.

Meanwhile, The Blues were dealt another injury blow yesterday when John McGreal was forced to leave a specially arranged friendly reserve match against Cambridge United with a hamstring problem.

McGreal was looking sharp, fit and strong before he suddenly felt a twinge and came off early in the game, which finished goalless.

Alun Armstrong twice hit a post as he continues to look impressive after Derby County failed in their bid to land him on loan, although former Blues boss George Burley may want to take him for the remainder of his 10-month contract.

Meanwhile, Peter Taylor and Alan Pardew are strong contenders for the West Ham manager's job after Trevor Brooking ruled himself out. It is unlikely Academy director Bryan Klug's former assistant Paul Goddard will seek the post.

Goddard and Brooking will take charge of the Hammers on Saturday at Portman Road but will be without Rob Lee, who jarred his knee against Bradford City. Steve Lomas and Rufus Brevett are also long-term injuries.

The visiting supporters have sold out their ticket allocation and a crowd of more than 28,000 is anticipated.

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