RC Lens defender Vitorino Hilton faces up to three months on the sidelines after tearing knee ligaments in training. The 27-year-old did the damage while kicking a ball, and medical staff at the French club confirmed the Brazilian would be out "for two to three months depending on whether he has surgery". Hilton has been ever-present for struggling Lens this season. His place could go to Polish international Jacek Bak at FC Girondins de Bordeaux on Saturday.
Premiership sides Aston Villa FC, Bolton Wanderers FC, Charlton Athletic FC, Norwich City FC, Manchester City FC and Birmingham City FC all saw their hopes of reaching the UEFA Cup via the English League Cup end this week with third-round defeats. Villa were beaten 3-1 at first-division Burnley FC on Tuesday, and last night Norwich, Bolton, Charlton, Manchester City and Birmingham lost to Premiership rivals Newcastle United FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC, Crystal Palace FC, Arsenal FC and Fulham FC respectively. All other top-flight teams, apart from second-round losers Blackburn Rovers FC and West Bromwich Albion FC, are through to the last 16, where holders Middlesbrough FC will visit Liverpool FC.
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