PREVIEW: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
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ANDREW VORCE - Friday, November 20, 2009
Jozy Altidore will hope to have a shot to put one past one of his international teammates when Hull host the Hammers while Frank Simek should continue his role in Wednesday's starting lineup.

Birmingham - Fulham

Clint Dempsey was released from international duty in midweek for the United States, and will hope the extra days of preparation will see Fulham leave Birmingham with all three points.

Fulham could be boosted by the return of Andy Johnson, who has been nursing a groin injury. If the Englishman is fit, Eddie Johnson may find it difficult to get play time. Diomansy Kamara has been out with an ankle injury and will be rested, while Danny Murphy is in the final steps of his knee rehabilitation.

Garry O'Connor has been sidelined until March with a hip injury, while David Murphy has picked up a knee injury. Both Keith Fahey and Martin Taylor are doubtful ahead of the home game, suffering from a knee and ankle injury, respectively.

Burnley - Aston Villa

Brad Guzan took senior keeping duties over the international break for the USA, but will become understudy once more as Brad Friedel takes the reigns of Aston Villa.

James Collins and Emile Heskey are fighting against time to be ready for the away trip, but Stewart Downing is out for another two weeks with an ankle injury. Craig Davies is the last Villan out, recovering from a dislocated shoulder.

Chris McCann is nearing the end of his rehabilitation period for a torn MCL, while Martin Paterson is a few weeks behind him with similar cartilage damage. Jay Rodriguez is the last Claret out, suffering from an ankle injury.

Hull - West Ham

International teammates will be pitted against each other when Jozy Altidore's Hull City welcome Jonathan Spector and West Ham to KC Stadium.

Altidore has had a poor run of play in his last few games, and will hope to turn things around domestically. Boaz Myhill is nearing the end of his rehabilitation process for a knee injury, but still may be short on match fitness for the game. Ian Ashbee is out until May with a PCL Tear in his knee.

Junior Stanislas should be able to shake off an illness ahead of the trip, while three players are listed as doubtful. Carlton Cole, Herita Ilunga and James Tomkins are all injury concerns, while Keieron Dyer looks to be sidelined with a hamstring injury. Dean Ashton and Craig Davenport both look set to miss, while Luis Boa Morte is out for the season with a knee injury.

Ipswich - Sheffield Wednesday

Frank Simek will look to prosper from the departure of Richard Wood from Wednesday, as the club travels to Ipswich.

Simek played 70 minutes in his last outing, but was replaced by Wood as the first substitute. Coventry have since moved in to sweep up the defender on loan, with a view on a permanent move. The team was plagued by a virus, which seems to have left the area. Michael Gray looks to be on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

Roy Keane has had a difficult start to life at Ipswich, but things have seemed to turn around, going unbeaten in their last few outings. Keane has had to work without integral members of his squad, with Gareth McAuley out with a thing injury. Fellow defender Tommy Smith suffered a freak hand injury, requiring surgery. David Norris and Luciano Civelli are both out with knee injuries.

Millwall - Wycombe

Jon-Paul Pittman will be looking to make an impact from the bench as Wycombe travel to a Millwall team that have been struggling with the absence of their American defender Zak Whitbread.

Pittman and company have only mustered three points out of their last three outings. The Wanderers sit dead last, and with striker John Akinde out of the fold, Pittman will need to be on his A game to ensure something happens offensively.

Wycombe will have Craig Woodman back at their disposal, leaving Akinde as the only casualty. Gary Alexander is out for the Lions, while Scott Barron is out with an ankle injury. Pat o'Connor and Ali Fuseini are both out with knee injuries for the home team.

Southend - Milton Keynes Dons

Jemal Johnson will hope to make a contribution to the visitors, while Ian Joyce is set to watch the game from the bench for Southend United.

The home team may have Johnny Herd back from a hamstring injury, while fellow defender Osei Sankofa is out though a knee injury. Sean Morrison will be in the stands as he serves a one match suspension for being sent off, while Jean-Yves M'voto is out with a hip injury.

The Dons will be boosted by the return of captain Dean Lewington, who has missed out with a suspension of his own. Martin Devaney is the only Don on the sidelines, suffering from a leg injury.

Notes

Tim Howard is suffering from an ankle injury and will most likely miss out on the return to his former club as Everton travel to Manchester United.

Marcus Hahnemann will be on the bench as Wolverhampton Wanderers travel to Chelsea.

Jay DeMerit is out injured and will not feature for Watford who take on Scunthorpe.

Mike Grella will look to make an impact off the bench as Leeds travel to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Eric Lichaj serves his final game in his three match suspension for Lincoln City who take on Grimsby.

Seb Harris will hope to make the bench for Northampton as Crewe comes to town.
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