PREVIEW: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
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ANDREW VORCE - Friday, January 29, 2010
Landon Donovan will try to score in back to back games when Everton travel to Wigan, with Jozy Altidore looking to push his way back into Hull's line up when they face Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton.

Hull - Wolverhampton

Jozy Altidore will be looking to force his way back into a struggling Hull City team that need to find points, with Marcus Hahnemann's Wolverhampton Wanderers in nearly the same situation.

Amir Zaki will also be trying to push his way into his new team after struggling with a hamstring problem, with Dean Marney hampered by a calf muscle strain. There is silver lining however, with Jimmy Bullard nearly back to full training. Ian Ashbee is the only long term injury, out until May with a PCL tear.

Michael Kightly will be in a race against time to be fit for the encounter, with Matt Murray and Stefan Maierhofer out until February. David Edwards and Andy Keogh are both out until March with ankle injuries.

Wigan - Everton

Tim Howard and Everton will do their best to continue their red hot streak while Landon Donovan will try to help the team's cause once again after opening his Premier League scoring account in the midweek.

Wigan may be without the services of Chris Kirkland, with Vladimir stojkovic taking the reigns in Wigans 2-1 loss at Blackburn. If Kirkland recovers, Paul Scharner looks to be the only injury concern, being out with a knee problem.

Everton have been fortunate to gain players back, with Victor Anichebe set to be the next to return to training. Joseph Yobo is on the verge of recovery from a hamstring injury, being joined by Phil Jagielka after his ACL knee injury. Tony Hibbert is the last Toffee out, pushing for a return by the end of February.

West Ham - Blackburn

Jonathan Spector will look to push West Ham back onto their front foot after a disappointing draw on the road at Fratton Park.

West Ham were unable to hold onto their second half 1-0 lead with Portsmouth ending on level terms thanks to a second half goal of their own. Blackburn will be a more difficult task, with seven points separating them in the standings. Blackburn can attribute their position to a healthy squad, with only Lars Jacobsen being out due to a thigh muscle strain.

West Ham are still struggling, with Craig Davenport, Kieron Dyer, and Zavon Hines all being assessed for different injuries. Guillermo Franco is out for another for another week with a hamstring injury. Luis Boa Morte is out for the season as an ACL knee injury keeps him sidelined until June.

Fulham - Aston Villa

Clint Dempsey is out for the home team while Brad Friedel will have a stern test against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Dempsey is sidelined until April with an ACL knee injury, joining John Pantsil on the sidelines. Paul Koncheskey and Andy Johnson are both doubts, with Konchesky fighting with an ankle injury.

Aston Villa have a fully fit squad and will need everything they have to throw against Fulham after shooting blanks against Arsenal at home. With Dempsey out, Fulham will be missing a spark which was apparent in their 2-0 loss against Tottenham at White Heart Lane.

Liverpool - Bolton

Stuart Holden will look to make his first appearance in a Bolton shirt when the club tries to build on an important win when they travel to Anfield.

Liverpool are on the back foot after shooting blanks at Molineux Stadium against Wolves, with Steven Gerrard playing through injury to try to help his squad. Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun are also both out for most of February, with Daniel Agger suffering from a groin strain. Glen Johnson is out with a MCL knee injury until March.

Mark Davies is an injury concern with an ankle injury, with Sean Davis out until June with an ACL knee injury. Joey O'Brien is the last Bolton player out, suffering from a knee injury.

Watford - Swansea

Jay DeMerit will still be thinking about Watford's late debacle against Blackpool, and will have an equally difficult task when taking on Swansea at home.

Henri Lansbury will under pressure after being taken out only seven minutes into the second half, with Watford having a completely full squad to create options for Head Coach Malky Mackay. Scott Severin has been carrying a groin problem, but is expected to be fit for the game.

Cedric van der Gun and Albert Serran are both suffering from hamstring injuries, with Serran expected to be out for nearly two more months. Andrea Orlandi will look to shake off a thigh injury and should find some minutes at some point.

Southampton - Stockport

Jemal Johnson and Stockport need points if they are to have any chance at surviving in League One.

Stockport will be boosted by the return of David Poole from suspension, but Jabo Ibehre is still missing after picking up a red card. Points in back to back games bodes well for the Hatters, but they must refrain from slipping back into any sort of losing streak.

Southampton were also undone late in their 1-1 draw to Brentford, with Dean Hammond missing out with an Achilles injury. David Connolly is the last Southampton player out, struggling with a groin injury.

Notes

Frank Simek will be on the bench when Sheffield Wednesday welcomes Plymouth.

Mike Grella will be on the bench when Leeds host Colchester.

Ian Joyce will hope to make the bench when Southend are paid a visit by Swindon.

Jon-Paul Pittmann will miss out after picking up a hamstring injury when Wycombe travel to Bristol Rovers.

Zak Whitbread will be on the bench for Norwich when Hartlepool visit.

Seb Harris will hope to be on the bench with Northampton welcome Burton Albion.
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