ANDREW VORCE - Friday, February 5, 2010
Four new yanks could see action in England as Landon Donovan will experience his first taste of Anfield in Everton blues with a full slate of English action on the table.
Liverpool - Everton
Landon Donovan will experience his first ever Merseyside battle when Tim Howard and Everton travel to Anfield to take on their cross town rivals Liverpool.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard should finally be back to full fitness, but red stars Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun are both out of commission. Phil Degen and Fabio Aurelio are both doubtful after picking up calf strains, while Glen Johnson is out until March with a knee injury.
Everton will be boosted by the return of Dan Gosling who scored the winner in his first ever Merseyside battle, while Mikel Arteta, Tony Hibbert, and Joseph Yobo are all on the verge of recovery. Phil Jagielka is the last Toffee out, sidelined for another month with an ACL Knee injury.
Hull - Manchester City
Jozy Altidore will look for his third start in as many games when Hull hosts an injured hit Manchester City.
There is light on the horizon for the Tigers as four players are nearing a return from injury, with Kamil Zayatte the most likely to make the bench after an ankle injury. Kamel Ghilas, Dean Marney, and Jimmy Bullard are all doubts with various injuries. Ian Ashbee is the last Tiger out, sidelined for the season with a PCL tear.
Manchester City are the most injury plagued team in the Premier League at the moment, with eight listed as out with Patrick Vieira on the horizon of making his debut for his new club. Wayne Bridge and Joleon Lescott will be returning to full training soon, but Micah Richards and Vincent Kompany will be forced to miss out.
Roque Santa Cruz is out until the end of the month with a calf muscle strain, while David Ball is out until March with a metatarsal fracture. Michael Johnson is the last Citizen out, a long-term knee injury keeping him out of a potential World Cup squad.
Burnley - West Ham
Jonathan Spector and West Ham will have their resolve tested as they travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley.
Burnley have been hit with injuries but still managed to maintain a rigorous home presence, keeping pace with the best when they visit Turf Moor. Stephen Jordan and Christian Kalvenes are both injury concerns with hamstring injuries, with four returns on the horizon. Graham Alexander, Steven Caldwell, Danny Fox, and Chris McCann are all on the verge of returns, with McCann the longest out due to a knee injury.
West Ham could get Daniel Gabbidon back from a hamstring injury, while Kieron Dyer is less likely to return from the same injury. Guillermo Franco is on the verge of recovery, while Craig Davenport has picked up a hip injury. Zavon Hines and Luis Boa Morte are both out until June with knee injuries.
Tottenham - Aston Villa
Brad Friedel will hope to stay consistent in the back as Aston Villas tough run of games continue when they travel to White Heart Lane to take on Tottenham.
Spurs have four players listed as out with groin injuries, with Roman Pavlyuchenko the most likely to return. Benoit Assou-Ekotto may be fit for the bench, but Aaron Lennon and Jonathan Woodgate are likely to miss out entirely. Carlos Cudicini is out until May with a broken wrist.
John Carew is likely to make a comeback from his knee injury in the coming weeks, while Stephen Warnock has been sidelined with a calf injury. Nigel Reo-Coker will join him on the treatment table, a joint ankle and foot injury keeping the Villa man out.
Birmingham - Wolverhampton
Marcus Hahnemann will be well rested when Wolverhampton travel to Birmingham fresh off the back of a disappointing FA Cup exit at the hands of Crystal Palace.
Toni Tainio is very doubtful as he nears his return from a knee injury, while Kevin Phillips is also doubtful after a groin strain. Lee Carsley is out until March with an ankle injury, while Garry O'Connor will likely be out until mid-March with a hip injury.
Matty Jarvis is nearing a return from his calf injury, while Stefan Maierhofer looks to make a return after a sports hernia. Matt Murray will look to return to full training in the coming days, with David Edwards and Michael Kightly nearing full returns by the end of the month. Andy Keogh is the last Wolves player out with a sprained ankle.
Barnsley - Watford
Jay DeMerit will be looking to be a rock in the back as Watford takes on even keeled Barnsley.
Will Buckley will be an injury concern ahead of the clash after suffering a knee injury, while Danny Graham will be pushing for a start after shrugging off a knee injury.
Jay Rodriguez and Felipe Teixeira will look to retain their spots, but Mark Robins will be without striker Daniel Bogdanovic. Robins will also be without defenders Bobby Hassell and Robert Kozluk.
Plymouth - West Brom
Former New England Revolution Head Coach Paul Mariner is likely to hand a debut to American striker Kenny Cooper after procuring his services earlier in the week.
Plymouth have lost three players to the Scottish Premier League, with Alan Gow, Steven MacLean, and Jim Paterson all making the jump. Mariner has moved to bolster his midfield by picking up Birmingham City midfielder Damien Johnson.
West Brom are looking up, currently sitting second in the League Championship. Giles Barnes has joined the Baggies on an 18-month loan, with former Feyenoord midfielder Andwele Slory also joining the club.
Nottingham Forest - Sheffield Wednesday
Frank Simek will likely find a starting position for at least the next month as Lewic Buxton has gone down with a hamstring injury.
Sheffield Wednesday will look to keep the momentum going forward after their pivitol 2-1 win over Plymouth last weekend. Akpo Sodje has left the club on loan to join former club Charlton Athletic. Jermaine Johnson and Tommy Miller are both out with a hamstring injury, with Miller possibly eligible to make the bench.
Nottingham Forest are in a very different situation, sitting only four points behind league leaders Newcastle united. Forest were undone 1-0 at Pride Park when visiting Derby in their last outing, and will have a full squad when The Owls visit The City Ground.
Stockport - Milton Keynes Dons
Jemal Johnson is one of four Milton Keynes Dons players that have been loaned to Stockport County, and will look to pick up points against his parent club.
Jonny Mullins will be out of the Stockport line up after picking up a knee injury, but MK Dons loanee Jabo Ibehre will look to start in his first game since receiving his red card after serving his two games out. Mat Sadler and George Donnelly, both on loan, will look to keep their positions with a downhill skid looking to be stopped.
The Dons were undone at the death when Exeter came to town last weekend, as Jude Stirling returns after picking up a red card at Colchester. Mat Doumbe is an injury concern after struggling with a groin injury, while Sean O'Hanlon remains the only long-term absentee.
Millwall - Norwich
Zak Whitbread will look to push for a starting position he faces up against his former club when Norwich travel to the Lions Den.
Norwich continue to be in free flowing mode after coming back from a goal down to secure a 2-1 win over Hartlepool. Adam Drury is out of the squad with Michael Rose slotting in, while Grant Holt will be out for his final match after picking up a red card. Michael Spillane is out with a hamstring injury while Jens Berthel Askou is out with a foot injury.
The Lions will be bolstered by the loan extension from Ipswich midfielder Liam Trotter, while three players have signed contract extensions for the Lions. Andy Frampton is an injury concern with a calf injury, while Neil Harris was only fit for the bench against Brighton. Gary Alexander is a long term absentee after undergoing a heel operation.
Wycombe - Yeovil
Jon-Paul Pittman should return for Wycombe after being sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Leon Johnson has also returned to training for the Chairboys after a successful hip operation, but is still regaining match fitness. Matt Bloomfield, Lewis Montrose, Lewwis Spence, and Ian Westlake are all out with knee injuries.
Yeovil will have their minds on Darren Way as the iconic Glover was forced to hang up his cleats after his long battle to return to the fray ended in disappointment. Owain Tudur Jones will look to make a positive impact with the Glovers sitting eight points above Wycombe.
Stuart Holden is carrying a thigh injury and will hope to make the bench as Clint Dempsey is out injured when Bolton welcome Fulham.
Devann Yao will look to slot in for Ipswich as they welcome Middlesbrough to Portman Road.
Mike Grella will be on the bench when Leeds travel to Hartlepool.
Seb Harris will look to make the bench when Northampton travel to Dag &Red.