ANDREW VORCE - Monday, February 8, 2010
Landon Donovan and Tim Howard take on Chelsea while Brad Friedel takes on Manchester United plus Jozy Altidore will be looking for another goal when Hull City travel to Blackburn Rovers as midweek English action heats up.

Aston Villa - Manchester United

Brad Friedel will have a tough test if he plans to add another shut out under his belt when on fire Manchester United come to Villa Park.

Nemanja Vidic will look to make an impact for United after struggling with a calf muscle strain, while Owen Hargreaves is due to make his comeback in the coming week. John O'Shea is out until May with a thigh muscle strain. Rio Ferdinand will miss out after picking up a red card.

Aston Villa have had a dry spell in front of goal with neither Gabriel Agbonlahor or Ashley Young getting much done in their weekend match against Tottenham. Emile Heskey is an injury concern after his early withdraw from the Spurs game, but Steven Warnock is definitely out. Warnock is out with a calf injury until the end of the month while Nigel Reo-Coker is out until April with an ankle injury.

West Ham - Birmingham

Jonathan Spector will look to get much needed points for West Ham as Birmingham come to down.

Guillermo Franco, Daniel Gabbidon, and Kieron Dyer could all find returns after hamstring issues have been keeping the trip out. Craig Davenport is stil struggling with a hip injury, while Zavon Hines and Luis Boa Morte are out until June with knee injuries.

Toni Tainio is nearing a return from his knee injury, but Lee Carsley is out for another month with an ankle injury. Garry O'Connor will look to make his return from a hip injury in mid-March.

Wolverhampton - Tottenham

Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves will have a tough test ahead of them as a dangerous Tottenham Hotspur travel to Molineux.

Stefan Maierhofer has an outside chance of a squad placement after recovering from his sports hernia, while Matt Murray is surely short of match fitness ahead of the Tottenham test. David Edwards and Michael Kightly are both out for another week while Andy Keogh is out until mid-March with a sprained ankle.

Roman Pavlyuchenko and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are two of four players out with a groin strain but could feature for Tottenham, while Aaron Lennon and Jermain Woodgate are still sidelined. Carlos Cudicini is out until May with a broken wrist.

Everton - Chelsea

Tim Howard will look to make up for his mistakes against Liverpool as Landon Donovan has a tough test to break down a red hot Chelsea at Goodison Park.

Marouane Fellaini was forced out in the first half of the Anfield clash and is likely sidelined for the match, while Joseph Yobo will look to play a part against Chelsea. Phil Jagielka has his eyes on a return from his ACL knee injury, while Tony Hibbert should return by the end of the month from a groin strain.

Jose Bosingwa is on the up after being sidelined with a knee injury, though he is not expected to play a large role in the Everton clash. Juliano Belletti is in the same position, while Michael Essien is out until the end of the month with an MCL knee ligament injury.

Blackburn - Hull

Jozy Altidore has finally found his stride for Hull City and looks to have cemented himself in the starting line up when the Tigers travel to Blackburn.

Kamil Ghilas and Dean Marney will look to shake off their thigh and calf muscle strains respectively to play some part in the away test, while Geovanni looks less likely after recovering from his knee injury. Jimmy Bullard looks to be on the up from his MCL knee ligament injury, while Ian Ashbee is out until May with a PCL tear.

Blackburn could have a trio of players available for the visit of the Tigers as their treatment table looks to empty itself. David Dunn will look to shake off his calf muscle strain while a thigh muscle strain have kept Lars Jacobsen and Vince Grella on the sidelines in games past.

Sheffield Wednesday - Blackpool

Frank Simek looks to make his second start in as many games as Sheffield Wednesday welcome Blackpool.

Lewis Buxton is out with a hamstring injury, making way for Simek in the Owls line up. With no other injury concerns, the Owls will be looking to not let any lead slip from them as they learn from their late game loss at Nottingham Forest over the weekend.

Ian Holloway has stated that Barry Bennan, Neal Eardley, and Ishmel Demontagnac will all be dropped for the Sheffield Wednesday roster after staying out late at a nightclub following their2-1 defeat by Leicester City over the weekend. Brett Omerod will be out serving his last game after picking up a red card, while Danny Cold is out with a hamstring injury.

Watford - Bristol City

Jay DeMerit and company will look to stop the slide as 11th meet 12th in the League Championship in England.

Watford could still be without Tom Cleverley who picked up a knee injury against Sheffield United, while Will Buckley has recovered from a thigh injury. Lee Hodson will have hoped he proved his case in training this week as the teenager looks for a place on the bench.

Bristol have been hit with an injury blow in the form of Jamie McCombe as the defender has gone down for the season after struggling with a knee injury. He is joined by Cole Skuse and Jamal Campbell-Ryce on the sidelines after missing the weekend clash with knocks.

Reading - Plymouth

Kenny Cooper had a tame debut in Plymouth colors and will look to make a bigger splash against reading.

Plymouth are five points behind Reading in 23rd place, and Cooper will look to make a start in only his second game at the club. Cooper had one opportunity to seize control, but fluffed his free kick high and wide. Ashley Barnes departure to Torquay United may bode well for the American, while Rory Fallon looks also set for a way out.

Reading will be looking to go three for three as they look to turn their season around, but Marek Matejovsky is out of contention with an abdominal strain. Noel Hunt and Chris Armstrong are both out with knee injuries, while Julian kelly is out with a shoulder injury.


Stuart Holden will hope to make the bench after shaking off a thigh injury when Bolton travel to Manchester City.

Clint Dempsey is out injured when Fulham welcome Burnley.

Seb Harris will be on the bench when Northampton welcomes Accrington Stanley.

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