ANDREW VORCE - Friday, August 20, 2010
It will be the battle of the keepers as Tim Howard and Marcus Hahnemann lock horns, while Jonathan Spector welcomes Stuart Holden to Upton Park and Clint Dempsey entertains Manchester United at Craven Cottage.
Newcastle - Aston Villa
Brad Guzan will be relegated to the bench as Brad Friedel regains his starting place for Aston Villa after Guzan's Thursday night appearance away to Rapid Vienna in Europa League play.
Eric Lichaj was also given a start for Villa by interim head coach Kevin MacDonald, with both Americans going the full 90.
Ashley Young and Stiliyan Petrov were rested in that game, and will likely regain their starting roles against Newcastle.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, John Carew, and Carlos Cuellar are all carrying injuries and could be a doubt.
Newcastle were probably cringing at the thought of their opening two games after winning automatic promotion back into the Premier League.
After an opening day 3-0 defeat at Manchester United, Newcastle must now welcome Aston Villa to St. James Park a week after Villa thrashed West Ham.
The Toon boast the highest injury hit squad just two weeks in, with seven players out.
Peter Lovenkrands and Danny Guthrie could make appearances, but Leon Best, Dan Gosling, Tamas Kadar, Danny Simpson, and Steven Taylor are all out.
Everton - Wolves
It will be the battle of the goalkeepers as Everton's Tim Howard faces off against international teammate and Wolves' netminder, Marcus Hahnemann.
David Moyes will surely look to get a positive result after their opening day nightmare loss at Blackburn, with a terrible error coming from one of their most reliable players.
Howard had beaten everybody to collect a routine ball, only to drop it behind his back allowing Blackburn to tuck away a shot into the open net.
Victor Anichebe will likely play no role in Everton's first home game of the season, while Kevin Doyle and Ronald Zubar may not be deemed fit enough to travel with Wolves to Molineux.
The injury bug hit Everton hard last year, and Moyes will be doing all he can to ensure a full squad is at his disposal for the remainder of the season.
West Ham - Bolton
Avram Grant may opt to have out of favor defender Jonathan Spector sit the bench as his compatriot Stuart Holden and Bolton come to Upton Park.
The Hammers are off the back of a disheartening 3-0 defeat that came down to poor defensive assistance to Robert Green in goal.
Grant may choose to shake things up a bit, as the new coach looks for the winning formula. James Collison, Zavon Hines, Thomas Hitzlsperger, and Peter Kurucz are all out of the picture however due to injury.
Holden is likely to be handed another starting position for the visitors after going the full 90 and even hitting the post in Bolton's 0-0 draw at home to Fulham.
The Wanderers may be without Gavin McCann who is out with an ankle injury, while Andy O'Brien is out with a knee injury.
Fulham - Manchester United
Mark Hughes will have his hands full when Manchester United comes to Craven Cottage to face off against Clint Dempsey and Fulham.
The American midfielder did not start in the opening game against Bolton, but did eventually see playing time coming off the bench.
Dempsey is injury free and will be pushing for a start, while five of his teammates will not be so lucky.
Paul Konchesky and Mark Schwarzer have lingering injuries leaving them questionable, while Andrew Johnson, Diamansy Kamara, and Phillippe Senderos are all definitely out.
American striker Eddie Johnson will be fighting for a place on the bench.
Manchester United stuttered into gear against Newcastle United on opening day, but eventually took off running to finish 3-0 at home.
Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs were on center stage, while Dimitar Berbatov stole the spotlight from strike partner Wayne Rooney by netting the 33rd minute opener.
United are without defensive pairing Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand, while the midfield duo of Owen Hargreaves and Anderson continue to be sidelined.
Anderson and Ferdinand have both targeted September returns from their injuries.
Derby County - Coventry City
Conor Doyle and Derby County will travel to play Coventry City in Championship action this Saturday.
Doyle came on to play the final twenty minutes of last week's tough loss to Cardiff City. The young American is likely to get a shot at the starting eleven this weekend.
The Rams looked certain for a tie until Cardiff came up with a late game-winning goal.
Derby will go into Saturday's game trying to end their bad luck of late, having lost last weekend's game and their Carling Cup game against Crewe Alexandra.
Coventry City tied Watford 2-2 last week and are hoping to improve with a win against the Rams.
Defender Russell Anderson is out for a month with an injured groin for the Rams. Stephen Pearson is still recovering from knee surgery and will be out as well.
On-loan goalie Iain Turner was injured in the 18th minute of Coventry's tie last weekend and looks to miss this week's clash with Derby.
Plymouth Argyle - Walsall
Anton Peterlin and Plymouth will play Walsall in League One action.
Peterlin played 90 minutes in last week's game against Carlisle.
Plymouth narrowly earned a tie after a last minute goal saved the Pilgrims from a loss against Carlisle.
Walsall won their first game of the season last week against Brentford 2-1. They will want to keep that momentum and beat the Pilgrims this week.
There appears to be no injuries for Plymouth going in to this game.
The Saddlers left last week's game unscathed and have no reported injury issues.
Carlisle United - Milton Keynes Dons
Frank Simek and Carlisle United face Milton Keynes Dons this weekend.
Carlisle played against Plymouth last week and tied 1-1. They will try to improve and get three points this weekend.
Simek played the whole 90 minutes and should again get the start against MK Dons.
Milton Keynes Dons will look to secure maximum points over Carlisle. They last beat Dagenham & Redbridge and will hope to do the same this weekend.
Carlisle's long-term injuries include Danny Livesey and Richard Offlong.
Lewis Guy left their last win with an injury and will hope to be fit for the Carlisle clash. Pedro Miguel Cardoso Monteiro Pele also left that game early due to injury and will be questionable for Saturday's game.
Wycombe Wanderers - Oxford United
Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe host Oxford United in League Two play this weekend.
Pittman came on in the 57th minute for the Wanderers and should see the field against Oxford.
After two games this season, Oxford United only have one point to show. They will look for their first win of the season against the Wanderers.
Coming off of an impressive 6-1 win over Bristol in Carling Cup action, Oxford lost last week against Bury 2-1.
Wycombe forward Stuart Beavon broke his leg last season and is nearing a return to the field. He may see his first playing time of the season.
Oxford left last week's game without injuries and brings in a fully fit team.
Seb Harris will hope to make the bench and get playing time for Northampton Town's game against Bury.
Zak Whitbread will hope to make the bench for Norwich City, who play Swansea City this Saturday.
Mike Grella looks to make the bench for Leeds United against Nottingham Forest.