JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, January 7, 2011
Jonathan Spector, Eric Lichaj, and Eddie Johnson will look to be the benefactors of the FA Cup as each of their teams play lesser opposition in a full weekend of English action.
West Ham United - Barnsley
Jonathan Spector hopes to be recalled to the squad when West Ham welcome Barnlsey to Upton Park.
Spector has fallen out of favor with Avram Grant but was one of the fortunate few who remained on the bench in their 5-0 away loss to Newcastle. The Hammers have eight injured players, one of the most injured squads in the Premier League. Valon Behrami, Herita Ilunga, and Benni McCarthy are all still a week away from full fitness.
Lars Jacobsen has been sidelined with a heel injury and will likely take no part int he action. Manuel Da Costa and Thomas Hitzlsperger will return in February while Anthony Edgar and Peter Kurucz are out until March and May, respectively.
Mark Robins has added to his squad after signing Kern Miller from Lincoln City, while Adam Hammill is likely to exit during the January transfer window. Hammil shook off a knock to play in their 2-1 win over Coventry while Jay McEvely and Luke Potter are out with knee injuries.
Scunthorpe - Everton
Tim Howard is unlikely to be rested as Everton travel to Scunthorpe in the FA Cup.
Everton look to gain confidence with an away win at Scunthorpe after an impressive 2-1 home win over Tottenham. Seamus Coleman scored the game winner in that game and has been sidelined for a week with a rib injury. Phil Jagielka is out with a thigh muscle strain, joining Ross Barkley and Leon Osman on the sidelines.
Scunthorpe are second to last in the Championship and are off the back of a 2-1 home loss to Watford. Niall Canavan is out with a knee injury while Jim McNulty is suffering from an ankle injury. Michael Raynes is the last Iron out with a thigh injury.
Sheffield United - Aston Villa
Eric Lichaj looks to start with Brad Friedel as Aston Villa travel to Sheffield United.
Aston Villa coach Gerard Houllier will demand an away win over their Championship rivals after slumping into the relegation zone in the Premier League. Aston Villa have a fully fit squad with the exception of Luke Young and Andreas Weimann and will need to start performing if they want to continue life in the Premier League.
Sheffield United defender Andy Taylor was devastated with the news of the extent of his injury picked up against Brad Guzan's Hull City on Boxing Day. Taylor was forced off with an ACL knee injury as he tore his lateral ligament in his left knee. The rehab process will see the defender out for the rest of the season, joining Chris Morgan and Richard Cresswell on the sidelines.
Fulham - Peterborough
Eddie Johnson hopes to join Clint Dempsey when Fulham welcme Peterborough to Craven Cottage.
Fulham will be looking to push past their League One opponents with a generally full squad. Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos are both out until February, while Matthew Briggs is out for another week with an ankle injury. Frank Stoor continues to be sidelined with a groin strain.
Peterborough will be riding on a high after beating Walsall 4-1 at home on Monday. The club have been busy in the transfer market thus far with multiple players leaving the club. Captain Grant McCann is struggling with a broken nose, but should still play while Lee Tomlin is expected to start behind Craig Mackall-Smith.
Norwich City Leyton Orient
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City take on Leyton Orient in an FA Cup clash this weekend.
Whitbread recently came back from injury, having started the Canaries' New Year's day game, but was rested in the Monday clash against Middlesbrough. The center back could feature this weekend.
City could be without Elliot Ward who is nursing a calf injury while Henri Lansbury looks to be sidelined with a hamstring problem. Andrew Surman is sidelined with a knee injury.
Leyton Orient won their last league game and hopes to continue that momentum against Norwich City.
Orient left their win against Colchester last week unscathed and has no new injuries.
Derby County Crawley Town
Conor Doyle and Derby County take on Crawley Town in FA Cup play Monday.
Doyle has featured lately for the Rams and is contention for playing time once again against the Conference team. The American started against Millwall last week and was subbed out in halftime.
Coach Nigel Clough has been toying with his lineup of late and could well do the same for the Rams FA Cup game. They left their last game without any new injuries.
Crawley Town is currently second in the English Conference and hoping their league form can translate to the FA Cup.
After having not played for weeks until last week's win over Forest Green Rovers, Crawley Town has no major injuries going into the Cup tie.
Carlisle United Torquay United
Frank Simek and Mike Grella hope to help Carlisle defeat Torquay United in FA Cup play.
The American duo both featured in the Cumbrians loss to Tranmere earlier this week, and both should play this weekend.
Carlisle's Ben Marshall is questionable after being forced out of last week's game. Sean McDaid, Tony Kane and Danny Livesey are all long term injuries for the Cumbrians.
Torquay has not won in their last three League Two games and is hoping that they can turn things around in Cup play.
The Gulls left their last game unscathed and should field the same lineup.
Stuart Holden is out with a thigh injury as Bolton play host to York in the FA Cup.
Marcus Hahnemann will be battling for the starting keeper position as Wolverhampton travel to Doncaster in the FA Cup.
Brad Guzan's Hull City takes on Wigan Athletic, but is unlikely going to be given permission to play by Aston Villa
Jemal Johnson hopes to feature in Milton Keynes Dons game against Exeter.
Anton Peterlin and Plymouth take on Bournemouth.