ANDREW VORCE - Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Michael Bradley and Brad Friedel take on Manchester United at Old Trafford while Tim Howard and Everton take on Arsenal away from home in a full midweek of English action.
Arsenal - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton take on high flying Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.
Everton were forced to to see off a bid from Tottenham Hotspurs for Phil Neville but were able to pick up Greek youngster Apostolos Vellios.
Victor Anichebe has been sidelined through a groin strain while Louis Saha should return from a thigh muscle strain. Ross Barkley remains sidelined with a broken leg.
Arsenal made only one signing during the transfer window, signing Ryo Miyaichi from Japan.
The 18 year old impressed Arsene Wenger during a training spell at the London based club, but will be loaned out to Feyenoord for the rest of the season.
Arsenal do have five players injured with Samir Nasri and Thomas Vermaelen pencilled in to return in February. Bacary Sagna and Louis Fabianksi are nursing injuries as well.
Manchester United - Aston Villa
Michael Bradley has joined Brad Friedel and Eric Lichaj at Aston Villa who take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Bradley is not expected to start for Villa but will be looking for serious minutes on his season long loan. Lichaj has been out of favor in recent weeks and will be looking for a place on the bench. Fabian Delph is carrying a knee injury while Andreas Weimann is still out with an ankle injury, being the only Villans sidelined.
United's only move in the transfer market was to let Cameron Stewart go on a permanent deal to Hull City as Tom Cleverley was allowed to stay at Wigan for the remainder of the season.
Rafael and Rio Ferdinand both give Sir Alex Ferguson defensive dilemmas while Antonio Valencia looks to return after a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a serious ankle injury.
Blackburn - Tottenham
Jermaine Jones and Blackburn will like their chances of a midweek win at home against an out of sorts Tottenham.
Jones will be joined by Mauro Formica and Ruben Rochina to add to their already sterling squad. New boy Roque Santa Cruz is out with a groin strain, the same injury that Keith Andrews and Vince Grella are returning from. Ryan Nelson has been sidelined with a knee injury while Phil Jones is out until May with a knee injury.
Tottenham were just blown out of the FA Cup by Fulham after giving up four goals at Craven Cottage with Michael Dawson getting sent off in the 13th minute when it was already 2-0. Tottenham failed in a number of bids on deadline day with Diego Forlan, Sergio Aguero, and Phil Neville all failing to make a move to White Hart Lane.
Harry Redknapp made a last ditch effort to bring in Charlie Adam from Blackpool but it was too late as the clock ran out on the deal.
Tottenham are carrying five injuries including the influential Gareth Bale who is out with a back injury. Yanous Kaboul is out until March witha knee injury while Tom Huddlestone should return alongside Bale in mid-Febraury. Ledley King remains out with a groin strain while Jonathan Woodgate could make the bench.
Blackpool - West Ham
Jonathan Spector and West Ham will face a tricky test away from home to a feisty Blackpool squad.
West Ham have bolstered their squad with the loan signing of Robbie Keane who has fallen out of favor at Tottenham Hotspur. The 30 year old striker will look to add much needed goals up front as West Ham sit rock bottom in the Premier League. Manuel Da Costa and Thomas Hitzlsperger will return in February as Peter Kurucz is out until May.
Blackpool were able to hold on to Charlie Adam despite the player wanting a transfer. Adam has been a main stay in the Blackpool squad who were close to beating Manchester United just a week ago. Stephen Crainey is nursing an ankle injury while Matthew Gilks is suffering from a knee injury as both look unlikely to play. Chris Basham and Billy Clarke are both out until May and will remain sidelined through most of the season.
Bolton - Wolverhampton
Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers will demand all three points at home after a drab 0-0 weekend result in the FA Cup against Wigan.
Bolton have bolstered their squad by the loan signing of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea which will help offset any further injuries. Ivan Klasnic should recover from a groin strain while Sean Davis should be back from his knee injury. Jlloyd Samuel and Joey O'Brien remain long term absentees.
Marcus Hahnemann will most likely be on the bench for the away trip as Mick McCarthy seems to have chosen Wayne Hennessey over the American. Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Michael Kightly are both sidelined for the time being while David Edwards may return from a hamstring injury. Adelene Guedioura is out until the end of the month with a broken leg.
Fulham - Newcastle
Clint Dempsey and Fulham will be riding high when Newcastle come to town after a huge weekend victory over Tottenham.
Fulham were already 1-0 up when Tottenham were reduced to 10 men, with Dempsey causing problems in the penalty area all night. Fulham went on to win the game 4-0 to advance into the next round.
The Cottagers do have injury concerns but most are on the brink of return. Dickson Etuhu and Matthew Briggs could be fit for the game while Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos will eye playtime in the very near future. Aaron Hughes is out with a hamstring injury.
Newcastle will be rocked by the departure of Andy Carroll who was swooped up by Liverpool in a smash and grab job and will be looking for a positive result to lift the mood of the Toon faithful. Stephen Ireland was brought in on loan from Aston Villa after seeing limited field time due to injury, and is currently carrying a knee injury. Newcastle have a host of injury problems beyond their new boy, however.
Dan Gosling is out for two weeks with a knee injury, while Alan Smith has been sidelined until August with an ankle injury. Steven Taylor is out with a hamstring injury while Ryan Taylor is out for the next two weeks with an ankle injury. Hatem Ben Arfa is out until the end of the month as he recovers from a broken leg.