ANDREW VORCE - Friday, February 11, 2011
Stuart Holden will face Tim Howard as Bolton battle Everton while Clint Dempsey and Fulham take on next door neighbors Chelsea in a full weekend of English action.
Bolton - Everton
Stuart Holden and Bolton will try to unhinge the Everton machine on Sunday.
Everton played in a fiesty home game against Blackpool which saw either team in the lead as Everton ended up out gunning their opponents winning 5-3 last weekend.
The Toffees have confirmed that Jack Rodwell will be out for a month after picking up an injury while on England duty in midweek.
Bolton have had a run of positive play since the turn of the year but have lost four games in that period, only notching one Premier League victory.
The Trotters have benefitted from the loan signing of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and will look to get the results to match their efforts. Only Jlloyd Samuel and Sean Davis are out for the home team.
Fulham - Chelsea
Clint Dempsey and Fulham have a tricky home game against next door neighbors Chelsea on the cards for Monday.
Fulham will be glad at the progress of Bobby Zamora who scored in his first game back in a reserves friendly game against Brighton.
Zamora is still not ready for first team selection but will continue to press for the call up. Matthew Briggs, Dickson Etuhu, and Philippe Senderos are all on the cusp of return from their injuries.
Chelsea will be looking to make a statement after losing 1-0 at home to Liverpool while Fernando Torres will be hoping to find the back of the net.
The champions only have two players sidelined as Yuri Zhirkov is out with a calf muscle strain while Yossi Benayoun will not return until April with an Achilles injury.
Blackpool - Aston Villa
Michael Bradley will hope to make his debut for Aston Villa when the Birmingham club travels to Blackpool this weekend.
Compatriot Brad Friedel and Villa will need to tighten up their defenses as Blackpool have scored 38 goals this season in the Premier League, three more than fifth placed Tottenham.
Blackpool's problem is their defending, having let in 49 goals, more than any other team in the Premier Legue. They are without five plays with Craig Basham and Billy Clarke out until May while Matthew Gilks should return in a month. Paul Rachubka and Stephen Crainey are both sidelined.
American defender Eric Lichaj was loned out midweek to Leeds United and will be with the Championship club for the next month.
Villa were unhappy to only have drawn at home to Fulham and will be without Luke Young due to knee injury. Fabian Delph and Andreas Weimann are both sideliend through injury.
Blackburn - Newcastle
Jermaine Jones will look to continue getting minutes at Blackburn who host Newcastle on Saturday.
Steve Kean will look to close up shop defensively after being outgunned at Wigan last weekend with Rovers falling 4-3. Blackburn could have Roque Santa Cruz back in the mix after being sidelined through a groin strain while Phil Jones is expected to make a speedy recovery from his MCL knee injury and return within the next month.
Newcastle are fresh off the back of one of the most dramatic comebacks in Premier League history as they came back from being four goals down inside the first half an hour to earn a 4-4 draw at home. Newcastle have heavy injury concerns with eight players out while only Dan Gosling and Stephen Ireland being mildly in the running.
Leon Best and Steven Taylor are both sidelined with a hamstring injury while Ryan Taylor is out with an ankle injury. Shola Ameobi is out with a fractured cheekbone while Hatem Ben Arfa will return at the end of the month from his broken leg. Alan Smith is out long term with an ankle injury.
Preston North End – Hull City
Eddie Johnson looks to help Preston North End as they take on Brad Guzan's Hull City.
Johnson received his first action for Preston last week and is likely to feature for them once again this weekend.
Preston are currently last in the standings and will need to maximize their points each week in hopes of avoiding relegation.
Conor McLaughlin left last week's loss to Bristol City with injury and looks to miss this weekend's action.
Guzan started and went the distance last week once again for Hull and will feature once again for the Tigers.
Unbeaten in their last five games, and having won decisively over Scunthorpe last week, Hull brings a great deal of momentum into this game with an eye on a playoff spot.
Robert Koren is questionable because of an injury suffered last week for Hull City.
Leeds United – Bristol City
Mike Grella and newly acquired Eric Lichaj look to help Leeds United as they take on Bristol City.
After coming back from his loan with Carlisle United, Grella has not been receiving very much playing time. He hopes for a change of plans this week.
Lichaj, having been loaned out from his parent team Aston Villa, looks to be inserted straight into the lineup due to Paul Connolly's injured hamstring.
Leeds are currently in a playoff spot and will not want to relinquish it. They are coming off a win over Coventry City and hope to keep that momentum going this weekend.
Bristol City are currently in the bottom half of the standings but do carry a considerable cushion above the relegation zone. They look to emulate their 4-0 thrashing of Eddie Johnson's Preston last week.
City look to keep their same lineup from last week's impressive victory.
Norwich City – Reading
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City take on Reading in Championship action.
Whitbread started and played the first half of City's loss to Burnley last week.
The Canaries are currently in a playoff spot but are aiming for points this weekend in hopes of an automatic promotion spot.
City left their loss last week unscathed on the injury front and look to keep the same lineup.
Reading are coming off a loss to league leaders Queens Park Rangers and are hoping to bounce back with a win this weekend.
The Royals bring a healthy team to the game.
Carlisle United – Southampton
Frank Simek hopes to help Carlisle United as they take on Southampton in League One play.
Simek is a regular started for the Cumbrians and should again feature.
Carlisle are winless in their last four games in all competitions and look to reverse their luck this weekend.
There are no new injuries for the Cumbrians. Long-term injuries for Carlisle include Sean McDaid, Tony Kane and Danny Livesey.
After a thrilling 4-4 tie to Peterborough last week Southampton hope to get the win and keep their playoff spot.
Southampton have no injury news to announce.
Marcus Hahnemann will be on the bench when Wolverhampton travels to Arsenal on Saturday.
Jonathan Spector will hope to be on the bench when West Ham travel to West Brom.
Anton Peterlin and Plymouth take on Tranmere.