ANDREW VORCE - Friday, April 22, 2011
Tim Howard takes on his former employers Manhcester United at Old Trafford while Clint Dempsey looks to get an away win over Marcus Hahnemann's Wolverhampton Wanderers in a full weekend of English action.
Manchester United - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton will look to gain a valuable three points as the Toffees travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.
United will be looking to bounce back from a drab goalless draw with Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez starting together against Newcastle. United nearly have a fully fit line up, only missing Darren Fletcher out of their usual squad. Owen Hargreaves and Andreas Lindegaard are both out injured while Paul Scholes is still sidelined after being red carded in United's FA Cup loss against rivals Manchester City.
Everton are slowly returning to their full strength team but still have a couple of heavy hitters out of commission. Marouanne Fellaini and Louis Saha are out until June through ankle injuries while Mikel Arteta is out with a hamstring issue. Tim Cahill will be fighting for contention after struggling with a foot injury.
Aston Villa - Stoke
Michael Bradley will hope to play a part in Aston Villa's quest for Premier League survival as Brad Friedel and company welcome Stoke to Villa Park.
Villa sit in 10th place in the Premier League eight points above last placed Wolverhampton Wanderers. A home win would ease the minds of Villa fans who have seen the club play a dangerous game this season sinking well towards the bottom of the League. Last weeks 2-1 win over relegation battling West Ham United was a huge lift for the team.
Stoke will be on cloud nine after advancing into the FA Cup finals with a 5-0 win over Bolton. Stoke are also relatively safe from the drop, being six points clear of last place. Danny Higginbotham is suffering from an ACL tear and is out until September while John Carew and Abdoulaye Faye are both suffering from injuries. Mamady Sidibe is out until July with an Achilles injury.
Wolverhampton - Fulham
Clint Dempsey and Fulham will be looking for all three points when they travel to Marcus Hahnemann's Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Dempsey and company will feel anything shy of all three points would be points dropped as Wolves sit in last place. Fulham are still without Damien Duff and Phillippe Senderos while Diomansy Kamara remains sidelined due to his back injury.
Wolves will still feel there is hope at the bottom of the Premier League having a game in hand over their counterparts. A win could see them jump to 16th place, with six points taking them as high as 12th. Wolves are without Ronald Zubar while Kevin Doyle, Steven Hunt, and Steven Mouyokolo are all out injured.
Blackburn - Manchester City
Jermaine Jones and Blackburn know they are in need of points when Manchester City comes to Ewood Park.
Blackburn was outplayed last weekend by Everton losing 2-0 away from home, and sit just three points above the bottom of the Premier League. Rovers could have Junior Hoillett back at their disposal while Keith Andrews is suffering with a groin strain. Ryan Nelsen and Vince Grella are both out until June.
Manchester City are still facing up to two more weeks without Carlos Tevez after the pivotal striker pulled out of the Liverpool game with a hamstring injury. Jerome Boateng is out with a knee injury while Shay Given remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Leeds United – Reading
Eric Lichaj and Leeds United look for the crucial win over fellow promotion playoff hopeful Reading.
Lichaj has been a regular starter for Leeds and he should feature once again this weekend.
Leeds is hoping for the three points so it can hold onto the last playoff spot in the Championship.
Luciano Becchio looks to be the only injury problem for United, as the Argentine is suffering from a hamstring problem.
Reading are coming into the game on a nine game winning streak and look to keep that momentum going against Leeds.
They are currently injury free and should field the same lineup as last week's win over Leicester.
Preston North End – Millwall
Eddie Johnson and Preston North End take on Millwall in Championship action.
Johnson features regularly for North End and should again be in the starting lineup for them this weekend.
Preston are four points from safety with four games remaining in the season. A win this weekend could give them a huge boost in their battle for safety.
Sean St Ledger and David Gray will be sidelined for North End.
The Lions are currently four points from a playoff spot and will look for the win to extend their season.
Millwall will miss the trio of forwards Steve Morison, Neil Harris, Kevin Lisbie.
Carlisle United – Rochdale
Frank Simek and Carlisle United take on Rochdale in a League One battle.
Simek is a regular starter for the Cumbrians and should feature once again this weekend.
Although promotion is out of reach for Carlisle, they look to finish in strong and a win over Rochdale would delight fans.
Ben Marshall is sidelined for the rest of the season wit an ankle injury for Carlisle.
Rochdale are looking to climb into the sixth spot in the standings and extend their season with a chance at promotion.
They have no injury concerns going into the game.
Jonathan Spector will look to make the bench as West Ham travel across London to face Chelsea.
Stuart Holden's Bolton take on Arsenal, but the American is out injured.