BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, September 23, 2011
Clint Dempsey and Fulham will be looking for their first win of the season against West Brom while Tim Howard and Everton are aiming to continue their strong start to the season against Manchester City.
West Bromwich - Fulham
After playing well in a draw last weekend to Manchester City, Fulham will be looking for their first win of the season when they visit West Brom on Saturday.
Clint Dempsey will start for Fulham in this important game.
Both Fulham and West Brom have begun the season poorly with each team having acquired only three points.
In Fulham's last game they rallied from a two goal deficit in the second half to earn a 2-2 draw against Manchester City. Dempsey picked up an assist on the first goal.
On the other hand, West Brom are coming off a dismal 3-0 defeat on the road at Swansea City and will now be looking to rebound at home.
Fulham will be without Dickson Etuhu and Bjorn Helge Riise because of injury.
West Brom is without suspended defender Gabriel Tamas.
Manchester City - Everton
Everton are currently enjoying a strong start to the season but they will be severely tested on Saturday when they visit Manchester City.
Tim Howard has been a rock for Everton in the early going and will start in goal once again.
Everton are coming off a convincing 3-1 win over Wigan last weekend and the team now has seven points through only four games. That start has them sitting in sixth place in the Premier League despite playing one fewer game than any other team in the top 10.
The high-priced Manchester City spent a fortune in recent years and are looking to push their cross-town rivals Manchester United for the title. United are currently in first place and are two points clear of Manchester City.
Manchester City's perfect start to the season ended last weekend when they squandered a two goal lead to Fulham to draw 2-2.
Everton will be without Victor Anichebe who injured with a pulled groin.
The oft-injured Owen Hargraves will not play for Manchester City.
Wigan - Tottenham
Tottenham will be looking for their third straight Premier League win on Saturday when they visit Wigan on Saturday.
The ageless Brad Friedel will once again start for Tottenham in goal on Saturday.
Tottenham began the season in poor fashion but have won their last two league games. Last weekend they outclassed Liverpool with a 4-0 score and should enter Saturday's game in a confident manner.
Wigan enter the game heading in the opposite direction after losing their last two league games. In their last game, they fell 3-1 to Everton at Goodson Park.
Tottenham will be without William Gallas, Aaron Lennon, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Niko Kranjcar, and Roman Pavlyuchenko.
Wigan will be missing Hugo Rodallega, Emmerson Boyce, Steven Gohouri, and Antolin Alcaraz who are all out with injuries.
Arsenal - Bolton
Bolton Wanderers are currently sitting second from the bottom in the Premier League with just three points but they could receive a much needed boost with the return of Stuart Holden.
Holden has been injured since March but he made his return midweek in a League Cup win over Aston Villa. It is possible he could play his first Premier League game since suffering a knee injury against Manchester United last season.
Bolton have lost their last three league games with the most recent loss coming at home to Norwich City. Their recent win over Aston Villa in the League Cup however should have the squad playing with more confidence.
In similar fashion, the usually dominant Arsenal have been a tremendous disappointment this season with only four points through five games. In their last match they were stunned by previously winless Blackburn 4-3.
Arsenal are reporting that Johan Djourou and Yossi Benayoun will both miss the game with injuries.
Bolton's Ivan Klasnic will not play after picking up a red card against Norwich
Birmingham City - Barnsley
Birmingham City will be looking to get back onto the winning track on Saturday when they host Barnsley.
Jonathan Spector is likely to start for Birmingham City in midfield.
Birmingham City last won two weeks ago against Millwall. Since then, they have lost three straight games - one to Braga in the Europa League, one to Southampton the Championship, and finally one to Manchester City in the League Cup.
Barnsley enter the game equal on points with Birmingham City with seven. They have drawn their last three league games.
Neither team are reporting any injuries ahead of the match.
Watford - Nottingham Forest
Nottingham Forest are off to a slow start this season but they will be aiming for three points on Saturday when they visit Watford.
Robbie Findley scored midweek in the League Cup and he could earn the start on Saturday.
Nottingham Forest have not won a league game since August 16 and they have lost their last three in the Championship. Last week was their most disappointing effort of the season when they lost to Derby County at home.
Watford enter into the game with a win and a draw in their last two games. Last weekend they drew Barnsley on the road.
Nottingham Forest will be without Chris Cohen, George Boateng, and Paul Anderson who are all injured.
Watford are not reporting any injuries.
Brad Guzan will start on the bench for Aston Villa's visit to Queens Park Rangers.
Zak Whitbread is recuperating, but won't return in time for Norwich's match against Sunderland.
Mike Grella will hope to see some minutes for Brentford when they visit Oldham Athletic on Saturday.
Anton Peterlin is a candidate to start in midfield when Walsall host Scunthorpe United.
Jemal Johnson has only made one start this season for Southend United and he will likely hope for a substitute appearance on Saturday when they visit Rotherham United.
Jon-Paul Pittman recently joined Crawley Town on loan and he will be aiming for a minutes off the bench when they face Aldershot Town.