JOHN KRETLOW - Thursday, May 10, 2012
Tim Ream and Bolton look to avoid relegation as they take on Stoke City, while Brad Friedel and Tottenham look to grab a Champions League spot with a win against Clint Dempsey and Fulham.
Stoke City - Bolton Wanderers
Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers put their Premier League futures on the line, as they take on Stoke City at the Britannia in the last game of the season.
Ream has been a regular starter since joining Bolton in January and should be in the lineup once again on Sunday.
Bolton finds themselves in the relegation zone, but a win and a Queens Park Rangers loss to Manchester City would guarantee the Wanderers safety.
Last week Bolton had a two-goal lead over West Bromwich Albion, only to see it dissipate and settle for a draw. Ream and company will need to be sharper this weekend if they want to play first tier soccer next season.
The Potters do not have a relegation worry, but they will surely want to finish the season on a high note in front of their fans. Stoke is unbeaten in their last six games at home.
Stuart Holden, who reiterated his intent to stay with Bolton regardless of relegation, Fabrice Muamba, and Ricardo Gardner are sidelined.
Tottenham Hotspur - Fulham
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur aim for a Champions League spot as they take on Clint Dempsey and Fulham.
Both Americans are likely to feature for their respective teams.
Spurs are coming off a draw with Aston Villa last week, but they will be aiming for three points this weekend. A win and an Arsenal loss would bolt Tottenham into an automatic Champions League spot.
Currently, Spurs are in a Champions League qualifier spot, though Newcastle United is just one point behind them going into the final game of the season. A Spurs' loss and a Newcastle win would slip Tottenham into the Europa League spot.
Fulham goes into Sunday's match having lost only one game in their last seven. The London side is assured of a top half finish, but they will go for the victory on Sunday.
Dempsey scored his 17th Premier League goal last week on an impressive free kick from 25 yards out. The Texan will hope another goal to his career high tally.
Bryan Ruiz and Steve Sidwell are injured for Fulham.
Norwich City - Aston Villa
Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa travel to play Norwich City at Carrow Road in the final league game of the season.
Lichaj has been a regular starter since returning from injury and should feature once again this weekend.
Villa is coming off a draw with Tottenham. They are currently on a nine game winless skid and will want to get a win to finish off their season on a high note. Villa ensured themselves safety last week.
The Canaries also do not have a relegation worry going into the final game, though they will also want to finish their season strong. Norwich is on a four game winless streak.
Zak Whitbread is unlikely to play due to injury.
Everton - Newcastle United
Tim Howard and Everton host Newcastle United in a crucial league matchup at Goodison Park.
Howard is Everton's regular starter and should be in the lineup once again come Sunday.
The Toffees go into the game on an eight game unbeaten run. They look to finish their season on their hot streak in front of their fans.
Newcastle is currently in a Europa League spot, but a win could land them in the Champions League. Victory Sunday could potentially bolt them ahead of Tottenham and Arsenal, depending on other results.
Leighton Baines, Jack Rodwell, Phil Neville, Victor Anichebe, and Darron Gibson look to miss for Everton.