JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, October 26, 2012
Clint Dempsey and Brad Freidel look to feature in Tottenham's match with Southampton, while Tim Howard and Everton take on Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.
Aston Villa - Norwich City
Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj look to boost Aston Villa to victory when they take on Norwich City in Premier League action this Saturday.
Since taking over for Shay Given some weeks ago, Guzan has been featuring regularly for the Villains. He is likely to start this weekend, while Eric Lichaj should make the game day roster and hopes to see playing time.
Villa has had a tough start to the season and currently find themselves just one point from the relegation zone. They have lost two straight games and look to start their ascent up the standings against Norwich.
The Canaries have also had a rough season thus far, though they beat Arsenal at home last weekend. That was a big boost for them and they hope a win this weekend will create momentum, as they are just two points above the drop zone.
Ciaran Clark, Richard Dunne, and Gary Gardner are injured for Villa, while Harry Kane looks to miss for Norwich.
Stoke City - Sunderland
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu, and Stoke City welcome Sunderland to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.
Cameron, a regular since arriving at Stoke, is expected to start this weekend. The former Houston Dynamo star has seen time at right back of late and could lineup there against Sunderland.
Edu has seen limited time with the Potters and is unlikely to feature.
The Potters are coming off a loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford last week. They have only managed one victory this season, but they hope the home crowd can will them to a win on Saturday against a Sunderland team that is tied with them in the standings.
The Black Cats drew with Newcastle United last week at home, but they hope this weekend's matchup will result in victory. They have not won a game since the end of September.
Glenn Whelan and Jamie Ness are expected scratches for the Potters, while Sunderland's Titus Bramble will miss for Sunderland.
Everton - Liverpool
Tim Howard and Everton host Liverpool in the 219th Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
Howard is Everton's number one ‘keeper and should get the start once again on Sunday.
The Toffees have had a great start to the season and find themselves in fourth place in the Premier League. They are coming off two straight draws, but they hope victory against their bitter rival will get them back to winning ways.
Liverpool, in 12th place in the standings, is on a three-game unbeaten run. Another win this weekend would add to their recent momentum and could bolster their place in the Premier League.
Everton is on a three game losing streak against Liverpool in all competitions, but they hope Sunday's match will be their first victory against their cross town rival since 2010.
Marouane Fallaini has missed the last few games for Everton due to a knee injury, but the Belgian international could make his return against Liverpool. Steven Pienaar will miss due to suspension for the Toffees.
Pepe Reina, Lucas Leiva, Fabio Borini, and Martin Kelly are injury worries for the Reds.
Southampton - Tottenham Hotspur
Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel, and Tottenham Hotspur take the road to play Southampton.
Friedel returned to the starting lineup in last weekend's game and could see the field once again on Sunday, while Clint Dempsey is likely to feature for Spurs as well.
Spurs drew their Europa League game on Thursday and lost last week's league match against Chelsea. They are fifth in the standings and hope they manage three points this weekend.
Southampton is in the relegation zone and winless in their last three games. They know they have to start garnering points soon if they don't want to dig themselves a deep hole. A win this weekend would be a huge boost for the struggling side.
Spurs look to be without Emmanuel Adebayor, Mousa Dembele, Scott Parker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and Younes Kaboul.
Danny Fox, Frazer Richardson, Jack Cork, and Gastón Ramírez are likely to miss for Southampton.
Leeds United - Birmingham City
Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood look to help Birmingham City in their road game against Leeds United.
Spector missed the Blues midweek game due to suspension, but he is likely to feature this weekend despite a nagging thigh injury. Packwood hopes to make the game day roster.
The Blues are hovering around the relegation zone and have not won a game since late September. They drew with Millwall on Tuesday, but they know they need to start winning games to separate themselves from the drop zone.
Leeds is on a seven-game unbeaten run, though three out of their last four games have ended in draws. They are in eighth place in the Championship but a win could boost them all the way up to third.
Rodolph Austin and Lee Peltier are questionable to feature for Leeds because of injuries, while Pablo Ibanez, Ben Gordon and Peter Lovenkrands look to miss for the Blues with injuries.
Nikola Zigic will not feature as well for Birmingham because of suspension.
Leicester City - Crystal Palace
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City look to hold onto first place in the standings when they take on a hot Crystal Palace side on Saturday.
Whitbread has been featuring of late since returning from injury and is likely to see the field once again this weekend.
Leicester City has not lost a game since mid September and they look to keep it that way with a victory over Crystal Palace. They beat Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday and look to continue their heavy momentum this week at home.
Crystal Palace trails Leicester by just four points in the standings and is in fourth place. They are on a nine-game unbeaten run and look to continue that streak on Saturday.
Ritchie De Laet and David Nugent were injured in City's midweek game and are questionable to feature.
Middlesbrough - Bolton Wanderers
Seb Hines and Middlesbrough put their three game win streak on the line against Tim Ream's Bolton.
Hines, who returned to the starting lineup after a few weeks on the bench, is likely to feature for Boro, while Tim Ream is also likely to start for Bolton.
Boro goes into the game on a hot streak. They have not lost a game since late September and are just three points from first place in the Championship.
Bolton's season has been rough, but they have garnered four points in the last two games and hope this momentum carries on for the rest of the season. They came from behind to draw Wolverhampton on the road on Tuesday in dramatic fashion, but they look for three points on Saturday.
Andy Lonergan and Jay Lynch look to miss for Bolton. Stuart Holden continues his rehab and will also miss.
Justin Hoyte and Merouane Zemmama are questionable to feature for Boro, while Luke Williams and Kevin Thomson are definite scratches.
Carlisle United - AFC Bournemouth
Frank Simek and Carlisle United look for their second win in as many games as they take on AFC Bournemouth in League One action.
Simek is a regular starter for the Cumbrians and should be in the lineup on Saturday.
Carlisle beat Oldham Athletic comfortable on Tuesday, breaking their three game winless skid. They are currently in 13th place and look to climb the top half of the standings with three points.
The Cherries are currently hovering above the relegation zone, but they are on a three game unbeaten run. They drew with Notts County on the road on Tuesday, but they will look for a win to distance themselves more from the drop zone.
Rory Loy, Lee Miller, Jon-Paul McGovern, Alex Salmon, and Brandon Gwinnutt are injury worries for the Cumbrians.
Conor Doyle is not likely to feature in Derby County's game against Peterborough United.
Mike Grella hopes to feature in Scunthorpe United's game against Milton Keynes Dons.
Robbie Rogers could see playing time in Stevenage's home game against Swindon Town.
Jon Paul Pittman and Oxford United take on Wycombe Wanderers in League Two play.
Robbie Findley and Gillingham take to the road to play AFC Wimbledon.