PREVIEW: MIDWEEK ENGLISH ACTION
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JOHN KRETLOW - Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj look to help Aston Villa bounce back from their horrid performance last weekend as they take on Clint Dempsey's Tottenham, while Geoff Cameron's Stoke City play a pivotal match with Liverpool.

Everton - Wigan Athletic

Tim Howard and Everton host Wigan Athletic and look to jump into a Champions League spot on Wednesday.

The Toffees are coming off a win over West Ham United and have gone six games unbeaten. They have not lost in over fourteen games at Goodison Park and they look to continue that streak on Boxing Day.

Wigan goes into the game in a different direction to the Toffees, as they have gone five games winless. A win would surely make a great late Christmas present for Wigan fans.

Phil Neville and Kevin Mirallas are injury scratches for Everton, while Marouane Fellaini will miss due to suspension.

Aston Villa - Tottenham Hotspur

Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, and Aston Villa look to bounce back after an embarrassing loss last weekend as they take on Clint Dempsey's Tottenham.

The American duo at Villa is expected to feature, while Dempsey could see action after missing Spurs' last game due to a groin problem.

Despite Villa's eight goal loss to Chelsea on Sunday, they had gone six games unbeaten prior to that defeat. They look to get back to winning ways and separate themselves from the relegation zone.

Tottenham goes into the game with an opportunity to jump into the Premier League's top three teams. They have only lost one game in their last eight and look to continue their strong play on Wednesday.

Younes Kaboul will miss for Spurs, while Darren Bent, Ron Vlaar, Richard Dunne, and Gary Gardner look to miss for Villa.

Stoke City - Liverpool

Geoff Cameron is likely to feature in Stoke City's pivotal match against Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium.

The Potters and the Reds are tied in the standings and both are looking to jump their way into European competition contention with a win on Wednesday.

Stoke has drawn their last three games and has gone eight games unbeaten. The Potters will rely on the Premier League's best defense to help them garner three points on Boxing Day.

Liverpool has won four out of their last five games and look determined to jump into the Premier League's elite once again. They played some of their best soccer of the season this last weekend in their win over Fulham and look to keep that momentum going on Wednesday.

Rory Delap and Marc Wilson look to miss for Stoke.

Hull City - Leicester City

Zak Whitbread and Leicester City take to the road to play Hull City on Boxing Day.

The Foxes go into Wednesday's clash having won just once in their last five outings. They still are in a playoff position and have hopes of jumping back into the mix for an automatic promotion spot.

Hull City currently has one of those coveted automatic promotion spots and holds a seven point lead over the Foxes. They look to extend that lead and close the three point gap between them and Cardiff City who sit at the top of the Championship.

Sean St. Ledger is a long term injury problem for the Foxes.

Middlesbrough - Blackburn Rovers

Seb Hines and Middlesbrough look to jump into an automatic promotion position with a win over Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday.

Boro's play has been inconsistent of late. They are coming off a loss to Leeds United last weekend and look to bounce back with a stronger performance on Boxing Day.

Blackburn is winless in their last five games and is in seventeenth place in the standings. They look to change their bad luck of late with a win over Boro.

Nicky Bailey, Ismael Miller, Andre Bikey, and Faris Haroun are carrying knocks and questionable to feature for Boro on Wednesday.

Carlisle United - Hartlepool United

Frank Simek and Carlisle United host Hartlebool United at Brunton Park on Wednesday.

The Cumbrians had their weekend game postponed due to inclement weather and look to take those extra days off to good use on Boxing Day.

Carlilse is just two points above the relegation zone and are in desparate need of a win. They have won just once in their last eight games.

Hartlepool is at the bottom of the standings and has just one win in the whole season thus far. They are buried deep in the drop zone and will need to start playing impeccable soccer soon if they want to avoid League Two play next season.

Notes

Tim Ream hopes to feature in Bolton's match with Sheffield Wednesday. Stuart Holden is still regaining his fitness and will miss for Bolton.

Will Packwood could see the field in Birmingham City's game against Barnsley. Jonathan Spector looks to miss with a hamstring problem.

Conor Doyle is not likely to see playing time in Derby County's game against Burnley.

Robbie Findley is unlikely too see time in Nottingham Forest's game against Leeds United.

Robbie Rogers hopes to see the field in Stevenage's game against Coventry City.

Mike Grella could see playing time in Scunthorpe United's game against Sheffield United.

Jon Paul Pittman and Oxford United take on Exeter City on Wednesday.
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