JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, January 18, 2013
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham take on Manchester United in a pivotal Premier League matchup, while Geoff Cameron and Swansea City look to bounce back with a win over Swansea City.
West Bromwich Albion - Aston Villa
Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj look to help Aston Villa get back to winning ways as they take on West Bromwich Albion this weekend.
Villa are currently in the relegation zone but a win could get them out of it temporarily. After a decent run in November and December, the Villains have lost five out of their last six.
West Brom are in seventh place, but they have lost three straight in league play. They trail Everton by four points for the last European spot.
Villa look to be without Chris Herd, Shay Given, Darren Bent, Marcus Albrighton, Gary Gardner, and Richard Dunne, while West Brom will miss Zoltan Gera.
Swansea City - Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City take on Swansea City on the road in Premier League play on Saturday.
Although Stoke is known for having one of the league's stingiest defenses, they go into this weekend's matchup having lost two straight games and given up seven goals in that span.
They will need a strong bounce back performance if they want to make a midseason charge into the top half of the standings.
Swansea is one point ahead of the Potters in ninth place in the standings. They lost their FA Cup tie on Wednesday, but had gone seven games unbeaten prior to that game.
Andy Wilkinson picked up an injury in Stoke's last game and could be left out of the lineup.
Tottenham Hotspur - Manchester United
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham host Manchester United in a pivotal Premier League matchup on Sunday.
Spurs go into the game on a six game unbeaten run in league play and trail Chelsea by just two points for third in the standings. Tottenham beat United in their first game of the season, helped by a second half Dempsey goal.
United are first in the league and lead their cross city rival by seven points in the standings. They have not lost a game since mid November and look to keep that streak going in London.
Spurs will be without Emmanuel Adebayor, William Gallas, Younes Kaboul, and Sandro, while United will miss Jonny Evans, Ashley Young, and Darren Fletcher.
Southampton - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton could jump into a Champions League spot with a win over Southampton on the road on Monday.
Everton goes into the game playing good soccer, as they have lost just one game in their last eleven. They drew with Swansea City in their last game.
Southampton is just three points above the relegation zone and will need a good performance on Monday. They drew with Chelsea in their last game.
Kevin Mirallas, Jonny Heitinga, Tony Hibbert, and Darren Gibson look to miss for the Toffees.
Leicester City - Middlesbrough
Seb Hines and Middlesbrough take on Leicester City in Championship action.
Zak Whitbread is suffering from an injury and is not likely to feature.
Both teams go into the game tied in points, though the Foxes are ahead on goal differential. They are coming off a big 4-0 win over Bristol City and look to keep that momentum going.
Boro is coming off a loss to Watford and Derby County in league play and need a win to keep up with the rest of the teams in the Championship playoff picture.
Crawley Town - Carlisle United
Frank Simek looks to start in Carlisle United's game against Crawley Town.
The Cumbrians are coming off a win over Coventry City and look to continue that good play with a win this weekend. They are in the bottom half of the standings but have a nice nine point cushion above the drop zone.
Crawley Town is in ninth place and just two points from a playoff position. They will consider this a must win as they are playing at home and have lost two straight games.
Conor Doyle and Derby County take on Nottingham Forest.
Jonathan Spector hopes to see time in Birmingham City's against Brighton & Hove Albion. Will Packwood is injured and will miss.
Stuart Holden could see time in Bolton's game against Crystal Palace, while Tim Ream also could feature.
Mike Grella and Scunthorpe Untied take on Portsmouth in League One action.
Jon Paul Pittman and Oxford United take on Rotherham United in League Two play.