JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, February 8, 2013
Tim Howard takes on his old team in Everton's clash with Manchester United, while Clint Dempsey's Tottenham looks to climb the standings with a win over Newcastle United.
Tottenham Hotspur - Newcastle United
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham are aiming to jump to third in the standings with a win over Newcastle United this weekend.
The Texan is coming off scoring the lone goal in the US national team's loss to Honduras on Wednesday. His minutes could be limited on Saturday, but Dempsey is likely to feature for Andres Villas-Boas.
Spurs are currently just one point from third-place Chelsea. They are coming off a win over West Bromwich Albion and look to build on that momentum.
Newcastle has won consecutive games and separated themselves by six points from the relegation zone. Three more points could push them into the middle of the standings.
Spurs look to be without Younes Kaboul, Jermain Defoe, and Sandro.
Stoke City - Reading
Geoff Cameron looks to help Stoke City get back to winning ways in their match against Reading.
Brek Shea is officially a Potter now, but the young American is not likely to feature.
Cameron is coming off a tough outing for the US against Honduras on Wednesday. His miscommunication with Tim Howard allowed for Honduras to notch the game-winning goal. Because of the game and travel the ex-Houston Dynamo star may have limited minutes.
The Potters are currently on a four-game winless skid. They are currently in the middle of the standings but will need to start garnering points if they want to avoid a plunge into the relegation watchers.
Reading is currently just two points above the drop zone, but they are playing their best soccer of the season. Currently they are on a six game unbeaten run and they look to continue that streak this weekend.
Jason Roberts and Alex McCarthy are likely scratches for Reading.
Aston Villa - West Ham United
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa aim to jump out of the drop zone with a win over West Ham United.
Villa is coming off a draw against Everton, but fans wish it were a win, as they were leading in the game at Goodison Park. A bounceback performance could have them jump Wigan Athletic and Reading and be in the clear for the time being.
The Hammers are in 11th place and are coming off a win over Swansea City. Prior to that win they had gone six games without a win. They look to start building a win streak this weekend.
Richard Dunne, Marc Albrighton, Chris Herd, and Gary Gardner are injury scratches for the Villains.
Manchester United - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton play Manchester United in a heavyweight Premier League matchup.
Howard started in Wednesday's US loss to Honduras, but the American ‘keeper is still likely to get the nod against his former team.
The Toffees are unbeaten in their last seven games and are fifth in the standings. A win could tie them with Tottenham in fourth place.
United continue in first place and are coming off a win over Fulham. They have a match next Wednesday against Real Madrid and Alex Ferguson may sit some of his regulars.
Darren Fletcher is likely to miss for United, while Tony Hibbert and Seamus Coleman are injury scratches for the Toffees.
Bolton Wanderers - Burnley
Tim Ream and Stuart Holden look to help Bolton separate themselves from the drop zone with a win over playoff hopeful Burnley.
Ream is likely to feature, while a recovering Holden hopes to make the game day roster.
Bolton is currently just three points above the relegation zone, and they have lost their last two games. A win, though, could relieve much pressure from the team and fans.
Burnley has gone winless in their last two games, but they are still just four points from the last playoff spot. The road team will lack no motivation going into Saturday's crucial clash.
Carlisle United - Stevenage
Frank Simek and Carlisle United host Stevenage in a League One clash.
The Cumbrians are currently in the bottom half of the standings, but they still are nine points above the relegation zone. Nonetheless they will want to grab the three points to make a climb up the table.
Stevenage are in the middle of the standings, but they are coming off a strong win over Notts County.
Both teams played each other at the beginning of the season and finished the game on a one all draw.
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City take on Peterborough United.
Seb Hines hopes to return to the starting lineup in Middlesbrough's game against Barnsley.
Jonathan Spector is nearing full health but is still questionable to feature in Birmingham City's game against Charlton Athletic.
Conor Doyle could dress in Derby County's game against Sheffield Wednesday.
Mike Grella and Scunthorpe United take on Crawley Town.
Jon Paul Pittman's Oxford United take on Bristol Rovers in League Two action.