JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, February 22, 2013
Geoff Cameron and perhaps Brek Shea look to feature in Stoke City's match against Fulham, while Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Fulham - Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and possibly Brek Shea are aiming to help Stoke City notch a win against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Cameron has been a regular in the Potters' starting lineup and is likely to feature on Saturday at right back, while Shea could make his debut after starring in a couple Stoke reserve games.
After a run of four games in all competitions where Stoke did not record a win, the Potters finally garnered three points in their victory over Reading last week. They are in the middle of the standings and hope to claw their way into the top half with a win.
Fulham trails Stoke by four points in the standings and are six points above the relegation zone. The Cottagers have won just once in their last five games in all competitions.
Marc Wilson could return to the field after a stint on the injury list for Stoke, while Michael Owen is questionable to feature because of a thigh injury.
Arsenal - Aston Villa
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa hope to separate themselves from the drop zone with a victory over Arsenal.
Guzan will start in goal for Villa, while Lichaj, who has not featured of late, hopes to make the gameday roster on Saturday.
The Villains came up with a pivotal win over West Ham United last week, putting them one point above the relegation zone. A win for Villa would be their first on the road since mid December.
The Gunners are coming off two straight losses. They lost to Blackburn in FA Cup play and went down to Bayern Munich in midweek Champions League play. Arsenal will have to bounce back though with a win to keep up with Tottenham, who have a four point lead above them for the last spot in next season's Champions League tournament.
Richard Dunne, Chris Herd, Marc Albrighton, and Gary Gardner are injury worries for Villa.
Norwich City - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton look to jump into a European position with a win over Norwich City this weekend.
The Toffees have gone winless in February and look to break their three game winless skid on Saturday. They trail Arsenal by two points for fifth place in the standings, which is the Europa League position in the Premier League.
The Canaries have not won a game since the beginning of January. Their recent run of bad games now has them just six points above the drop zone and a win this weekend would do wonders to relieve the mounting pressure in Norwich.
Tony Hibbert is an injury worry for the Toffees.
West Ham United - Tottenham Hotspur
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham look to climb into an automatic Champions League spot with a victory against West Ham United on Monday.
Despite a 1-1 draw with Lyon on Thursday, Spurs beat the French power by aggregate to advance in the Europa League. Spurs have also enjoyed recent success in league play, having won two straight games and not lost a match since December.
West Ham goes into Monday's contest having won just once in their last eight games. Even with the Hammers' recent slide, however, they still find themselves with a seven-point cushion above the relegation zone.
Tom Huddlestone, Jermain Defoe and Sandro are probable to miss for Spurs.
Peterborough United - Birmingham City
Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City take to the road to play Peterborough United in a relegation battle.
Spector returned from injury in the Blues' midweek draw against Sheffield Wednesday. He is expected to feature, while Will Packwood is out for the season with a broken leg.
Birmingham is winless in its last three games and has scored just one goal in that span. The Blues are just four points above the drop zone and are in dire need of three points.
Peterborough, meanwhile, are sitting in the relegation zone, three points from safety. The club has won two straight games, scoring seven goals in that short span, and look to keep that momentum going on Saturday.
Carlisle Untied - Milton Keynes Dons
Frank Simek and Carlisle United host Milton Keynes Dons in a League One clash.
The Cumbrians are coming off a draw with Portsmouth and a loss to Scunthorpe United in their last two league games. They are a comfortable eight points above the drop zone, but a win would help them climb out of the bottom half of League One.
MK Dons is above Carlisle by four points, but the club goes into Saturday's match on a five-game winless run. MK has fallen from the playoff picture mightily, but fans still will welcome a win to finish the difficult skid they are in.
Seb Hines hopes to feature in Middlesbrough's game against Millwall.
An injured Zak Whitbread's Leicester City takes on Blackpool.
Conor Doyle is expected to dress in Derby County's match with Watford.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton take on Hull City, and both could be on the bench to start.
Mike Grella could feature in Scunthorpe United's game against Hartlepool United.
Jon Paul Pittman's Oxford United take on York City in League Two action.