PREVIEW: MIDWEEK ENGLISH ACTION
ANDREW VORCE - Monday, March 22, 2010
Clint Dempsey looks to get into the next round of the FA Cup while Brad Friedel and Tim Howard continue their push towards a European spot as English action heats up.

Tottenham - Fulham

Clint Dempsey will be a second half substitute as Fulham look to further their Cup ambitions as Tottenham stands between them and the next round of the FA Cup.

Tottenham will be without the influential duo of Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermaine Defoe, while Aaron Lennon remains sidelined as well. Tom Huddlestone is out for two more weeks with an ankle injury, while Jonathan Woodgate and Carlos Cudicini remain long term injury concerns.

Roy Hodgeson had an eye on the Cup clash during Sunday's 2-1 loss at home to Manchester City, taking off Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora. Both are expected to start against Tottenham, and Brede Hangeland looks to have overcome a chest injury to make an appearance.

Aston Villa - Sunderland

Brad Friedel will need to be on his toes once Darren Bent and Sunderland come to Villa Park as fourth place looms on the horizon.

Villa's ambitions to reach the coveted Champions League placement in the Premier League took a ding over the weekend after drawing 2-2 against Wolverhampton Wanderers. With only Nigel Reo-Coker on the sidelines, Friedel and company will try to do one better against Sunderland.

The Black Cats saw themselves go 10 points clear of the drop zone with a convincing 3-1 win over Birmingham City at Stadium of Light.

Bent lead the charge over the visitors, and could have had a hat trick himself. Kenwyne Jones is the only player out for Steve Bruce's squad ahead of the trip.

Manchester City - Everton

Tim Howard and Everton will square off against the blue side of Manchester when two teams with similar ambitions go head to head.

Everton are on the outside looking in at a European place at the end of the season, but will take a huge stride forward with a victory over City.

Everton may have to do without Louis Saha who is struggling with a hamstring injury, while Phillippe Senderos is pushing for a return from a hip injury. Maruane Fellaini is out long term with an ankle injuyry.

Julian Lescott has two weeks still yet to recover from his hamstring injury, while Wayne Bridge has been sidelined with a sports hernia. Michael Johnson is a long term injury for City, out until June with a knee injury.

West Ham - Wolverhampton

Jonathan Spector and Marcus Hahnemann are two Yanks in major need of three points, making Tuesday's match up a relegation six pointer.

With Portsmouth being deducted points for going into administration, it only leaves two clubs left to scrap it out in the relegation battle. Wolves sit one point above West Ham in 16th place.

Wolves have a full squad for the encounter, putting West Ham under pressure.

The Hammers are without Luis Boa Morte and Zavon Hines, knee injuries ruling out the pair until June. They failed to capatalize on 10-man Arsenal in their last meeting, playing an entire half after missing a penalty that could have given them a massive boost. west Ham haven't picked up a point since beating Hull City 3-0 at home.

Notes:

Devann Yao nor Kenny Cooper look to make a large impact in Ipswich v Plymouth.

Jay DeMerit is struggling with a back injury for Watford while Frank Simek will be on the bench for Sheffield Wednesday.