JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, May 3, 2013
The season is coming down to the wire as Brad Guzan and Aston Villa take on Norwich City in a relegation clash, while Clint Dempsey's Tottenham look to jump into a Champions League spot.
Norwich City - Aston Villa
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa are coming off a huge win on Monday and look to keep that momentum going with a win at Norwich City.
Guzan is expected to start for the Villains, while Eric Lichaj could make the game day roster.
Villa goes into Saturday's game with confidence, as they crushed Sunderland 6 -1 on Monday. Still, they are just five points above Wigan Athletic and the drop zone. The Latics however have a game in hand, leaving Villa with little room for error.
The Canaries are six points above the relegation zone and a win could guarantee them safety. They have won just once in their last eight games and will need to bounce back after their loss to Stoke City last week.
Norwich looks to be without Sebastien Bassong, Michael Turner and Andrew Surman, while Ciaran Clark, Christ Herd, Marc Albrighton, Gary Gardner, and Richard Dunne are sidelined for Villa.
Tottenham Hotspur - Southampton
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham continue their quest for a top four finish when they take on Southampton this weekend.
Dempsey is expected to feature, while Brad Friedel is likely to be on the bench for Spurs.
Going into Saturday's match, Spurs trail Arsenal by two points for fourth and trail Chelsea by three points for third in the standings.
Spurs are coming off a comeback draw last week against Wigan, but three points will be needed this weekend if the London side wants to play Champions League soccer next season.
Southampton are seven points above the drop zone with three games left in their season. Despite nearly cementing their safety, mathematically they still have not clinched their spot in next season's Premier League. A win this weekend should leave them with nothing to worry.
Daniel Fox and Gaston Ramirez are suspended for Southampton and will miss.
Liverpool - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton look to jump into a European spot with a win over Liverpool at Anfield in another edition of the Merseyside derby.
The Toffees just have three games left in the season and they trail Tottenham by three points for fifth in the standings. They also trail Arsenal by five points for the last Champions League position. With dwindling time in the season, this weekend's derby match is especially important for Everton.
Liverpool's chances of a European spot are nearly none, but they would love a chance at catching their cross town rivals in the standings. They trail Everton by five points and could make up serious ground with a win at home on Saturday.
Luis Suarez is suspended for the Reds and will miss.
Sunderland - Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City look to solidify their spot in next season's Premier League season with a win at relegation threatened Sunderland.
Cameron is expected to see time for the Potters, however Brek Shea is not likely to see time for Stoke.
Stoke has had a tough calendar year thus far, but two straight wins have stopped the bleeding and the major threat of relegation. One more win could be all that's needed to cement their spot in safety.
Sunderland is five points above the drop zone with three games left in the season. They were crushed by Aston Villa on Monday, but they have won two out of their last three games. They look to bounce back and get three points that could clinch inch them close safety.
Zak Whitbread's Leicester City take on Nottingham Forest.
Seb Hines and Middlesbrough play Sheffield Wednesday.
Tim Ream hopes to see time in Bolton's game against Blackpool.
Conor Doyle is likely to make the game day roster in Derby County's home game against Millwall.
Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood are injured and will not feature in Birmingham City's game against Blackburn.