JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, August 23, 2013
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa continue their difficult start to the season against Liverpool, while Jozy Altidore and Sunderland take the road to play Southampton.
Everton - West Browmwich Albion
Tim Howard and Everton look to notch their first win of the season when they take on West Bromwich Albion Saturday afternoon.
Howard is Everton's regular at goal and will once again start this weekend.
The Toffees are coming off a 2-2 draw against Norwich City in their opener. Everton had a second half lead but gave up a goal to the Canaries and had to settle for the point. Roberto Martinez hopes to garner his first win as Everton's manager at Goodison Park on Saturday.
West Brom is coming off a disappointing defeat in their opener against Southampton. Last season finished positively for them and they look to get their season on track with a win on the road.
Sylvain Distin, Tony Hibbert, Darron Gibson, and Magaye Gueye are injury doubts for the Toffees, while West Brom's Zoltan Gera, Grant Thorne, and Steven Reid look to miss as well.
Southampton - Sunderland
Jozy Altidore hopes to open his scoring account in Sunderland's road match against Southampton.
The American forward went the distance in his Sunderland debut and is likely to start once again on Saturday.
The Black Cats' opener was largely disappointing to their fans as they went down to Fulham at home. Altidore was active throughout however and hopes for a positive outing once again.
However, Sunderland won this fixture last season and hope to repeat that victory this weekend.
Southampton on the other hand won their opener over West Bromwich Albion. They look to take that momentum into their home opener and garner six points in two games.
Sunderland's Phil Bardsley is suspended and will miss.
Stoke City - Crystal Palace
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City take on Crystal Palace in their home opener at the Britannia.
The former Houston Dynamo defender started last weekend and is likely again to see the field on Saturday. Brek Shea is injured and not likely to see the field until mid September, while Maurice Edu hopes to dress.
The Potters lost their Premier League opener last week against Liverpool in frustrating fashion. Stoke was down one goal in the final moments but were awarded a penalty kick, however Jonathan Walter's shot was saved and the Potters left Anfield without a point.
Nevertheless, Stoke hopes that their home crowd will boost them to three points this weekend.
Palace lost their opener last week against Tottenham, however the defeat was narrow and they look for a better performance Saturday.
Aston Villa - Liverpool
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa host Liverpool in their first home game of the season.
Guzan is likely to start at goal for the Villains.
Villa narrowly avoided relegation last season, however this campaign has started with plenty of optimism. The team won their opener at Arsenal and stood tall against Chelsea in the midweek despite the loss.
With their team looking to make noise this season, the fans at Villa Park surely will motivate the Villains to perform this weekend.
The Reds won their opener at Anfield against Stoke narrowly. The Potters were awarded a penalty in the final moments of the game, but Liverpool's new ‘keeper Simon Mignolet made the impressive save to notch the three points.
Liverpool will miss Luis Suarez who is suspended and Sebastian Coates who is injured.
Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker, Charles N'Zogbia and Chirs Herd are injury doubts for Villa.
Watford - Nottingham Forest
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest look to continue their impressive start to the season when they take on Watford at Vicarage Road.
The American defender has been a fixture thus far for Forest and is likely to start on Sunday.
Lichaj and company have played three games and notched the maximum points possible of nine. The team has scored five goals and given up zero in that span. They look to keep that momentum going this weekend.
Watford is also having a positive start to the season, as they have not lost in their first three games. Despite not winning last week against Reading, they did come from behind in the final moments of the game to force the draw.
Forest lost both fixtures last season against Watford but hope to reverse that trend this weekend.
Brad Friedel is not likely to feature in Tottenham's game against Swansea City.
Tim Ream hopes to see the field in Bolton's game against Queens Park Rangers, while Stuart Holden is a long-term injury worry for the Wanderers.
Zak Whitbread could see the field in Leicester City's game against Birmingham City. Jonathan Spector is injured and questionable to feature for the Blues, while Will Packwood is also out injured.
Seb Hines and Middlesbrough take on Wigan Athletic on Sunday.
Jon Paul Pittman and Wycome take on Oxford United in League Two action.