PREVIEW: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
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JOHN KRETLOW - Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Geoff Cameron's Stoke City host Tim Howard's Everton at the Britannia, while Jozy Altidore's Sunderland look to jump out of the drop zone when they take on Brad Guzan and Aston Villa.

Stoke City - Everton

Geoff Cameron and Stoke City welcome Tim Howard and Everton to the Britannia Stadium.

Cameron is expected to feature in Stoke's backline, while Brek Shea and Maurice Edu are not likely to dress for the Potters.

Howard missed Everton's last game because of suspension, but Roberto Martinez will have his number one ‘keeper available on Wednesday.

The Potters are coming off two straight losses and are in 12th place in the standings. They can jump into the top half of the table with a win, but more importantly they can distance themselves from the drop zone as they are just five points above it.

Everton is coming off a win over Southampton at Goodison Park this weekend and they look to take that momentum into Wednesday's match. The Toffees are in 4th place and trail Arsenal for the Premier League lead by five points.

Darron Gibson, Gerard Deulofeu, Arouna Kone, and Phil Jagielka will miss because of injuries for Everton, while Stoke's Asmir Begovic, Robert Huth, and Andy Wilkinson are sidelined.

Sunderland - Aston Villa

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland look to keep their unbeaten run going when they take on Brad Guzan's Aston Villa.

Altidore is expected to feature for the Black Cats, while Guzan is a regular in Villa's starting eleven and should play.

Sunderland is coming off a come from behind draw against Cardiff City last weekend, and have gone unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions.

The Black Cats are at the bottom of the table still, however a win could boost them out of the relegation zone.

Villa broke their four game losing streak this weekend in their draw with Swansea City, however they still have not won a game since the beginning of December. They are now in 13th place and just four points above the drop zone.

Kieren Westwood and Carlos Cuellar will miss for Sunderland because of injuries, while Adam Johnson and Fabio Borini look to be sidelined because of illness. Wes Brown will miss for the Black Cats because of suspension.

Chris Herd, Joe Bennett, Charles N'Zogbia, and Jores Okore will miss for Villa, while Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar are questionable.

Bolton Wanderers - Middlesbrough

Tim Ream and Bolton welcome Seb Hines and Middlesbrough to the Reebok Stadium.

Ream is a regular in Bolton's starting eleven and is expected to feature, while Hines could dress but is unlikely to see the field.

Bolton is coming off a loss to Leicester City on Sunday. They had a lead twice in the match but were unable to keep the league leaders off the board in the end.They are currently in 18th place and seven points above the drop zone.

Boro has won three straight games including their convincing victory over Reading last weekend. Another victory for them could bolster the side into the top half of the standings.

Reading - Nottingham Forest

It is a battle of Americans as Danny Williams and Reading host Eric Lichaj's Nottingham Forest.

Both players are expected to feature for their respective clubs on Wednesday.

The Royals are coming off a big loss to Middlesbrough and have lost three out of their last four games. They look to rebound on Wednesday.

Forest is currently in 5th place and in a playoff position. They have gone six games unbeaten and look to keep that streak going against Reading.

Notes

Clint Dempsey is available to play for Fulham in their match against West Ham United.

Brad Friedel will dress but is not expected to feature for Tottenham in their match against Manchester United.

Will Packwood and Jonathan Spector are not expected to feature in Birmingham City's match against Barnsley.

Zak Whitbread hopes to see the field in Derby County's game against Wigan Athletic.

Gboly Ariyibi could feature in Leeds United's match against Blackburn.

Oguchi Onyewu is not likely to see the field when Queens Park Rangers plays Doncaster.

Duane Holmes could see time in Huddersfield Town's match versus Burnley.

Jon Paul Pittman's Wycombe take on Exeter City in League Two action
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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