ANDREW VORCE - Friday, February 19, 2010
Tim Howard and Landon Donovan will square off against Manchester United while Jonathan Spector will be in charge of keeping Jozy Altidore and Hull City at bay in a full list of English action.
Everton - Manchester United
Tim Howard and Landon Donovan will be up against the wall when high flying Manchester United comes to Goodison Park.
Everton have been thrown a curveball after their 2-1 Europa League victory at home against Sporting Lisbon, as Tim Cahill could only last 62 minutes after suffering from a calf injury. If Cahill cannot play, then Aiyegbeni Yakubu will likely be his replacement.
Phillip Senderos and Vicnor Anichebe could return, while Phil Jagielka is on the verge of recovering from a knee injury. Tony Hibbert is out for another week, while Marouane Fellaini has been ruled out until August with an ankle injury.
Ryan Giggs is the latest United injury concern, fracturing his wrist in United's 1-1 draw against Aston Villa. Owen Hargreaves is still out with a knee injury, while John O'Shea is out until May with a thigh muscle strain.
West Ham - Hull City
Jonathan Spector and Jozy Altidore will go toe to toe in Premiership action that will see two struggling teams try to determine their chances of survival in England's top flight.
Hull could get Geovanni back after struggling with a knee injury, but better news is that Jimmy Bullard's return is right around the corner. The brilliant Bullard was vital to Hull's early success, and has been surely missed during the course of his injury. Ian Ashbee is a long term absentee with a PCL tear keeping him out until May.
Wolverhampton - Chelsea
Marcus Hahnemann has a stern test ahead of him as Chelsea look to stay on top, but Molineux will prove to be a testing ground for the league leaders.
Stephen Ward has had an injury setback with a knee injury and is unlikely to make a timely return, while David Edwards and Michael Kightly are both near the end of their ankle injuries. Andy Keogh is the last Wolf out, suffering from a sprained ankle keeping him out until March.
Chelsea have a list of players out due to knee injuries, with four possible returns within the week. Julian Bellet, Jose Bosingwa, Joe Cole, and Deco are all on the verge of returns, while Michael Essien is a further week out. Ashley Cole has been sidelined until May after a challenge from Landon Donovan which injured the defenders ankle.
Aston Villa - Burnley
Brad Friedel had moments of uncertainty in his last outing but the American shotstopper will look to put it all behind him when Burnley come to Villa Park.
Gabriel Agbonlahor has been added to the casualty list at Villa Park, after the front man had picked up a calf injury. Emile Heskey could make his return after struggling with a groin strain, while Nigel Reo-Coker is out until April with an ankle injury.
Burnley's injury woes look to be on the verge of being over with five players all on the mend. Stephen Jordan and Christian Kalvenes are both struggling with hamstring injuries, while groin injuries have kept Steven Caldwell and Leon Cort on the sidelines. Graham Alexander has returned to training after suffering from a calf muscle injury
Scunthorpe – Watford
Jay DeMerit and Watford travel to Glanford Park on Saturday to take on Scunthorpe United in a Championship league clash between two teams in the middle of the standings.
DeMerit will be slotted in his usual spot on the Watford back line at the starting whistle.
Watford were rained out of their midweek match versus QPR meaning they now have two games in hand on their fellow promotion playoff aspirants.
The Hornets are likely to have leading scorer Tom Cleverly back in the fold. Cleverly had been hampered by a knee injury of late, but should be able bring his ten goals to North Lincolnshire this weekend.
Head man Malky Mckay is expected to have a full squad at his disposal while Scunthorpe will be without Garry Thompson due to a hamstring injury and Andrew Wright with an ankle injury.
Sheffield Wednesday – Ipswich Town
Sheffield Wednesday look to put Tuesday's disappointing loss behind them when they host Ipswich Town on Saturday at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.
American Frank Simek has reclaimed his starting spot on the Wednesday back line and is expected to be penciled into head coach Alan Irvine's starting 11.
Simek has started and gone the distance in the last three matches for the Owls.
Irvine witnessed a lackluster effort by his squad in their midweek 0-2 defeat at the hands of Doncaster Rovers.
The loss dropped Saturday's hosts even closer to the relegation zone so snagging three points against Ipswich will be paramount.
New York-born Devann Yao has yet to make his debut for the Blues and it does not appear that it will come anytime soon.
Ipswich head coach Roy Keane voiced his displeasure earlier this week at Yao's performance during a reserve league match stating that the Gotham native played poorly.
Keane has a much bigger concern as his squad currently sit in the relegation zone at 33 points.
Wednesday will be without defender Lewis Buxton and midfielder Jermaine Johnson whom are out with injuries.
Ipswich goalkeeper Richard Wright is still bothered by a knee injury and will likely be out as will Argentinean winger Luciano Civelli due to a knee injury.
Plymouth Argyle – Leicester City
A desperate Plymouth Argyle in search of three points welcome in promotion playoff contender Leicester City to Home Park on Saturday in Plymouth.
Forward Kenny Cooper is likely to see significant minutes as a second-half substitute for head coach Paul Mariner.
In the four matches that Cooper has suited up for the Pilgrims, Mariner has brought on the former 1860 Munich man in three of those matches in hopes of sparking the team's offense.
The hosts would be better suited off having a wall of flames ignite the team's offense having only scored a paltry 35 goals through 30 matches this season.
Plymouth currently sit next to last in the Championship standings with the sand in the proverbial relegation hourglass nearly about to run out.
Leicester City are sixth and occupy the final promotion playoff position. The Foxes will be out to test the Plymouth defense in search of some early goals in their bid to secure the three points and to continue to stave off other playoff contenders.
That task has been made more difficult with the absence of team leading scorer Matty Fryatt who is sidelined with a broken jaw.
David McNamee will be missing for Plymouth due to a groin injury.
Leeds United – Brighton
Leeds United's march to promotion glory looks to get back on track on Saturday when they host Brighton at Elland Road.
Head coach Simon Grayson may opt to give forward Mike Grella some second-half minutes. Grella played the final 30 minutes of Tuesday's home loss to Walsall.
The 2001 UEFA Champions League semifinalists are currently second in the League One standings sitting three points ahead of Colchester United.
Leeds have only tallied two points in their last three league matches allowing the likes of Colchester and fourth place Charlton Athletic to jump back in the race for an automatic ticket to the Championship.
Brighton are mired in the lower half of the standings with 30 points and will have to contend with Leeds star striker Jermaine Beckford who spearheads one of the most prolific offenses in League One with his 18 goals making up the team's 52 on the campaign.
Grayson will not have Ben Parker, Tresor Kandol and Paddy Kisnorbo at his disposal due to injuries while Brighton defender Colin Hawkins is set to miss with a heel injury and striker Nicky Forster won't be suiting up due to a contract dispute.
Exeter City – Stockport County
Jemal Johnson and last place Stockport County travel to St. James Park in Exeter to take on Exeter City.
Johnson has started his last five matches for the Hatters and is expected to once again get a nod up front in head coach Gary Ablett's starting 11.
The American has yet to score a goal for his new club since being loaned out by Milton Keynes Dons last month.
Stockport sit at rock bottom in the League One standings with relegation all but assured for the suburban Manchester club.
Johnson will be out to impress Exeter City who face relegation worries of their own. The Grecians are just above the drop zone and hope Saturday's visitors are just the remedy to turn around their season.
Ablett will have a full squad available while Exeter City striker Adam Stansfield and defender Troy Archibald-Henville are out with knee injuries. Midfielder Alex Russell may also sit out due to a back injury.
Stuart Holden will look to make the bench as Bolton visit Blackburn.
Clint Dempsey is out injured as Fulham hosts Birmingham.
Ian Joyce may make the bench as the back up goalkeeper for Southend United who travel to Milton Keynes Dons.
Zak Whitbread is battling a calf strain and is likely to miss League One leading Norwich City's home match versus Southampton.
Jon-Paul Pittman could be used as a second half substitute for Wycombe Wanderers who host Millwall.
Seb Harris will be aiming to make the gameday roster for Northampton Town when they travel to Crewe Alexandra.