ANDREW VORCE - Saturday, October 2, 2010
Brad Friedel and Aston Villa take on high flying Tottenham, while Tim Howard and Everton will be looking for their first win as they travel to Birmingham in a full weekend of English action.
Tottenham - Aston Villa
Brad Friedel and Aston Villa will need to be on point when they travel to the capital city to take on Tottenham at White Heart Lane.
Gerard Houllier will be without prized asset Gabriel Agbonlahor who is set to undergo a groin operation on Monday. C Clark, John Carew, and Richard Dunne could all be in the reckoning, but Fabian Delph is sidelined long term with a knee injury.
Tottenham have a list of players out for the clash, with a trio of players set to make returns in two weeks. Michael Dawson, William Gallas, Younes Kaboul are those three players, while Jermaine Defoe is out until December. Jamie O'Hara is out with a back injury, while Jonathan Woodgate is out with a groin injury.
Wigan - Wolverhampton
Marcus Hahnemann will look to give Wolverhampton the edge as the visitors look to pick up points at Wigan Athletic heading into the international break.
Wigan could have highly rated Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley back from a knee injury, though the crafty midfielder remains doubtful. Franco Di Santo remains doubtful after an ankle injury, while MANAGER has an otherwise full squad.
Wolves will spend their last week without Stephen Hunt and Ronald Zubar who are nearing their returns from injury. Hunt has been out with a metatarsal fracture, while Zubar has been forced to the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Adlene Guedioura is the only long term absentee, sidelined until February with a broken leg.
Birmingham - Everton
Tim Howard will need to have a perfect game as Everton travel to St. Andrews Stadium to take on a 13th placed Birmingham that has notched three draws one being against Liverpool.
M Michel could return for Brimingham while James McFadden has been sidelined until February with an ACL knee injury. The biggest miss for Alex McCleish's squad will be Birmingham's leading goalscorer Craig Gardner who is serving the first of a three match ban.
Everton could get Tim Cahill, Leon Osman, and Louis Saha back from injury to provide some much needed attacking force up top. Victor Anichebe will be in a race against time for the trip, but Jack Rodwell is out until late Novermber with ana nkle injury. Tony Hibbert could be in contention after struggling with a groin injury.
West Ham - Fulham
Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson will both make the trip to cross-town rivals West Ham who will likely be without Jonathan Spector.
Spector has fell off of the radar for Avram Grant who does have injury concerns. Valon Behrami will be the only player possible of a return, though it is highly unlikely he will be fit enought o play. Thomas Hitzlsperger is out for another two weeks with a hip injury as well.
Zavon Hines and Jack Collison are both out until the New Year with a knee injury, while Anthony Edgar and Peter Kurucz are out until the end of the season with knee injuries.
Moussa Dembele is out until the end of October with an ankle injury, while Fredrik Stoor could make a return after shaking off a groin strain. Andy Johnson has two weeks to recover from his jumpers knee, while Bobby Zamora and Philippe Senderos are both out until February.
West Brom - Bolton
Stuart Holden looks to continue his main stay on the Bolton starting line up as the Wanderers look to pick up points at West Brom.
Roberto Di Mattea was named Manager of the Month in the Premier League for steering his charges to sixth place thus far. The reason for their success has been in part to the Player of the Month, Peter Odemwingie. The Baggies could get Ishamel Miller back from a thigh muscle strain, the same injury keeping Joe Mattock out. Marek Cech is the last player out, sidelined with an ankle injury.
Bolton have five players out, with Ricardo Gardner and Jlloyed Samuel both racing against the clock to prove their fitness. Andy and Joey O'Brien both continue to be out of contention due to injury, while Sean Davis should return by early next month from his knee injury.
Carlisle United – Peterborough United
Frank Simek and Carlisle United will try and ride their momentum to a win against Peterborough United in League One action this weekend.
The Cumbrians are coming off a 4-0 win over Hartlepool United in the midweek. They hope for a similar result Saturday.
SImek again started and played the 90 minutes in their impressive victory. He should again get the start for Carlisle.
Carlisle's Lubomir Michalik came off with an injury in their last game and will probably be out for Saturday's action. Marc Bridge-Wilkinson should miss with an ankle injury, while Danny Livesy and Paul Thirwell are doubtful.
Peterborough is coming off a loss but that does not diminish their strong start to the season. They hope to get back to their winning ways against the Cumbrians.
Ryan Bennet and Lee Frecklington both look to miss with knee injuries.
Port Vale – Oxford United
Jemal Johnson and Port Vale will travel to play Oxford United in League Two play.
Johnson came on in the 66th minute for the Valiants' 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury in the midweek.
Port Vale have won five games in a row and are leading the League Two standings.
Oxford United are coming off of two straight ties and would like to start maximizing their points to climb the standings.
The Us tied Cheltenham Town 1-1 in the midweek.
Mark Creighton came off early with an injury for Oxford and is doubtful for the weekend's clash.
Port Vale look to be healthy going into the game.
Mike Grella hopes to make it on the game-day roster as Leeds United plays Ipswich Town.
Conor Doyle and Derby County travel to take on Swansea City.
Anton Peterlin could make the game-day roster as Plymouth play Hartlepool United.
Jon-Paul Pittman is injured and will not feature as Wycombe play Stevenage.
Seb Harris will hope for some playing time as Northampton Town take on Macclesfield Town.