JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, November 5, 2010
Tough games all around England see Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel pitted against each other while Marcus Hahnemann takes on Manchester United and Stuart Holden and Bolton take on Tottenham.
Everton – Blackpool
After a hard fought win over Stoke City in their last game, Tim Howard and Everton look to keep their momentum with a win over Blackpool this Saturday.
A win at Blackpool could go far in taking Everton up the cluttered Premier League standings.
The Toffees' Jack Rodwell has been out with an ankle injury for two months and is closing in on a return, though this week could come a bit too soon.
Rodwell will be sidelined alongside Leon Osman who is also suffering from an ankle problem. Marouane Fallaini is out with a hamstring problem, Ross Barkley is recovering from a broken leg, and Victor Anichebe has a knee injury.
Blackpool goes into the game tied with Everton in points and would love to distance themselves from the Liverpool based team.
The Seasiders beat West Brom last week, ending their two game losing streak. They look to keep that luck going into Saturday.
Blackpool's Alex Baptiste, Billy Clarke, and Louis Almond all appear be out for the Everton clash.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Manchester United
Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in a weekend Premier League clash.
Wolves are coming off an impressive and well needed win over Manchester City last week and will hope to keep their high level against the other Manchester based team.
Wolverhampton go into the game relatively injury free, though Jody Craddock is questionable with a thigh injury.
United won their midweek Champions League game over Bursapor and beat Tottenham in their last Premier League game last week.
Manchester looks to be without Nani who was subbed off of their Champions League game in the first half with a groin injury. Darren Fletcher left in the second half with an ankle problem. Antonio Valencia is a long-term injury problem for United.
Fulham - Aston Villa
Clint Dempsey and Fulham welcome Brad Friedel and Aston Villa to Craven Cottage in a pivotal game for both teams.
Fulham are coming off an impressive victory over Wigan Athletic that saw Dempsey score the only two goals of the game. With the standings cluttered, those three points were vital.
The Cottagers know that a win over Aston Villa would help the team distance themselves from the bottom half of the table.
Fulham could be without Dickson Etuhu who is suffering from an ankle injury. Damien Duff also is sidelined with a calf problem.
Aston Villa come into the game tied with Fulham in points and would love to jump them in the Premier League standings.
Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor is set to miss with a groin injury while Stiliyan Petrov is suffering from a knee problem. Luke Young has a hamstring injury and is questionable.
Bolton – Tottenham
Stuart Holden and Bolton will host Tottenham in a heated Premeir League game this weekend.
Bolton is hoping to rebound after a tough loss to Liverpool last week and will aim to reverse their luck against the Tottenham.
Holden has been a regular in the Bolton midfield and should again start.
Bolton's Ricardo Gardner, Joey O'Brien, Jlloyd Samuel and Sean Davis are all out with long-term injuries.
Tottenham are coming off a rollercoaster week that saw them lose to Manchester United and then beat Inter Milan in midweek Champions League play. They will be out to repeat their impressive play against the reinging European champions.
A win for the London based team could see them jump to fourth in the standings.
Tottenham could be without Jermain Defoe, Ledley King, and Michael Dawson.
Carlisle United - Tipton Town
Frank Simek and Carlisle United will be flying high after their home win during the week as Tipton Town come to Brunton Park for the FA Cup First Round.
Tranmere were the last team to come to Carlisle and team boss Greg Abbott will expect another strong performance after his team cruised to a 2-0 victory even after missing two spot kicks.
Tipton Town are atop the English Midland Football Alliance, but will assuredly come with a gritty mentality looking to get the dream result.
Tipton had to go through all four qualifying rounds playing eight games, defeating Sheffield FC in the final stage to be pitted against Carlisle.
The visiting team twice forced replays after fierce displays of drive, earning them the honor of competing in the FA Cup. Tipton will feel that all the pressure is on their professional opponents, while making it this far will be considered a victory in itself.
Carlisle will be in high spirits however after their midweek performance. Abbott will have his charges focused on the task at hand, which is a victory over the weekend.
Francois Zoko could still be out with an injured shin, while Oliver Norwood and James Chester have been to parent club Manchester United to assess their injuries. Paul Thirlwell and Danny Livesey could also make returns against their non-league opposition.
Stevenage - Milton Keynes Dons
Jemal Johnson and MK Dons take on Stevenage away from home in the first round of the FA Cup.
Johnson will almost be assured a starting spot against League Two outfit Stevenage after scoring in the Dons last outing, a 3-2 home win over Yeovil.
The Dons will be without Gary MacKenzie who is in his second game of a three match stint on the sidelines after picking up a red card against Tranmere. Angelo Balanta will return however after serving his time out for a similar mistake.
Stevenage will be flying high after defeating Barnet 3-0 away from home in their last outing. Ben May will be looking for a start in the cup, while Luke Foster will continue after making his return in their last outing after being sidelined.
Joel Byrom has a fractured eye socket and joins Chris Beardsley, Lee Boyland, and Danny Murphy on the sidelines.
Jonathan Spector and West Ham United take on Birmingham.
Conor Doyle will be on the bench as Derby welcome Portsmouth to Pride Park Stadium.
Zak Whitbread will hope to make the bench for Norwich who play host to Burnley.
Anton Peterlin hopes to make the bench for Plymouth who take on Swindon at home.