ANDREW VORCE - Friday, December 3, 2010
Stuart Holden and Bolton travel to Manchester City while Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey take on Chelsea and Arsenal respectively in a full weekend of English action.
Manchester City - Bolton
Stuart Holden and Bolton will look to continue on their winning ways, but they face a tough test at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Holden has been suffering from a thigh muscle strain, but is expected to recover, while Jlloyd Samuel returns to the injured list with a calf muscle strain. Ricardo Gardner and Joey O'Brien will both miss out, while Sean Davis is out of commision until February.
Manchester City recently trounced Salzburg at home in the Europa League, with Mario Balotelli scoring twice.
The win came off of the back of two goalless draws for the home team, and City will be looking to continue their push towards Champions League qualification.
Blackburn - Wolverhampton
Marcus Hahnemann will be fighting with Wayne Hennessey for the rights to the starting keeper position when Wolves travel to Blackburn.
Michael Kightly is out with a knee injury, while David Edwards is out for another week with a thigh muscle strain. Adlene Guedioura and Jody Craddock are both out until February, while Karl Henry is out until an MCL knee ligament injury.
Morten Gamst Pedersen should recover in time to face Wolves after picking up a hamstring injury, but Vince Grella, Steven N'Zonzi, and Martin Olsson are all out for another week.
Nikola Kalinic and Keith Andrews are the last out injured.
Sam Allardyce will be looking for a statement from his players after their heavy handed loss away at Manchester United.
Chelsea - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton have a major test on their hands as they travel to Stamford Bridge.
Everton have had three draws in their last few outings, going on to beat Liverpool and Stoke, but falling 4-1 at home to West Brom in their last outing.
Tim Cahill has been a key figure, as Everton make sure their players stay healthy. Phil Neville is near returning from a knee injury, while Leon Osman could make a return from an ankle injury. Ross Barkley is out until March with a broken leg.
Chelsea could get a huge boost if John Terry passes fitness tests to return from his hamstring injury, and the captain could be joined by Frank Lampard after a groin injury.
Yuri Zhirkov is out with a kalf muscle strain, while Alex is out with a knee injury. Yossi Benayoun is the last player out, struggling with an achilles injury.
Arsenal - Fulham
Clint Dempsey and Fulham will need to be focused when they make the short trip to Emirates Stadium for their Saturday kickoff.
Arsenal do have injury concerns, but Manuel Almunia may be slotted for a return against their cross town opposition. Abou Diaby and Thomas Vermaelen are both out injured, with Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Eboue out for at least another week.
Fulham too have been hit by the injury bug, but Andy Johnson and Rafik Halliche could both return. Carlos Salcido and Frank Stoor are both still in the treatment room, while Moussa Dembele is out for another two weeks with a thigh muscle strain. Bobby Zamora and Phillippe Senderos are out until February with leg injuries.
Liverpool - Aston Villa
Brad Friedel and Aston Villa will need to be on point when they make their way to Friedel's former club, Liverpool.
It's been over 10 years since the move, but Friedel will be sure to put on a superb display against his old club.
Aston Villa continue their poor displays, being knocked out by bitter rivals Birmingham City in the Carling Cup.
Villa have 10 players out, with Gabriel Agbonlahor and Stephen Ireland both being sidelined due to illness during the week.
Carlos Cuellar could return from his calf muscle strain, joining Emile Heskey and Nigel Reo-Coker potentially. This will be Gerard Houllier's first match against his former club since joining Villa, and will demand a performance from his team.
Marc Albrighton and Steven Sidwell are both still injured, with Fabian Delph, Stiliyan Petrov, and Andreas Weimann all out until the new Year.
Jamie Carragher is out until February with a dislocated shoulder, while captain Steven Gerrard is sidelined for another week with a hamstring injury. Danny Agger is out for two more weeks with a calf muscle strain, while Jay Spearing is out until January with an ankle injury.
Carlisle United – Leyton Orient
Frank Simek and Mike Grella will lead Carlisle United against Leyton Orient in League One play this weekend.
Simek is a regular in the Cumbrians' line-up and should again be in the starting eleven. Grella hopes to suit up and feature for Carlisle.
The Cumbrians are coming off an impressive Johnstone's Paint Trophy win over Sheffield Wednesday in the midweek and they hope to keep that momentum going against Leyton Orient.
Carlisle could be without Peter Murphy who is suffering from a back injury. Danny Livesey who has been out long term is inching closer to regular playing time and could feature.
Leyton Orient, who are only a few points from the drop zone, are hoping to improve upon the string of ties the team has had in league play. They hope to gain the three points Saturday and distance themselves from the bottom of the standings.
Orient look to field their same line-up as they did in their FA Cup game earlier this week.
Milton Keynes Dons – Plymouth Argyle
Jemal Johnson and Milton Keynes Dons take on Anton Peterlin and Plymouth Argyle in League One action.
Johnson came on in the 65th minute of MK Dons' loss to Huddersfield Town last week. The American should feature this Saturday.
After two straight league losses, MK Dons knows three points this weekend would be priceless in keeping up with a cluttered top half of the table.
Dons will be without Colombian Angelo Balanta, who underwent surgery to repair damage in his ankle.
Plymouth are coming off a win against Dagenham & Redbridge and will hope that play continues against Dons.
Argyle are dangerously close to the drop zone and they know three points could be vital in separating themselves from the rest of the bottom half of the standings.
Peterlin has not received playing time of late but the young American hopes to make the game-day roster this weekend.
Argyle look to be as fresh as they have all season after an off week.
Jonathan Spector will hope to be on the bench when West ham travel to Sunderland.
Conor Doyle hopes to suit up for Derby County as they take on Zak Whitbread's Norwich City.