BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, October 14, 2011
With the October international window now over, Clint Demspey, Tim Howard, and Jonathan Spector all return to their English clubs this weekend for a full schedule of weekend games.
Stoke City - Fulham
After thrashing Queens Park Rangers two weeks ago, Fulham will be looking to win their second straight when they visit Stoke City on Saturday.
Clint Dempsey played every single minute for the US national team over the weekend and he is likely to start again for Fulham on Sunday.
Prior to the game against QPR, Fulham had yet to win a league game on the young season but they were able to pick up four points via draws. The 6-1 win over their London rivals however saw them earn their seventh point in seven games which has them currently sitting in 12th place.
Stoke on the other hand are two points better with nine points through seven games. They have only one point from their last three games and just prior to the international break, they fell to Swansea City 2-0 on the road.
Stoke are likely to be without Kenwyne Jones, Jermaine Pennant and Marc Wilson because of injury.
Fulham will also be missing three players with injury as Philippe Senderos, Kerim Frei, and Bryan Ruiz will not play.
Chelsea - Everton
Everton will have a tough task ahead of itself if it wants to secure three points on Saturday when they make the journey to London to face Chelsea on Saturday.
American Tim Howard played the entire 180 minutes for the United States during the international window and allowed only one goal. He is certain to start for Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Everton have dropped their previous two Premier League games by consecutive 2-0 scores. In their last game they fell to cross-town rival Liverpool at home.
Chelsea have won their previous two league games by a combined score of 9-2. Two weeks ago, they traveled to Bolton and walked away 5-1 winners.
Chelsea will not have a full squad on Saturday. Forward Fernando Torres is suspended while Hilario and Michael Essien will not play because of injury.
For Everton, Tim Cahill and John Heitinga are doubtful while Victor Anichebe is certain not to play with a knee injury.
Newcastle United - Tottenham Hotspur
Two red-hot teams will square off on Sunday when Tottenham travel north to take on Newcastle United St. James' Park.
Brad Friedel has been enjoying a strong start to the season and will start in goal for Tottenham.
After a sluggish start, Tottenham have won their last four Premier League games with the most recent being a 2-1 triumph at home against London-rivals Arsenal just prior to the international break.
Newcastle have won their previous two and two weeks ago they headed into the international break on the heels of a 2-1 road victory over Wolverhampton.
Newcastle will be without Alan Smith, Haris Vuckic, and Mike Williamson for the game.
Tottenham will be missing Niko Kranjcar while Aaron Lennon and Sandro are both doubtful.
Coventry City - Notthingham Forest
Nottingham Forest will be looking to regroup following recent stretch of poor performances ended with the resignation of head coach Steve McClaren.
Robbie Findley is likely to see action for Nottingham Forest at forward.
Nottingham Forest have lost five out of their previous six games and Rob Kelly is set to take over for McClaren.
Meanwhile Coventry City are also struggling. They lost their last game before the international break and have not won since September 10.
Coventry City will be without midfielder Carl Baker due to an ankle injury.
Nottingham Forest will be missing Paul Anderson, George Boateng, Chris Cohen, Dexter Blackstock, and Garath McCleary.
Birmingham City - Leicester City
Birmingham City will hope to begin climbing the Championship standings but they face a tough test on Sunday when Leicester City make a visit to St. Andrew's Stadium.
Jonathan Spector was subbed out in the first half for Birmingham City against Nottingham Forest but the US international played twice last week for the US team and should be ready to start in midfield.
Birmingham City won their most recent game against Nottingham Forest and they enter into Sunday's game with 11 points through eight games.
Leicester City easily defeated Derby County two weeks ago and are trying to make a push toward the top of the table. They are currently in eighth place with 16 points through 10 games. Their defense remains one of the best in the league as they have not allowed a goal in four games.
For Birmingham City, Curtis Davis and Jordon Mutch are still out with long-term injuries.
For Leicester City, Paul Gallagher is the only player unlikely to feature.
Brad Guzan should once again be the backup keeper for Aston Villa when they visit Manchester City on Saturday.
Zak Whitbread is still injured with a hamstring injury and he won't play for Norwich when they host Swansea on Saturday.
Stuart Holden won't be back until at least March as his Bolton Wanderers visit Wigan this weekend.
Conor Doyle recently returned from an ankle injury for Derby County and played his first minutes of the season. He will hope for more time when Derby host Southampton on Saturday in the Championship.
Frank Simek is still injured and likely won't play for Carlisle United on Saturday when they visit Yeovil Town in League One action.
Anton Peterlin will hope to be in the matchday 18 for Walsall when they visit Preston North End on Saturday in League One action.
Mike Grella has found playing time difficult this year for Brentford and he will hope to see minutes off the bench when Brentford host Scunthorpe United on Saturday in League One action.
John Paul Pittman will be fortunate to be on the bench for Crawley Town when they host Shrewsbury Town on Saturday in League Two action.
Jemal Johnson is aiming for minutes off the bench when Southend United host Morecambe on Saturday in League Two action.