PREVIEW: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
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JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, October 5, 2012
Tim Howard an Everton have eyes for the Premier League top spot as they take on Wigan Athletic, while Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel and Tottenham take on Brad Guza, Eric Lichaj, and Aston Villa.

Wigan Athletic - Everton

Tim Howard and Everton look to continue their strong season with a win at Wigan Athletic and with the right results the Toffees could even top the Premier League standings at the end of the weekend

Everton is coming off a sound win over Southampton last weekend. The Toffees have currently only lost once this season during their best start in recent memory.

Wigan's season is going the opposite way of Everton, as they have only found victory once this season and go into the game with a three game losing streak.

The Toffees got the best of Wigan last season, having won one and tied the other game. They will go for victory this time around once again and try to put pressure on Chelsea who currently sit at the top of the league.

Victor Anichebe, Seamus Colemen, Steven Naismith, Tony Hibbert, and Darron Gibson are all injury worries for Everton.

Liverpool - Stoke City

Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu, and Stoke City head to Anfield to take on a Liverpool team just beginning to gain momentum.

Cameron has been a regular starter for Stoke this season at a variety of positions and is likely to be in the lineup on Sunday. He has seen time at right back of late and could do so once again.

Edu still has not made his debut for the Potters, but he hopes to feature from the bench this weekend.

Stoke is coming off their first win of the season, as they beat Swansea City last week in front of their home fans. The Potters will look for the big win on Sunday to keep Liverpool from jumping them in the standings.

The Reds also got their first win of the Premier League season last week, as Luis Suarez starred for them in their defeat of Norwich City. They did have a midweek Europa League loss to Udinese, so they will need a bounce back performance on Sunday.

Andrew Wilkinson will miss due to suspension for the Potters, while Jonjo Shelvey is also serving a suspension for Liverpool.

Tottenham Hotspur - Aston Villa

Brad Friedel, Clint Dempsey, and Tottenham Hotspur host Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

The American duo for Spurs has been regular starters and should be in the lineup this weekend. Guzan is the likely starter at goal for Villa, while Lichaj has missed the starting eleven as of late but could feature.

Spurs notched a historic victory last week over Manchester United at Old Trafford. It was their first road win against United since 1989. The game-winning goal came from Dempsey who opened his scoring account with Spurs in fashion.

Tottenham took the field on Thursday and drew with Panathanaikos in Greece, so with the quick turnaround they hope to be ready.

After starting the season with some trouble, the last few weeks have been more positive for the Villains. They are coming off a draw with West Brom in league play, and beat Manchester City in League Cup play before that. A win this weekend could boost Villa into the middle of the standings.

Spurs look to be without Emmanuel Adebayor, Jake Livermore, Younes Kaboul, Kyle Naughton, Scott Parker, and Benoît Assou-Ekotto.

Stephen Ireland will miss with an injured wrist for Villa.

Birmingham City - Huddersfield Town

Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood look to help Birmingham City when they host Huddersfield Town at St. Andrew's Stadium this weekend.

Spector is expected to start, while Packwood could see the lineup as well.

The Blues are coming off a tough loss to Cardiff City on Tuesday. They are currently in 19th place in the standings, but because of a logjam in the middle of the table they could feasibly jump to 8th place with three points from the game.

Huddersfield currently holds that spot in the standings and they look to keep it with a road victory. They have had a strong season thus far, but two straight losses have exposed a slight dip in play.

Captain Stephen Carr looks to miss for the Blues with an injury.

Watford - Middlesbrough

Seb Hines and Middlesbrough travel to play Watford in Championship action.

Hines went the full ninety minutes in Boro's draw with Derby County in the midweek, after spending the last few games on the bench. It is likely that the American defender sees the field on Saturday.

Middlesbrough has only won one in their last four in league games but they sit in a strong eleventh place, within striking distance of a playoff position.

Boro's fortunes away from home have been poor this season, only notching one victory. They will look to change their luck this weekend.

Watford is tied with Boro in the standings, making the game crucial. They are coming off two straight wins and would love to notch their third in a row in front of their fans.

The Hornets will miss Fernando Forestieri due to suspension, and Alex Geijo, Prince Buaben, and John Eustace because of injuries.

Injuries will sideline Mustapha Carayol, Curtis Main, and Rhys Williams look for Boro.

Walsall - Carlisle United

Frank Simek and Carlisle United get back to the field against Walsall in League One play.

Simek is a regular starter at defense for the Cumbrians and should feature once again this weekend.

Carlisle's midweek game against Bury was postponed, so the Cumbrians hope the extra rest will come in handy against a Walsall team that leads them by five points in the standings.

The Cumbrians lost their last league game against Crawley Town, but they had gone four games unbeaten before that. They look to get back to their strong play on Saturday.

Walsall lost to Leyton Orient on Tuesday, but three points could conceivably jump them up to second in the standings.

Notes

Tim Ream hopes to feature in Bolton's game against Millwall.

Zak Whitbread and Leicester City take on Bristol City.

Conor Doyle looks to make the game day lineup in Derby County's game with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Robbie Rogers and Stevenage take on Mike Grella's Scunthorpe United in League One action.

Jon Paul Pittman and Oxford United host Robbie Findley and Gillingham.
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A big question for U.S. fans heading into the World Cup is surely on Jozy Altidore and just what is plaguing the young striker at Sunderland.
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