JOHN KRETLOW - Thursday, October 18, 2012
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham Hotspur take on Chelsea in a London derby, while Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu, and Stoke City travel to Old Trafford to play Manchester United.
Tottenham Hotspur - Chelsea
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham Hotspur host fellow London team Chelsea in a crucial Premier League matchup.
Dempsey has featured regularly since arriving earlier this season. The American is coming off international duty and it is unclear if coach Andre Villas-Boas will give Dempsey a rest.
Spurs last game ended Brad Friedel's consecutive start streak in the Premier League, as newly signed Hugo Lloris started at keeper. The French goalie is likely to start in place of Friedel once again.
Tottenham is on a four game win streak and now creeping close to the Champions League spots. They hope their momentum helps on Saturday because Spurs have not beaten Chelsea since April of 2010.
The Blues bring their own momentum to the game, as they have not lost a league game this season and are top of the standings. They have a four point lead over Manchester United and Manchester City and they look to keep it or extend it this weekend.
Kyle Naughton, Jake Livermore, and Benoit Assou-Ekotto are injured but could return to action for Spurs. Younes Kaboul and Scott Parker are definite scratches for Tottenham.
Daniel Sturridge could return from injury this Saturday, while Frank Lampard and Ryan Bertrand will miss for Chelsea. John Terry will also miss due to suspension.
Fulham - Aston Villa
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, and Aston Villa head to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham.
Guzan has taken Shay Given's spot in the lineup and is likely to see the field this weekend, while Lichaj should be in the game day roster but on the bench.
Villa has had an inconsistent season thus far, but their young team hopes to continue their growth with a road victory. They are currently on a three game winless skid and are hovering just above the relegation zone, so a win would be vital for the Villains.
The Cottagers are in the middle of the standings and are winless in two games. They look to get back to their beginning of the season form and continue their ascent in the standings.
Villa looks to be without Richard Dunne and Gary Gardner, while Stephen Ireland is questionable to feature.
Manchester United - Stoke City
Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu will have an uphill climb to earn points when they visit Manchester United this weekend at Old Trafford.
The Potters' American duo is coming off international duty but they will aim to get right back in action for Stoke this Saturday.
Stoke has had an inconsistent season thus far, registering many draws and just one victory. A win this weekend would be huge and their first against United since 1984.
United is coming off a decisive win over Newcastle United and they trail first place Chelsea by four points. They will need a win to keep the pressure on their rivals.
Jamie Ness, Glenn Whelan, and Michael Owen are likely scratches for Stoke.
Queens Park Rangers - Everton
Tim Howard and Everton travel to take on Queens Park Rangers.
Howard started both of the US' World Cup Qualifiers this last week and should lineup at ‘keeper on Sunday.
Everton has had a strong start to the season and they currently are on a four game unbeaten streak. They are in fourth place and could jump to second place with a win.
QPR's season has been very difficult, as they find themselves in dead last place with just two points. They look to get their first win of the season and start climbing their way out of the Premier League cellar.
The Toffees look to be without Marouane Fellaini, Tony Hibbert, and Darron Gibson.
Birmingham City - Leicester City
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood, and Birmingham City host Leicester City in a pivotal Championship matchup.
Both Americans are likely to see the field as the Blues are suffering from a variety of injuries at defense.
Birmingham has lost three out of their last four games and just three points above the relegation zone. They lost at home in their last game against Huddersfield Town, so they will be looking for a bounce back performance to please their fans.
Leicester City is flying high this season. They go into the game having won five straight games and are currently just one point from first place.
Ben Gordon, David Murphy, Stephen Carr, Paul Caddis, Curtis Davies, and Pablo Ibanez are injured and look to miss for a depleted Blues squad.
Colchester United - Carlisle United
Frank Simek and Carlisle United take on Colchester United in League One play.
Simek started and went the distance in the Cumbrians' draw with Bury. He is likely to see the field on Saturday.
Carlisle is currently just in the middle of the standings. They come into the game though having just won one game in their last five in all competitions.
Colchester is just two points above the relegation zone, but they did win their last game against Stevenage. They hope to keep that momentum going and garner the home win this weekend.
Rory Loy, Lee Miller, Jon-Paul McGovern, Alex Salmon, and Brandon Gwinnutt are injury worries for the Cumbrians.
Swindon Town - Scunthorpe United
Mike Grella and Scunthorpe United look to climb their way out of the relegation zone as they take on Swindon Town.
Grella has been a regular starter of late and should see the lineup on Saturday.
Scunthorpe is currently on a four game winless skid. They drew with Brentford last week but three points will be the goal this weekend.
Swindon Town is sitting in the last promotion playoff spot. They have lost just one game in their last eight in all competitions and they hope to keep that moementum going on Saturday.
Damien Mozika, Paul Reid, and Michael Collins are all injured and likely to miss out for Scunthorpe.
Tim Ream hopes to feature in Bolton's game against Bristol City, while Stuart Holden is still a way off from returning to the field.
Conor Doyle had to have his appendix removed and will be out for a few weeks. .
Seb Hines and Middlesbrough take on Brighton & Hove Albion.
Robbie Findley could feature in Gillingham's game against Burton Albion.