PREVIEW: WEEKEND ENGLISH ACTION
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JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, January 4, 2013
Clint Dempsey and Brad Freidel look to lead Tottenham to victory against Coventry City in FA Cup play, while Maurice Edu could see playing time in Stoke City's cup game against Crystal Palace.

Tottenham Hotspur - Coventry City

Clint Dempsey, Brad Freidel, and Tottenham host Coventry City in FA Cup action this weekend at White Hart Lane.

The Texan is coming off scoring a goal in Tottenham's win over Reading, where he played the final 15 minutes. Dempsey is returning to fitness after a groin injury and could get the start on Saturday.

Freidel has been Hugo Lloris' back up in league play, but the American ‘keeper looks to start this weekend.

Spurs go into the game on a hot streak, as they have gone unbeaten in five games, winning four of them. They look to keep their strong run going in Cup play.

Coventry City beat Arlesey Town and Morecambe in the early rounds of the competition and look to keep the dream going with an upset win at Spurs. They lost to Shrewsbury Town on Tuesday, but had gone ten games unbeaten prior.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale missed their last game because of suspension, but can play in the cup game and is available for their next league match. Younes Kaboul is a long term injury concern.

Crystal Palace - Stoke City

Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu look to help Stoke City garner victory in FA Cup play against Crystal Palace.

Geoff Cameron is a regular starter in Stoke's backline, while Maurice Edu has seldomly seen playing time but could be given a chance to prove himself on Saturday.

The Potters are coming off their first loss in eleven games, as they were defeated by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. They look for a bounce back performance on Saturday.

Palace is having a strong Championship season, as they find themselves in third place. December though was a tough month for them, as they only notched one victory.

They did grab the win against Wolverhampton on Tuesday and look to keep some momentum going this weekend.

Rory Delap and Marc Wilson are long term injury concerns and will miss for the Potters.

Aston Villa - Ipswich Town

Eric Lichaj could see playing time in Aston Villa's FA Cup game against Ipswich Town.

Brad Guzan is Villa's regular starter at goal but Shay Given could be given the start on Saturday.

It has been a rough holiday stretch for the Villans, as they gave up 17 goals and scored just two. They finally managed a draw on Tuesday against Swansea City, and they hope to get back on the winning track starting with Saturday's match.

Town is in the bottom half of the Championship thus far this season and lost to Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday. A win could jump start their league campaign so Ipswich looks to go for the victory this weekend.

Aston Villa's injury list is long as Gabriel Agbonlahor, Darren Bent, Charles N'Zogbia, Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker, and Richard Dunne are still sidelined.

Bolton Wanderers - Sunderland

Tim Ream could feature in the defense in Bolton's FA Cup game against Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

Ream's playing time has been inconsistent this season, but ex New York Red Bull could very well see the field against their Premier League opponents.

Bolton is coming off a loss to Leeds United in league play on Tuesday and find themselves in the bottom half of the standings. They will hope that a victory over the top-tier favorites will jump start their league play.

Sunderland lost two out of three in their holiday Premier League schedule, but their lone win was an impressive against reigning champs Manchester City.

Stuart Holden will miss once again for Bolton, but he is nearing first team action and could return by the end of the month.

Leeds United - Birmingham City

Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood could see the field in Birmingham City's FA Cup matchup with Leeds United.

The Blues are coming off two straight losses and are just four points above the Championship drop zone. They did beat Leeds this season in league play and will do their best to repeat that performance this weekend.

Leeds is just two points from a playoff spot in league play and they are coming off a victory over Bolton this weekend. Although changes in the lineup are expected, they will expect to keep their strong play going on Saturday.

Swindon Town - Carlisle United

Frank Simek is expected to feature in Carlisle United's League One game against Swindon Town.

The Cumbrians are coming off a loss to Crewe Alexandra , but they did win their previous two games. They will try to get back to winning ways and fight their way back into the top half of the standings in the process.

Swindon Town is on a three game winning streak where they have recorded 12 goals and given up zero. They will come into Saturday's game with full expectations of keeping that momentum rolling.

Notes

Tim Howard will likely get a rest in Everton's cup game against Cheltenham Town.

Seb Hines has missed the last few games with some knocks and is questionable to feature in Middlesbrough's game against Hastings United.

Zak Whitbread will miss Leicester City's game against Burton Albion because of injury.

Conor Doyle and Derby County take on Tranmere Rovers in cup action.

Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest take on Oldham Athletic.

Robbie Rogers could see time in Stevenage's game against Crewe Alexandra.

Mike Grella could feature in Scunthorpe United's game against Shrewsbury Town.
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