JOHN KRETLOW - Friday, January 11, 2013
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City look for an upset victory over Chelsea, while Clint Dempsey's Tottenham hope to solidify their third place standing with a win over Queens Park Rangers.
Stoke City - Chelsea
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City host Chelsea at the Britannis Stadium this weekend.
Cameron is likely to start in Stoke's back line, while Maurice Edu hopes to make the game day roster.
The Potters are currently on a cold streak, as they have only won one game in their last seven in all competitions. A win against a top four team though could set Stoke back to winning ways and help them solidify a spot in the Premier League's top half.
Chelsea is coming off an embarrassing League Cup loss to Swansea City and a league loss to lowly Queens Park Rangers.
Prior to the QPR loss, the Blues had won four straight in league play and look to possibly jump Tottenham that sit in front of them by just one point.
Stoke's Marc Wilson and Rory Delap will miss, while John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses are on African Cup of Nations duty for Chelsea.
Queens Park Rangers - Tottenham Hotspur
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham look to extend their five game unbeaten run in league play when they take on Queens Park Rangers in a London derby.
Brad Friedel is expected to dress but not feature for Spurs.
Dempsey is coming off a two goal performance in last week's win over Coventry City in the FA Cup. The Texan and his Spurs look to solidify their third-place standing and hopefully make a run at the Manchester clubs.
Rangers beat Chelsea in their last league game and could get their first back-to-back victories this season if they perform well on Saturday. QPR is in last place and five points from safety.
William Gallas and Younes Kaboul are injury worries for Spurs, while Esteban Granero, Armand Traore, Junior Hoilet, Jose Bosingwa, Bobby Zamora, and Andrew Johndon will miss for Rangers.
Everton - Swansea City
Tim Howard and Everton aim to finish the weekend in the Premier League's top four with a win over Swansea City.
The Toffees have won three out of their last four league games and are in fifth place in the standings. They trail Chelsea for fourth place by just two points and Spurs for third place by just three points.
The Swans are having a strong campaign and find themselves in ninth place in the standings. They are on a six-game unbeaten run and look to extend it with a big win over Everton.
John Heitings, Darron Gibson, and Kevin Mirallas are all injury worries for the Toffees.
Aston Villa - Southampton
Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj look to lead Aston Villa to a win over Southampton in league play.
Both Americans are expected to feature for the Villans.
Villa is currently on a difficult run, as they just lost to Bradford City in the League Cup, and have gone four games winless in league play, including having given up 17 goals in that span.
Southampton trails Villa by just a point in the standings and is also on a cold streak. They have gone winless in their last five games and will start needing points in order to avoid a long relegation battle.
Villa look to be without Gary Gardner, Richard Dunne, Stilyan Petrov, Darren Bent, Marc Albrighton, Ron Vlaar, and Ashley Westwood, while Southampton will miss Jose Fonte, Gaston Ramirez, Nathaniel Clyne, and Adam Lallana.
Carlisle United - Coventry City
Frank Simek and Carlisle United host Coventry City in League One action.
The Cumbrians are a comfortable seven points above the relegation zone, but they would like to make a run into the top half of the standings. They have lost their last two games and have given up five goals and scored zero in that span.
Coventry City is coming off a loss to Tottenham in the FA Cup last weekend, but they are in the middle of the standings and are just five points from a playoff spot.
Seb Hines and Middlesbrough take on Watford.
Conor Doyle hopes to dress in Derby County's game against Brighton & Hove Albion.
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City take on Bristol City.
Jonathan Spector is questionable to feature because of an ankle problem in Brimingham City's game against Huddersfield Town, while Will Packwood looks to miss long term as he broke his leg last week.
Robbie Rogers and Stevenage take on Doncaster Rovers.
Mike Grella hopes to see the field in Scunthorpe United's game against Colchester United.
Jon Paul Pittman and Oxford United take on Bradford City.