Last week was a tough act to follow, with Geoff Cameron, Ale Bedoya, and Fabian Johnson all playing large roles in wins for their clubs.
Now, they’ll look to follow it up. Cameron (pictured, left) and Stoke City host Hull City as the Potters look to solidify a top-10 finish. Their win last week over Aston Villa put them into 10th, and now they’ll look to close the eight-point gap behind Southampton.
Villa’s goalkeeper Brad Guzan will hope to shake off that defeat to Stoke and deal David Moyes and Manchester United another big blow at Old Trafford.
Tim Howard and Everton look to stave off a disappointment and continue to put pressure on Arsenal for the 4th position as they travel to Craven Cottage and Fulham. Howard will likely be looking to keep out Fulham’s 19-year-old striker Cauley Woodrow who has been a bright spot in their recent struggles.
Sunderland continue to struggle, now winless in their last five matches. At the forefront of that struggle is Jozy Altidore, who started and played the full 90 last week against Norwich but failed to score again in a 2-0 loss. He has not scored in the Premier League since December 4th.
In the Championship there is plenty to keep watch on. Birmingham City takes on 10th-placed Bournemouth who have lost just two of their last 10. Birmingham’s Jonathan Spector has played the full 90 in seven straight matches after missing five months with a thigh injury. Teammate Will Packwood missed a few good chances in last week’s loss to Reading.
Reading won that match 2-1 without Danny Williams, but it looks as if the knee injury he suffered against Ukraine with the USMNT has subsided, and he could return from a 5-match absence Saturday against Huddersfield Town. Duane Holmes appeared for Huddersfield for the first time since returning from his loan at Yeovil Town, used as an 85th minute substitute last weekend. He hopes for a starting spot this week on the road.
Tim Ream continues to be a warrior for 17th-placed Bolton, playing 2,884 of a possible 2,970 minutes in their last 33 matches. They host Wigan on Saturday.
Struggling Sheffield Wednesday is in action against Watford, and Oguchi Onyewu hopes he can continue to inch closer to a possible World Cup spot with what would be his seventh-straight full 90 for the club.
Outside of England, Aron Johannsson saw victory last week, but personally hopes to rebound from a missed penalty as AZ travels to Cambuur Leeuwarden with a chance to catch Heerenveen in in 6th position.
FC Utretch had an early Friday game, and staged a miraculous comeback against NAC Breda to stave off relegation one more week, as a pair of goals in the last four minutes saw the clubs draw 2-2. However, Juan Agudelo had to watch from the bench after being substituted off in the 66th minute again without a score. He has just one goal in 651 Eredivisie minutes during his loan from Stoke City.
John Anthony Brooks earned himself a pair of starts for Hertha BSC last weekend, but the club conceded six goals to Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich. It put him back on the bench for their 2-0 loss to Schalke earlier Friday.
USMNT scouts were on hand to watch Fabian Johnson provide the match-winning assist to Anthony Modeste as Hoffenheim trumped struggling Bayer Leverkusen. He played the full 90 in a 3-1 win over Hannover just three days later, but now will have to face unbeaten Bayern Munich Saturday morning. Bayern has already locked up the Bundesliga crown in record time.
Julian Green picked up an assist in a Bayern Munich youth squad match earlier today, which they won 5-2.
Rapid Vienna’s Terrence Boyd had a five-match start streak snapped midweek in their 3-0 win over FC Magna Wr. Neustadt, and will look to get back in the starting lineup Saturday against SK Sturm Graz. SV Salzburg has already run away with the Austrian Bundesliga title.
On Sunday, Sacha Kljestan gets his first crack at Standard Liege in the first leg of their playoff first round matchup.
Jermaine Jones and Besiktas need to pick themselves after a crushing 1-0 defeat to Karabukspor that seriously set them back in the Turkish Super Lig table earlier today. Jones played the full 90, picking up his second yellow card in as many matches.
Over in the French Ligue 1, Alejandro Bedoya earned a penalty (which was missed) in Nantes their first win since mid-January. He’s featured in five of their last six matches (with two starts) and the club can now gun for 9th-placed Bordeaux who sit just six points above Nantes with the two teams squaring off Saturday afternoon.