EPL Daily 9.10: Leeds continues to roll; Hargreaves/Lampard out; and the Toffees sweat over Howard

Everton is waiting patiently for their key netminder to return from Chicago with only the knowledge that Tim Howard has somehow injured his finger making him questionable for the Everton – Manchester United derby coming up.

Stevie Gerrard has been given the green light to play in England’s upcoming Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia. Great news and all but it comes coupled with the ruling out of Frankie Lampard and Owen Hargreaves. Not good – but then again they handled Israel rather well (3-0) with a somewhat watered down squad. Just give Shaun Wright-Phillips 40 chances and he’ll most likely make one of them.

The much maligned Leeds United is back to a clean slate. Five consecutive wins to start the season has wiped out their 15 point deficit with a 2-0 win over Hartlepool. They now sit only 3 points from safety and considering their form it would be one hell of a story if they could pull off a play-off spot. Leed’s worst summer ever started back in late 1990s – read this.

EPL Daily: Wenger extends, Leeds punished again, Gio staying put

Many assumed Thierry Henry’s departure could mean a mass exodus of the French influence from the Gunners. Arsene Wenger has decided to dispel that rumor and sign on for three more years after some speculation that he would leave when vice-chairman David Dein left in the Spring  – truth is, where else could you see him?

The once free-spending, upstart Leeds United has fallen upon rocky times. Most of which we have all heard about. Today, however, brought new sanctions from the FA. Instead of a full membership – He-Man Woman-Hater Club? – Leeds have been slapped with a partial membership. They will still get to compete in all domestic competitions, but will not be able to vote at FA meetings or receive any tickets for the FA Cup final…um, okay. All of this is due to some taxes that still weren’t taken care of. The worst of it, however, came before the season after the Yorkshire club was slapped with a 15-point penalty. The former home of Alan Smith, Harry Kewell, Paul Robinson, Robbie Keane, the list goes on and on…luckily, they’ve won their first four games.

Remember the news about Gio dos Santos yesterday? The Mexican phenom’s father, Zizinho, has dispelled any rumors that link him to an EPL move. Both Chelsea and Man United or reported to be interested since Gio has broken into the Barca senior team.

Other than that, a rather tame day in the U.K.

Eddie Lewis – yea remember him? – to join Feilhaber at Derby?

Coupled with the news that the Benny Feilhaber transfer is – in fact- complete was the unveiling of a possible swoop for versatile left back/midfielder and Leeds United’s Eddie Lewis. The 33-year old has endured a crazy past 12 months with the demotion of Leeds to League Two as well as the docking of 15 points to start the season. He has appeared almost 200 times for Preston North End (McBride’s old digs) and Leeds United and could add some much needed veteran presence within the Derby squad. Unfortunately, that presence is more or less based on a very scant amount of Premiership exposure. It had originally been rumoured that it was Stoke City ready to make the swoop – but with Davies eager to grab more personnel, you can expect that Derby will better what offer Stoke had in mind.

Capped 72 times for the national team, Lewis is most well known for the cross delivered to Landon Donovan to seal the 2-0 victory over Mexico in the 2002 World Cup and also his ears that seem to rival Will Smith’s. Is Derby boss Billy Davies (who recently re-upped his contract til 2011) trying to rival the American contingent at Craven Cottage? As far as Feilhaber goes, expect him to start against Tottenham this weekend as he has received clearance and is itching to grab a result from the underachiever Hotspur. What do you think about Feilhaber at Derby?