American Exports preview: Ream in fight for EPL survival
AMSTERDAM – There's plenty left to be decided for Americans set to clock in across Europe this weekend, including a great escape attempt for Tim Ream's Bolton on EPL closing day. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Stoke City vs. Bolton (Sunday, 10 am on Fox Soccer Plus)
American: Tim Ream (Bolton) - The US defender will make his 12th consecutive start with his club needing a victory to have a shot at avoiding relegation. Ream could also end up as the highest-rated Wanderer for the season as measured by Sky Sports, but that clearly won't be his concern.
Bolton sit two points back of the safety place held by QPR, who must visit title-seekers Manchester City. Wanderers have won two of their last four on the road, and two of the last four at Stoke.
Tottenham vs. Fulham (Sunday, 10 am on Fox Soccer)
Americans: Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Brad Friedel (Spurs) - The burly netminder can backstop Tottenham into the Champions League with a win, and they're also a single point off a direct pass to the group stage. He will not need to deal with Fulham star man Dempsey, who sits this one out with a groin knock.
The Cottagers, who can finish the season as high as seventh with a victory, haven't lost a derby match in league play since Tottenham raided them for the points in November. Fulham are, however, winless in eight at White Hart Lane, having been shut out on six of those occasions.
SønderjyskE vs. FC Copenhagen (Sunday, 10 am)
American: Conor O'Brien (SønderjyskE) - The midfielder's crew can do his fellow countryman Michael Parkhurst and title stalkers FC Nordsjælland a huge solid by taking points away from the league-leading holders.
It wouldn't be stranger than fiction; SønderjyskE have two wins and a draw from the last six FC Copenhagen visits, including a recent Danish Cup triumph.
Stabaek vs. Molde FK (Saturday, 10 am)
Americans: Ricardo Clark, Sean Cunningham (Stabaek), Josh Gatt (Molde) - Surely inspired by this week's UEFA Fair Play reward of a Europa League berth, the hosts will aim to break their duck against the champs. Clark is coming off one of his best matches of the season at defensive midfielder, while Cunningham will try to rally from one of his worst at defender.
They should both get a good look at Gatt, who rejoined the Molde lineup in their midweek cup win. Molde will need to be careful in this one; they've lost their first three away games of the term and have won just once in the last seven trips to Stabæk.
ISRAELI LIGAT HA'AL
Maccabi Netanya vs. Bnei Sachnin (Saturday, 10 am)
American: Leo Krupnik (MN) - The former New York Red Bulls defender and his teammates could grab one of two Europa League invites in play on closing day with a win and a little help from elsewhere.
The Diamonds have won four straight at home vs. Bnei Sachnin, who arrive on a three-game losing skid.
DUTCH PROMOTION/RELEGATION PLAYOFFS
FC Eindhoven vs. Helmond Sport (Sunday, 8:30 am on EredivisieLive.nl)
American: Charles Kazlauskas (HS) - Coming off a lone goal winner in the home leg, it's a good bet we'll see Helmond's right-side handyman somewhere in the lineup when these derby foes clash for a place in one of two Eredivisie promotion finals.
Kazlauskas, who now has six goals and a team-best six assists on the season, has helped HS compile a 1-1-1 record on their last three visits to FC Eindhoven.
BEST OF THE REST
Everton (Tim Howard) vs. Newcastle - Sun., 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Norwich City vs. Aston Villa (Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj) - Sun., 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Chievo (Michael Bradley) vs. Lecce - Sun., 2:45 pm
Anderlecht (Sacha Kljestan) vs. Standard Liège - Sun., 8:30 am
Gent (Mikkel Diskerud) vs. Genk - Sun., 8:30 am
St. Johnstone vs. Rangers (Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu) - Sun., 7:30 am
AGF Aarhus vs. Brøndby (Clarence Goodson) - Sun., noon
Hønefoss (Steve Clark) vs. Odd Grenland - Sun., noon