American Exports: Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler look to slow Manchester United, Bayern Munich
AMSTERDAM – Another weekend brings another European slate of key contests involving, with Timothy Chandler's FC Nürnberg set to wager their nine-game unbeaten streak at runaway train Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City vs. Manchester United (Sunday, 9 am on Fox Soccer)
With just one win and a pair of draws in 12 games this year, the Potters have seen their buffer above the drop zone reduced to three points. That scene may not improve quickly with the leaders in town and coming off a loss. Cameron should keep his place in defense, while Shea looks likely to provide bench support. Stoke have traditionally given United all they can handle at the Britannia, compiling an 11-12-10 record at home against the Red Devils.
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg at Bayern Munich (Saturday, 9:30 am on GolTV)
The American has been working on right wing, but could conceivably slide back into defense for this one. Chandler & Co. have warmed up to the point where they're nearly knocking on the Europa League door. However, their weekend hosts have won 11 straight league matches and haven't loss one since before Halloween. Nürnberg haven't won for 21 years at Bayern, where they've dropped five straight by a combined 14-1 count.
Jermaine Jones – Schalke vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 12:30 pm on GolTV)
The US midfield marshal is expected to return to the lineup for this big western showdown. Bayer stand four points above the Miners in Germany's last Champions League group-phase slot. Schalke enter with consecutive shutout victories, as well as three straight home wins. Not all the signs are so bright, however. Schalke will be missing Ibrahim Afellay, Jefferson Farfán and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in attack. What's more, last season's 2-0 win at Veltins Arena was their first in six there against Leverkusen.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Michael Bradley – AS Roma at Torino (Sunday, 9 am)
The hard-nosed midfielder should start over Daniele De Rossi in the visitors' 4-3-1-2 set. The Giallorossi have cooled off over the last month, failing to take advantage of some struggles above them in the race for Europe. A trip to Torino usually sets them straight; Roma are unbeaten in nine league games there and have four clean sheets from the last five visits.
BELGIAN JUPILER LEAGUE
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht vs. Club Brugge (Sunday, noon)
The former Chivas USA ace has yet to taste defeat in nine derbies with Anderlecht, who have not won a league contest in Brussels since 1998. The visitors have managed four draws in the last six at Constant Vanden Stock, though, and don't need to drop any more points. The defending champs are winless in three and their tabletop advantage has melted down to a single point. The Brugge crew has been handed a big boost with the news that defender Ryan Donk will be fit to play.
BEST OF THE REST
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj – Aston Villa vs. Fulham, Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Tim Howard – Everton vs. Queens Park Rangers, Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams (probable) – Hoffenheim at Wolfsburg, Sat. 9:30 am
Michael Parkhurst – Augsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Sun. 11:30 am on GolTV
Jozy Altidore – AZ Alkmaar vs. FC Utrecht, Sat. 8:30 am
Maurice Edu – Bursaspor at Mersin, Sat. 9 am
Charlie Davies – Randers FC at Esbjerg, Sun. 8 am
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna vs. Wiener Neustadt, Sat. 12:30 pm
Josh Gatt – Molde FK vs. Sogndal, Sat. 9:30 am