American Exports: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan set to do battle in Premier League
AMSTERDAM – It will be a weekend full of key clashes and derbies for Americans playing overseas, with Jermaine Jones and Schalke set to "welcome" arch nemesis Borussia Dortmund to Veltins Arena.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa vs. Tim Howard – Everton (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
The top two USMNT netminders will have different aims in their second English showdown, with Howard & Co. four points off the top and his understudy's Aston Villa just as far clear of the danger zone. However, the Toffees' mainstay is 1-1-7 in his last nine against the Villans. The home side will gratefully welcome back top gun Christian Benteke, who scored twice against Everton in the last meeting.
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland vs. Newcastle (Sunday, 8:30 am on NBCSN, Mun2)
New Black Cats boss Gustavo Poyet may revert back to a 4-5-1 set, which would mean Altidore is battling Steven Fletcher for pitch time in the big derby. Whoever starts up top could see the second-choice Magpies center backs, what with Fabricio Coloccini and Steven Taylor facing late fitness tests. Winless on the season, Sunderland have won but one of the last 15 home meetings with their archrivals.
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City at Manchester United (Saturday, 10 am on NBCSN)
Cameron should start at right back against the scuffling holders, while countryman Shea is still knocking on the wing rotation door. Cameron has never beaten a Manchester side, losing both times against United. Winless in five and with just a goal during that span, Stoke will hope to snap a nine-game losing skid at Old Trafford.
Jermaine Jones – Schalke vs. Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 9:30 am on GolTV)
It should come as little surprise that bad cop Jones is expected back in the lineup for this always raucous encounter. The midfielder holds a career 2-2-2 record in Ruhr derbies, but appeared in just one win from the Miners' sweep last season. Dortmund, currently a point shy of the summit in second, have managed that exact same mark in their last six at Veltins Arena.
BELGIAN JUPILER LEAGUE
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht vs. Standard Liège (Sunday, noon)
The former Chivas USA man has yet to be on the wrong side of this derby match in three regular-season fixtures and has never lost to Standard at home. However, the champs will enter on a three-match home losing streak across all competitions, something they haven't endured since 1997. Anderlecht currently stand seven points behind the visiting league leaders, who have suddenly dropped points in two straight rounds after a 9-0-0 start to the season.
Ethan Horvath, Ben Spencer – Molde FK vs. Mikkel Diskerud – Rosenborg (Saturday, noon)
Mix and the rest of the Troll Kids will again try to turn the screw on Sunday combatants Strømsgodset, who lead the title race on goal differential with three games left. They will need to do so against the outgoing champs, who may feature both backup goalkeeper Horvath and strike prospect Spencer on the bench for this one. Rosenborg have won five times on their current six-game unbeaten run, but have lost the last two at Molde despite traditionally dominating there.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Michael Bradley – AS Roma at Udinese (Sunday 9 am on beIN Sport)
With Kevin Strootman battling an ankle knock, the USMNT's bald eagle could well land back in the lineup. He spent most of Friday's training session working with the first choice midfield. Roma, who stand clear at the top and perfect through eight games, will set a new Serie A record if they can make it nine in a row to start the season. They have, however, won just one of their last four against Udinese and one of their last six at the Friuli.
BEST OF THE REST
Oguchi Onyewu – Queens Park Rangers at Burnley, Sat. 10 am on beIN Sport Play
John Anthony Brooks (probable) Hertha Berlin at Bayern Munich, Sat. 9:30 am
Steve Cherundolo – Hannover 96 vs. Fabian Johnson (probable) – Hoffenheim, Sat. 9:30 am
Michael Bradley – AS Roma at Udinese, Sun. 9 am on beIN Sport
Aron Jóhannsson – AZ Alkmaar at Zwolle, Sun. 8:30 am
Conor O'Brien – Odense BK vs. Brøndby, Sun. 12:15 pm
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna at Austria Vienna, Sun. 12:30 pm
Steve Clark – Hønefoss at Brann, Sun. noon