American Exports: Mix Diskerud, Rosenborg have league title in sights but need outside help
AMSTERDAM – It's another action-packed weekend slate for Americans in Europe, with Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg trying to stage a Tippeligaen title rally on the season's final day. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland vs. Manchester City (Sunday, 9 am on NBCSN)
Fresh off notching a pair of assists as a lone striker in Sunderland's midweek League Cup win, Altidore heads south on his EPL goal quest. It is unclear whether the US striker will keep the place, partner with Steven Fletcher or work from the bench. Whatever the case, he won't need to face sidelined Man. City star defender Vincent Kompany. The Citizens have dropped three straight 1-0 decisions at the Stadium of Light.
Fabian Johnson (questionable) – Hoffenheim vs. John Anthony Brooks (probable) – Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 9:30 am)
Brooks is expected back in the Hertha lineup and he will want to keep an eye on Roberto Firmino, who comes into this one with five goals in six. Meanwhile, Johnson will hope to at least dress. Both clubs are in the happy half of the table, but a few points shy of the Europa League zone. Each has also won just once in the last four rounds. The teams have met just six times in the Bundesliga, with an even 1-1-1 split in games played at Hoffenheim.
Aron Johannsson – AZ Alkmaar at Feyenoord (Saturday, 10:30 am)
The surprise Eredivisie leaders make one of Europe's trickiest trips this weekend, visiting Rotterdam's raucous De Kuip. Even so, the Cheese Farmers are 3-3-1 in their last seven there. Jóhannsson – who was pulled at halftime on Thursday night and watched his replacement score – should be eager to shine in his first game against Feyenoord. However, he's gone without a goal in his last four league tilts away from home.
BELGIAN JUPILER LEAGUE
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht at Genk (Sunday, noon)
Defending champs Anderlecht will hit the regular season's midway pole hoping for two streaks to continue and two others to end. If Kljestan scores, he will become just the fifth American to hit in four consecutive European top-flight league games. At his back, the Mauves will show up looking for their fifth straight league win at Genk. Meanwhile, the Buffaloes are set to enter with six straight Jupiler wins and a 17-match unbeaten run across all competition.
Steve Clark – Hønefoss at Odds BK (Sunday, noon)
Clark's recent form surge in goal has given Hønefoss a shot at another great escape to match last year's. If they win, and both Sarpsborg 08 and Tromsø do no better than draws, the Michigan native and his teammates will have earned the lifeline of a promotion/relegation playoff. However, he has yet to beat the artists formerly known as Odd Grenland in three tries, with a pair of big defeats in their house.
Mikkel Diskerud – Rosenborg at Lillestrøm (Sunday, noon)
Reward offers or not, Mix & Co. need to handle their own business to have any chance at a title smash-and-grab on closing day. Second place Rosenborg stand just a point behind Strømsgodset, but a draw does no good because of their vastly inferior goal differential. Diskerud has a goal in four games against Lillestrøm while at Stabaek, but has yet to face them in a an RBK shirt. The visitors have three wins and a draw in their last four at Åråsen Stadion.
BEST OF THE REST
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City at Swansea City, Sun. 11 am
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa vs. Cardiff City, Sat. 10 am
Tim Howard – Everton at Crystal Palace, Sat. 10 am on Premier League Extra Time
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg at Borussia Mönchengladbach, Sat. 12:30 pm
Jermaine Jones – Schalke vs. Werder Bremen, Sun. 9:30 am
Michael Bradley – AS Roma vs. Sassuolo, Sun. 9 am on beIN Sport/RAI
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes at Bordeaux, Sun. 8 am on beIN Sport Play
Conor O'Brien – Odense BK vs. FC Vestsjælland, Sun. 8 am
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna at SV Grödig, Sun. 10:30 am