American Exports: Jermaine Jones, Timmy Chandler set to face off as winless Nurnberg host Schalke 04
AMSTERDAM – Though the European schedule is shrinking ahead of the holidays, there are still plenty of tasty offerings involving Americans on the weekend menu, including Jermaine Jones and shorthanded Schalke hitting the road to tackle Timothy Chandler's winless FC Nürnberg.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City vs. Brad Guzan – Aston Villa (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
The signs for this clash of US internationals look good for Brad Guzan, who has lost just twice in eight road games this season and has conceded just once in three undefeated meetings with Stoke. Cameron, who has been among the Potters' standouts thus far this season, will start. With Matthew Etherington still doubtful, Shea is in line to dress. The Villans are quite banged-up all over the field, while the home side should have everyone but defender Robert Huth.
Tim Howard – Everton at Swansea City (Sunday, 11 am on NBCSN)
The Toffees backstop, who co-leads the EPL in shutouts, will gamble a nine-game unbeaten run in Wales. Howard has yet to allow a goal to Swansea in four clashes, posting three wins and a draw. What's more, Everton have never lost to Swansea, winning 12 of their 17 all-time meetings. It's not all good news for the visitors, though; left back Leighton Baines and loan ace Gerard Deulofeu look set to miss this one.
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg vs. Jermaine Jones – Schalke (Saturday, 12:30 pm on GolTV)
Both Americans are expected to start when winless Nürnberg welcomes the warming Miners. Strange but true: Due to the timing of various absences, it may be the first Bundesliga contest this season with a US international in each lineup. The hosts have not won in their building since closing day last season. Schalke arrive with but one defeat in their last six away, but also without a lengthy absence list that includes Dennis Aogo, Julian Draxler, Benedickt Höwedes and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Michael Bradley – AS Roma vs. Catania (Sunday, 9 am on beIN Sport Play)
Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman are each suspended, so "The General" should make consecutive starts for the first time this season. Bradley has a goal and a winning record (2-1-1) in four prior games in the series, but has yet to defeat Catania in Roma colors. The Giallorossi remain the last unbeaten in Serie A, while their last-place visitors have only one win since September.
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes at Saint-Étienne (Saturday, 11 am on TV5/Univision Deportes/beIN Sport Play
With two goals in the last three matches, Bedoya seems a good bet to keep his place behind the striker. The fifth-place Canaries, who stand two points and two rungs ahead of injury-hit Saint-Étienne, have four wins against just one loss in their last six road games. However, Nantes has dropped three straight at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, where they had traditionally fared well until the streak started in 2006.
BEST OF THE REST
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland vs. Norwich City, Sat. 10 am on Premier League Extra Time
John Anthony Brooks (doubtful - illness) – Hertha Berlin at Borussia Dortmund, Sat. 9:30 am on GolTV
Fabian Johnson – Hoffenheim at Braunschweig, Sat. 9:30 am
Steve Cherundolo – Hannover 96 at Freiburg, Sat. 9:30 am
Aron Jóhannsson – AZ Alkmaar vs. Heerenveen, Sat, 12:45 pm