American Exports preview: Howard set for derby day
AMSTERDAM — It's another busy weekend European slate that tilts heavily toward Sunday dates for the involved American Exports. That leaves the first Merseyside derby of the season to hog the Saturday spotlight. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Everton vs. Liverpool (Saturday, 7:45 am on ESPN2/ESPN3.com)
American: Tim Howard (EVE)
The US No. 1 will take his usual place on the Toffees line when one of the more peculiar European super-rivalries reignites at Goodison. Howard has evenly split six home derbies with the Reds, with last term's victory making it three shutout wins.
Overall, Everton have won just once in the last nine league meetings. The hosts will want to keep a close eye on Dirk Kuyt, who has three goals and an assist in the last four clashes between the two.
Tottenham vs. Arsenal (Sunday, 11 am on Fox Soccer Channel)
American: Brad Friedel (Spurs)
We go from Liverpool's city showdown to the north London variety, and it will be the first for Friedel. The fine-wine goaltender has had some of his worst EPL days facing his Sunday guests.
While Friedel is winless in his last 12 against the Gunners, Spurs have dropped just one of their last seven league meetings. As has become customary, Arsenal have all sorts of injury woes, with captain Thomas Vermaelen and Jack Wilshere among the missing.
Hannover 96 vs. Werder Bremen (Sunday, 9:30 am)
American: Steve Cherundolo (H96)
Flush from another Europa League success that saw Cherundolo back in the lineup at right back after a two-game exile, the seventh-place Reds must now liven up their league form.
Hannover have lost just once in their last 11 at the friendly confines. However, things get a bit wild when Bremen comes to town. The last 13 Werder raids have resulted in 61 goals — and just two home wins.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Cesena vs Chievo (Sunday, 9 am)
American: Michael Bradley (CV)
It would be too early to crow about, but Bradley & Co. will be making a run at the summit at Cesena. The US midfielder is expected to retain his place, while Chievo captain Sergio Pelissier could miss out with an illness.
While Adrian Mutu and the Seahorses have opened the season with four straight losses, they have not lost to Chievo in any of their five prior visits.
BELGIAN JUPILER LEAGUE
Racing Genk vs. Anderlecht (Sunday 2:30 pm)
American: Sacha Kljestan (AND)
Standing a point behind leaders Club Brugge, midfield ace Kljestan and red-hot Anderlecht will hit the road to tackle the stuttering holders.
While the Mauves have won six in a row across all competitions and nine of an unbeaten 12, Genk stand fifth having drawn half their half games so far. Sunday's hosts took the points in this fixture last season, snapping an eight-game home-win drought against Anderlecht.
Tromsø vs. Molde FK (Sunday, 2 pm)
American: Josh Gatt (MFK)
It's quite simple for likely right-side starter Gatt and friends: win at Tromsø and stand 10 points clear of second place with five games left. Barring some incredible collapse, three points on Sunday would effectively act like a clincher for Molde's first title in club history.
Of course, there's a catch: Tromsø are the only unbeaten home team remaining in Norway, with 10 wins from 12 and a 29-9 goal differential. Molde won the game there last season, but prior to that had lost on five straight visits.
BEST OF THE REST:
Fulham (Clint Dempsey) vs. QPR - Sun. 10 am on FoxSoccer.tv
Nottingham Forest (Robbie Findley) vs. Birmingham City (Jonathan Spector) - Sun. 10 am
FC Nürnberg (Timothy Chandler) vs. Mainz 05 - Sat. 9:30 am
Hamburg vs. Schalke (Jermaine Jones) - Sun. 11:30 am on GolTV
Hoffenheim (Daniel Williams) vs. Bayern Munich - Sat. 9:30 am
VVV Venlo vs. AZ Alkmaar (Jozy Altidore) - Sun. 6:30 am on Eredivisie.tv
Vitória Guimarães vs. Sporting CP (Oguchi Onyewu) - Sun. 1 pm
Rangers (Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu) vs. Hibernian - Sat. 10 am
Brøndby (Clarence Goodson) vs. Lyngby - Sun. 10 am
FC Nordsjaelland (Michael Parkhurst) vs. SønderjyskE (Conor O'Brien) - Sun. 10 am
Stabæk (Mikkel Diskerud) vs. Sarpsborg 08 - Sun. noon