American Exports preview: Bradley, Chievo visit Milan
AMSTERDAM — The weekend slate is chock full of derby clashes and regional rivalries for the Yanks in the Old World, including Michael Bradley's Chievo making the short trip west to stage a raid on defending champs, AC Milan.
All times listed in ET.
ITALIAN SERIE A
AC Milan v Chievo (Sunday, 2:30 pm, Fox Soccer/ESPN3.com)
American: Michael Bradley (CV) -- Including a midweek Coppa Italia walk that did not feature Bradley, Chievo take a three-game winning run to San Siro. The Flying Donkeys, however, have never beaten the Rossoneri at the venerable stadium, the site of defeats on their last 11 visits, including matches against Inter. Milan, who enter the match unbeaten in six league games, will be without defenders Philippe Mexes and Thiago Silva.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Arsenal v Fulham (Saturday, 12:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
American: Clint Dempsey (FUL) -- Coming off a quiet showing in his last match, Dempsey will be up for a bigger effort this time. It's needed, as the US star has scored just one goal in his last 10 London derbies, and Arsenal remain one of the few EPL clubs never to suffer a Dempsey goal. On similar notes, the Cottagers arrive for the contest winless in their last 34 London derbies at away grounds — they have never won at Arsenal. Complicating matters further, the surging Gunners have won five straight EPL matches.
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke (Saturday, 9:30 am, GolTV)
American: Jermaine Jones (SCH) -- This will be the 128th Revierderby, but only the fourth for midfield starter Jones. He's yet to beat Dortmund as a Miner, thus far compiling three yellow cards and one early shower in three Ruhr showcase games. But for Schalke, this has been a fun trip in recent years, with six wins, five draws, and one loss in their last 12 at the Westfalenstadion. Each side is missing a pair of key cogs: Jefferson Farfán and Benedickt Höwedes are ruled out for the visitors, while Dortmund must make do without Sven Bender and Neven Subotić.
FC Nürnberg v Kaiserslautern (Saturday, 9:30 am)
American: Timothy Chandler (NUR) -- For fear of sounding like a broken record, Chandler & Co. badly need a win this week. They have five losses in their current seven-game winless slide and have not won at home since August. Perhaps unfortunately, Kaiserslautern are among FCN's least favorite guests historically. Nürnberg have beaten the Red Devils at home just four of the last 13 times.
PORTUGUESE PRIMEIRA LIGA
Benfica v Sporting CP (Saturday, 3:15 pm, ESPN3.com)
American: Oguchi Onyewu (SCP) -- The US defender should take his usual place in the heart of the Lions defense for his first Derby de Lisboa, the biggest match-up in Portugal. With Sporting just a point behind their rivals in the table, they will gamble their perfect record of eight wins with Onyewu on the field. Sporting have dropped their last four away to the Eagles, scoring just one goal in the process. Benfica have won five straight home league games and are unbeaten in their last 23 across all competitions.
DANISH SAS LIGA
Silkeborg v FC Nordsjælland (Sunday, 8 am)
American: Michael Parkhurst (FCN) -- "Parkie" and the Wild Tigers will need to get over their midweek cup ouster at FC Copenhagen quickly if they want to keep some pressure on the league leaders. Parkhurst had been camped out at right back for a time, but admirably shifted to the left side of central defense on Thursday night. As for Silkeborg, the home side is unbeaten in eight SAS Liga games, with four wins from their last five. Nordsjælland have taken five of the last six meetings between the two, with the lone loss in that span coming on last November's visit to Jutland.
BEST OF THE REST
Bolton v Everton (Tim Howard) – Sat., 9:30 am, FoxSoccer.tv
West Brom v Tottenham (Brad Friedel) – Sat., 10 am, Fox Soccer Plus
Hoffenheim (Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams) v Freiburg - Sat., 9:30 am
Hannover 96 (Steve Cherundolo) v Hamburger SV - Sat., 12:30 pm
Zulte-Waregem v Anderlecht (Sacha Kljestan) - Sat., 12 noon
Kilmarnock v Rangers (Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu) - Sun., 7:45 am
Aalborg BK (Chris Rolfe) v AGF Aarhus - Sun., 12 noon
FC Copenhagen v HB Køge (Brad Rusin - doubtful) - Sun., 10 am
Valerenga v Stabæk (Mikkel Diskerud) - Sun., 12 noon