American Exports preview: New Year's weekend action
AMSTERDAM — While most European leagues have their feet up, the EPL's winter fixture crush and a tabletop showdown in Israel offer stateside fans plenty of American Exports action to follow on this extended New Year's weekend. All times listed in ET.
EPL: Chelsea vs. Aston Villa (10 am on FOX Deportes)
American: Brad Guzan (AV) — The stand-in netminder gets his first career look at the Blues, who are coming off three consecutive 1-1 draws. Offering more hope for Guzan, Villa have managed three shares from their last five visits to Stamford Bridge.
EPL: Norwich City vs. Fulham (10 am on FoxSoccer.tv)
Americans: Clint Dempsey (FUL), Zak Whitbread (NOR) — Neither the Canaries nor their starting center back have ever faced the red-hot Dempsey. They've not been there since 2005, but Fulham have won four straight at Norwich by a combined 9-2 count.
EPL: Swansea City vs. Tottenham (10 am on FoxSoccer.tv)
American: Brad Friedel (Spurs) — The former US goalkeeper has won four of his last five road games. However, while Tottenham have not visited the Swans in league play for nearly 30 years, they are winless from their last 11 games in Wales.
Israeli Ligat Ha'al: Maccabi Netanya vs. Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv (11 am)
American: Leo Krupnick (MN) — Having snapped a slide by winning last week, the defender and his mates play host to a team that a) stands level on points with them in the table, and b) won 4-0 at Netanya in May.
EPL: West Bromwich Albion vs. Everton (7:30 am on FoxSoccer.tv)
American: Tim Howard (EVE) — New old boy Landon Donovan won't suit up for this one, but the US backstop will make his 162nd consecutive EPL start for the Toffees. Howard has split two career decisions at The Hawthorns after falling there 1-0 last season.
EPL: Fulham vs. Arsenal (12:30 pm on FOX Soccer)
American: Clint Dempsey (FUL) — Our man Deuce makes the crazy-fast New Year turnaround with another shot at his first goal against crosstown rivals Arsenal. The Gunners have won four of their last five away, but only twice from the last five Tube trips to Craven Cottage.
EPL: Aston Villa vs. Swansea City (10 am on FoxSoccer.tv)
American: Brad Guzan (AV) — The former Chivas USA man will work his third league tilt in eight days against what should be a much easier foe than in the prior few games. Not only have Swansea lost on all seven tries at Villa, they've never scored a goal there.
EPL: QPR vs. Norwich City (10 am on FoxSoccer.tv)
American: Zak Whitbread (NOR) — Norwich are currently the highest-standing promoted side in the EPL at 11th. That could be in danger of changing when they head to Loftus Road, where they've lost just one of the last four meetings.
Portuguese League Cup: Rio Ave vs. Sporting CP (3:45 pm)
American: Oguchi Onyewu — It's quite possible Gooch will act as spectator for this one, as this initial group-stage match in the fourth most important competition for the Lions comes against a struggling side. However, Rio Ave traditionally give Sporting fits at their house, with three draws and three tight losses in the last seven there.
SPL : Rangers vs. Motherwell (10 am)
American: Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu ('Gers) — The US captain will stand tall in defense, as usual, while Edu looks a good bet to regain a starting place and Bedoya aims to get back in uniform from an ankle knock. Two consecutive losses have knocked Rangers off the top, but the sunny news is they've beaten 'Well six straight times.
Israeli Ligat Ha'al: Ashdod SC vs. Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona (1:50 pm)
American: Bryan Gerzicich (IKS) — The midfielder will take his usual place as the visitors gamble both a seven-game road win streak and half of their six-point league lead at second place Ashdod. Just two months ago, Gerzicich & Co. posted a 3-0 victory there.