American Exports preview: Ream faces Dempsey, Fulham
AMSTERDAM — It's set to be another key weekend for Americans in Europe, with Bolton's Tim Ream in line to face US teammate Clint Dempsey and Fulham for the first time. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Bolton vs. Fulham (Saturday, 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go)
Americans: Clint Dempsey (FUL), Tim Ream (BW) - Bolton are after their first four-game EPL win streak in over five years and some breathing room over the trap door, with Ream expected to start in defense. Dempsey has three goals in the last two against Wanderers, but has never scored at the Reebok.
The Cottagers are unbeaten in their last four at Bolton, with a win and three scoreless draws. Each team will give an important late fitness test, with Darren Pratley questionable for the home side and Pavel Pogrebnyak hoping to pass fit for Fulham.
Norwich City vs. Everton (Saturday, 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go)
Americans: Tim Howard (EVE), Zak Whitbread (NOR) - The Toffees netminder is on a roll right now, with three straight wins and a 352-minute shutout streak across all competitions. Howard has evenly split three lifetime meetings with the Canaries, including a 1-1 draw earlier this season.
Whitbread is also in good form, but Norwich have won just one of their last six. While Everton are hoping to keep slim Europa League table hopes alive, the 12th-place hosts are simply after their first Carrow Road victory over the Toffees since 1994.
Schalke vs. Hannover 96 (Sunday, 9:30 am on ESPN3.com/My Sports Germany)
American: Steve Cherundolo (H96) - With Schalke's Jermaine Jones suspended, there will be no clash of US internationals. Cherundolo will sport the Hannover armband at right back as both sides try to get right after matching Europa league ousters on Thursday.
The Miners have traditionally gotten the better of this duel, though Hannover won at Gelsenkirchen last season and have dropped just one of the last four clashes.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Chievo vs. Catania (Saturday, 9 am)
American: Michael Bradley (CV) - The Flying Donkeys have lost only one of their last seven matches, but will need to turn up the heat on the home cooking if they want to rally for a Europa League place. Bradley & Co. have taken full points just once at the Bentegodi since mid-January.
However, the Sicilians have yet to record a Serie A victory at Chievo in four tries. And while Catania are currently unbeaten in eight, they're also winless in the previous six in this series.
FC Midtjylland vs. FC Nordsjaelland (Sun, 11 am)
American: Michael Parkhurst (FCN) - There's little time for the Wild Tigers to brush themselves off from a midweek loss as they head to Midtjylland eager to protect their seven-point edge on Denmark's second Champions League berth.
Thursday afternoon's spill at SønderjyskE was FCN's first league road loss since September. Likely right back starter Parkhurst and mates have dropped only one of their last six against the Black Wolves — but they've also had to settle for one lonely win in 15 games at Midtjylland.
BEST OF THE REST
Liverpool vs. Aston Villa (Eric Lichaj, Brad Guzan) - Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer Plus
Sunderland vs. Tottenham (Brad Friedel) - Sat. 7:45 am on ESPN2
Freiburg vs. FC Nürnberg (Timothy Chandler) - Sat. 9:30 am on My Sports Germany
Kaiserslautern (Andrew Wooten) vs. Hoffenheim (Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams) - Sat. 9:30 am on My Sports Germany
Racing Genk vs. Gent (Mikkel Diskerud) - Sat. noon
Rangers (Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu) vs. St. Mirren - Sat. 10 am