American Exports preview: Dempsey takes on Howard
AMSTERDAM — We have several tasty league contests involving Americans stationed in Europe on the weekend menu, with an Old Firm derby as the cherry on top. All times listed in ET.
SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Celtic vs. Rangers (Sunday, 7:45 am on Fox Soccer Plus)
Americans: Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu ('Gers) - Rangers Player of the Season candidate Bocanegra and Edu should start, per usual, while Bedoya seems set for sub's duty.
For once, the result of this game means nothing beyond Glasgow bragging rights. The Light Blues arrive at Parkhead on four straight SPL wins and leading the season series 2-1 over their arch nemesis.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Everton vs. Fulham (Saturday, 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go)
Americans: Clint Dempsey (FUL), Tim Howard (EVE) - Including cup play, it will be the third meeting of the campaign between two teams in the race for seventh place. Overall, Fulham are winless against the Toffees in five — though Dempsey did hit his first career goal against Howard in last season's away clash.
The Cottagers have also never won at Goodison. In fact, they haven't so much has posted a draw there since 1959, a span of 20 consecutive losses. Everton are currently unbeaten in five EPL games and have recorded shutout wins in five of their last six at home.
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hannover 96 (Saturday, 9:30 am on My Sports Germany)
American: Steve Cherundolo (H96) - The Reds' version of Captain America will take his usual right back slot as they try to nail down a Europa League return for the fall. Unfortunately, Leverkusen are one of their least favorite opponents.
Hannover, who come in with five straight road losses, have dropped four in a row at BayArena. They've also managed just two wins and six draws from the last 18 overall meetings with Leverkusen.
Hoffenheim vs. FC Nürnberg (Saturday, 9:30 am on My Sports Germany)
Americans: Timothy Chandler (FCN), Fabian Johnson (HOFF) - If Chandler slides back to right wing for the visitors, as expected, we will be treated to a direct battle with Hoffenheim left back incumbent Johnson.
Hoffenheim need to win and get some help if they are to keep slim Europa League hopes alive into closing day. Currently unbeaten in four, FCN are winless in five Bundesliga games against Hoffenheim.
Feyenoord Rotterdam vs. AZ Alkmaar (Sunday, 8:30 am on Eredivisie.tv)
American: Jozy Altidore (AZ) - If the visitors have any designs on winning the championship (or earning the Eredivisie's second Champions league slot, for that matter), they must win at De Kuip. They've won three of the last four in Rotterdam and four straight in the series overall.
The home side are behind AZ the Cheese Farmers only on goal differential and unbeaten in nine, but will be missing top gun John Guidetti. Altidore, meanwhile, will aim for his 20th goal across all competitions, which would double as the first goal scored by an American against since AZ exec Earnie Stewart did so in 2001.
BEST OF THE REST
Sunderland vs. Bolton (Tim Ream) - Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Tottenham (Brad Friedel) vs. Blackburn - Sun. 11 am on Fox Soccer
West Bromwich Albion vs. Aston Villa (Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj) - Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer Plus
Cagliari vs. Chievo (Michael Bradley) - Sat. noon
Kaiserslautern (Andrew Wooten) vs. Borussia Dortmund - Sat. 9:30 am on GolTV/My Sports Germany
Schalke (Jermaine Jones) vs. Hertha Berlin - Sat. 9:30 am on My Sports Germany
Paderborn (Matt Taylor) vs. FSV Frankfurt - Sun. 7:30 am on My Sports Germany
Gent (Mikkel Diskerud) vs. Club Brugge - Sat. noon
FC Nordsjælland (Michael Parkhurst) vs. AGF Aarhus - Sat. 11 am
SønderjyskE (Conor O’Brien) vs. Brøndby (Clarence Goodson) - Sun. 11 am
Sogndal vs. Molde FK (Josh Gatt) - Sat. 2 pm
Stabæk (Ricardo Clark, Sean Cunningham) vs. Odd Grenland - Sat. noon
Tromsø vs. Hønefoss (Steve Clark) - Sat. noon