American Exports preview: Maurice Edu, Bursaspor face Fenerbahce with third place on the line
AMSTERDAM – The weekend brings another inviting buffet of European matches involving Americans, including Bursaspor midfield ace Maurice Edu making his first visit to the boiling cauldron that is Fenerbahçe's Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City at Newcastle (Sunday, 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go)
Both Americans are in contention for a starting place when the Potters try to locate their away form. They have lost three straight on the road and only won once as visitors this season. Though Stoke have traditionally fared abysmally at Newcastle, they've earned an even 1-1-1 split in their last three at St. James Park.
ENGLISH FA CUP
Tim Howard – Everton vs. Wigan (Saturday, 7:45 am on Fox Soccer)
The US netminder will undergo a late fitness check on his back. If he passes, Howard will put some heady stats on the gambling table for a place in the FA Cup final four. Howard has lost only two of his last 14 tournament games and just once in 14 career meetings against regional rivals Wigan. Everton, who will be without defender Phil Jagielka, have a 6-2-1 record against the Latics at Goodison.
Jozy Altidore – AZ Alkmaar vs. ADO Den Haag (Saturday, 2:45 pm)
The in-form US striker will try to help AZ snap a five-game win drought that has them dangling over the danger zone. The Cheese Farmers have also struggled at home lately, being shut out five of the last six times they've played at AFAS-Stadion. Meanwhile, Altidore has eight goals in his last nine Eredivisie games, despite the continued absence of injured playmaker Maarten Martens. Altidore has also hit twice in three career clashes with ADO, including the capper in a 3-0 home win last season.
TURKISH SÜPER LIG
Maurice Edu – Bursaspor at Fenerbahçe (Sunday, noon)
Edu will get his first taste of the unhinged madness that ensues at Fenerbahçe home matches. He can become only the second American to defeat the Yellow Canaries in a Süper Lig match, joining Brad Friedel. The Green Crocodiles have won only one of their last six road games in league play, and are winless in eight against their nearby rivals. But if they can grab full points in this one, Bursaspor will jump over Fenerbahçe and move into third place.
BELGIAN JUPILER LEAGUE
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht vs. Mechelen (Saturday, 2 pm)
The former Chivas USA man returns from suspension for the Belgian champs, who are also hoping to have the nicked duo of attacker Sacha Iakovenko and defender Behrang Safari available. Anderlecht just suffered their worst week of the campaign, with their tabletop cushion sliced to three points with their first league loss since October and exiting the Cofidis Cup on penalties. However, sunny skies tend to come back with the arrival of Mechelen, who have managed just a single point in 11 trips to Constant Vanden Stock.
BEST OF THE REST
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj – Aston Villa at Reading, Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer
Clint Dempsey (doubtful), Brad Friedel – Tottenham at Liverpool, Sun. 11 am on Fox Soccer Plus
Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams – Hoffenheim at Greuther Fürth, Sat. 9:30 am
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna vs. Mattersburg, Sat. 12:30 pm
Sweden (Svenska Cupen):
Alejandro Bedoya – Helsingborg at Varbergs BoIS, Sun. 10 am
Brian Span – Djurgården vs. Jönköping, Sun 1 pm