American Exports preview: Jermaine Jones, Timmy Chandler lock antlers in Bundesliga
AMSTERDAM – Several Americans will put in one last key club shift before heading off on World Cup qualifying duty, with FC Nürnberg's Timothy Chandler and Schalke's Jermaine Jones set to lock antlers in the Bundesliga. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa vs. Queens Park Rangers (Saturday, 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go)
With the US netminder in top form, Villa can go as many as six points clear of the trap door with a win over the EPL basement dwellers. The Villans have suffered four shutouts and five losses in their last six EPL home games. What's more, Guzan has yet to beat QPR in three career tries. Though Villa are winless in the last four against their weekend visitors, they've also posted a 6-0-1 record in the last seven home meetings.
Timothy Chandler (FCN), Jermaine Jones (S04) – FC Nürnberg vs. Schalke (Saturday, 9:30 am)
Jones' Schalke will arrive on a three-game winning streak, aiming to solidify their hold on a Champions League invite without injured top gun Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Meanwhile, Chandler & Co. are unbeaten in six and a win away from becoming a real threat to make the Europa League. The home team has taken six of the last seven between these two.
Jozy Altidore – AZ Alkmaar vs. Ajax (Sunday, 8:30 am on ESPN3.com)
The AZ hitman has already bagged a pair of braces away to the league leaders during the campaign. Currently missing playmakers Maarten Martens and Willie Overtoom, Altidore has scored in just one of the last seven home games – a hat trick against Vitesse. That was also his side's only win in their last 10 matches at AFAS-Stadion. However, they've lost just once in Ajax's last four visits. A victory this time out can push them clear of the drop zone.
BELGIAN JUPILER LEAGUE
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht at Gent (Saturday, 2 pm)
The former Chivas USA ace and his teammates will close the regular season hoping to fluff a six-point tabletop cushion that will be sliced in half for the ensuing championship playoff. Gent have not beaten the Mauves since 2006, a span of 22 games, and have dropped the last six league meetings by a combined 18-3 count. Anderlecht will be missing attacker Samuel Armenteros, while the visitors have a long fitness test list.
ISRAELI LIGAT HA-AL
Bryan Gerzicich – Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona vs. Hapoel Tel Aviv (Sunday, 10 am)
With Gerzicich controlling central park, the champs have won five straight across all competitions with four shutouts. They've also won four straight at home. Another victory Sunday would tentatively cut a 16-point deficit on leaders Maccabi Tel Aviv. Perhaps more importantly, it would give them a four-point edge on their fourth-place visitors in the race for Israel's last Europa League berth.
BEST OF THE REST
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City vs. West Bromwich Albion, Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Clint Dempsey (questionable), Brad Friedel – Tottenham vs. Fulham, Sun. 10 am on Fox Soccer Plus
Tim Howard (doubtful) – Everton vs. Manchester City, Sat. 7:45 am on ESPN2/ESPN3.com
Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams – Hoffenheim vs. Mainz 05, Sat. 9:30 am
Michael Parkhurst – Augsburg at Hamburg, Sat. 9:30 am
Michael Bradley – AS Roma vs. Parma, Sun. 2:45 pm
Charlie Davies – Randers FC vs. Silkeborg, Sun. 7:55 am
Clarence Goodson – Brøndby vs. FC Midtjylland, Sun. 1 pm
Conor O'Brien – FC Nordsjælland vs. Aalborg BK, Sat. 11 am
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna vs. Admira Wacker, Sat. 10 am
Steve Clark – Hønefoss at IK Start, Sun. noon
Mikkel Diskerud – Rosenborg at Odd Grenland, Sun. 1 pm
Sweden (Svenska Cupen):
Alejandro Bedoya – Helsingborg vs. Gefle, Sun. 4 pm