American Exports preview: Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo in line for injury returns
AMSTERDAM – The weekend European slate could feature as many as three big duels between competing countrymen, including Tim Howard's expected return to the Everton net for a visit from Stoke City. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea (Stoke), Tim Howard (EVE) – Everton vs. Stoke City (Saturday, 1:30 pm, Fox Soccer)
While the US netminder looks set to be back on the Goodison Park line, Stoke's American duo might work from the bench after returning from international duty. Howard is winless in his last four against the Potters, with just two goals of support in that span. This time, the Toffees will be forced to make do without suspended midfield general Marouane Fellaini.
Steve Cherundolo (H96), Michael Parkhurst (FCA) – Augsburg vs. Hannover 96 (Saturday, 10:30 am)
The skipper is also in line for an injury return as Hannover host a team they've not lost to in three meetings. Parkhurst will likely start in the dugout for Augsburg, who have won three of their last four to move within five points of the safety zone. The Reds, meanwhile, have lost 10 times from a 12-game winless run across all competitions.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Michael Bradley – AS Roma at Palermo (Saturday, 9 am, beIN Sport en Español)
Bradley & Co. will hope the international break doesn't slow their roll as they visit surprise bottom feeders Palermo. With four wins and a draw in their last five, the Giallorossi have moved to within striking distance of the European places. The American should be back in the line-up for the visitors, who have doubts over Miralem Pjanić.
Jozy Altidore – AZ Alkmaar at Heracles (Sunday, 8:30 am)
The powerful forward will try to strike for the fourth road game in succession when AZ pay a call to one of their favorite opponents. Altidore hit twice in a 3-1 win at home earlier this season, giving him three career goals against Heracles. The Cheese Farmers, who remain without playmakers Maarten Martens and Willie Overtoom, have a 4-2-2 record at Polman Stadium.
Alejandro Bedoya (HIF), Brian Span (DIF) – Helsingborg vs. Djurgarden (Sunday, 11:30 am)
A pair of Americans will kick off the new season in Sweden against each other, though Bedoya is the only sure starter. As opposed to last term, the US international is now being used in a more natural No. 10 role. Span, whose first career Allsvenskan goal came at Helsingborg last season, typically sees second half minutes. Djurgården have caused a little trouble at the Olympia in recent years, with two victories and three draws from their last seven times over.
BEST OF THE REST
Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel – Tottenham at Swansea City, Sat. 11 am, Fox Soccer 2Go
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa vs. Liverpool, Sun. 8:30 am on Fox Soccer
Stuart Holden – Sheffield Wednesday vs. Barnsley, Sat. 11 am
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg at Wolfsburg, Sun. 9:30 am
Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams – Hoffenheim at Schalke, Sat. 10:30 am
Maurice Edu – Bursaspor at Kasimpasa, Sun. 6:30 am
Charlie Davies – Randers FC at SønderjyskE, Sun. 9 am
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna at SV Ried, Sat. 1:30 pm