American Exports: Tim Howard, Jozy Altidore face Manchester clubs on Saturday
AMSTERDAM – Most of the big European tilts involving Americans fall on Saturday this weekend, including the Manchester City invasion of unbeaten Everton netminder Tim Howard. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland vs. Manchester United (Saturday, 12:30 pm on NBCSN/Mun2)
Still in search of his first league goal for Sunderland, Altidore notched an assist in his only previous game against the champs. United have a losing all-time record on Wearside but haven't fallen there in 23 years and currently hold a 395-minute shutout streak at the Stadium of Light. The Red Devils will strangely arrive off consecutive losses and in 12th place; their last three-game EPL losing slide occurred in 2001.
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa at Hull City (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
The in-form Villans keeper will try to backstop the visitors to their first three-game win streak in three-and-a-half years against his former loan employers. Guzan has also dropped just two of his last eight road starts in league play. Villa, who remain without top gun Christian Benteke, have posted shutout victories in each of the last seven meetings with the Tigers.
Tim Howard – Everton at Manchester City (Saturday, 7:45 am on NBCSN/Mun2)
With three clean sheets in six games, Howard & Co. will wager the EPL's last unbeaten record at Citeh. The US goalkeeper (pictured) owns a 4-2-1 mark at City of Manchester Stadium in an Everton shirt, and they haven't lost this season series since he arrived. The Toffees, who stand just three points out of the league lead, will give a late fitness test to forward Kevin Mirallas. They must, however, do without Gareth Barry due to his loan agreement from Man City.
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes vs. Évian (Saturday, 2 pm)
Bedoya might again come off the bench, despite a solid 67-minute relief shift in last week's derby triumph over Rennes. The other question is: Are Nantes this season's French darlings? They can start proving it with a revenge win over Évian. The two have never met in the top flight, but the visiting mites have taken both lower-division clashes. A win on Saturday could push Nantes as high as fourth place.
Aron Jóhannsson – AZ Alkmaar at Groningen (Sunday, 8:30 am)
The Cheese Farmers could be in a surly mood after leaking a stoppage-time equalizer in Thursday's Europa League contest. Jóhannsson, who has but one goal in his five Eredivisie outings, will be facing Gang Green for the first time. One of seven teams within three points of the summit, AZ have managed a respectable 3-3-2 record at the Euroborg. However, they've also suffered multiple-goal defeats in four of their last five league road games.
Mikkel Diskerud – Rosenborg vs. Steve Clark – Hønefoss (Sunday, 1 pm)
Two Americans with very different motivations will square off in Trondheim. The man known as Mix, who has three assists in as many games against Hønefoss since joining Rosenborg, will be trying to extend his side's two-point lead in the title chase. Clark, who enjoyed a Man of the Match shutout victory in his only previous visit to Rosenborg, is just trying to pick up some survival points with five games left. With the goalkeeper's form on the rise, Hønefoss have dropped just one of their last five away.
BEST OF THE REST
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City at Fulham, Sat. 10 am on Premier League Extra Time
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg vs. Hamburg, Sun. 9:30 am
Fabian Johnson (questionable) – Hoffenheim at Mainz 05, Sat. 9:30 am
Jermaine Jones (questionable) – Schalke vs. Michael Parhurst – Augsburg, Sat. 9:30 am
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht vs. Kortrijk, Sun. 8:30 am
Conor O'Brien – Odense BK at Esbjerg, Sun. 7 am
Babajide Ogunbiyi – Viborg at Aalborg BK, Sun. 9 am
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna at Wiener Neustadt, Sun. 1 pm