American Exports preview: Double trouble in EPL as Yanks, led by Tim Howard, clash in pair of matches
AMSTERDAM – It will be another hectic weekend for Americans playing in Europe, with US netminders Brad Guzan and Tim Howard each set to host a Nats teammate in Premier League action.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa vs. Jozy Altidore – Sunderland (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
Altidore will hope to get back in the lineup when the Black Cats take their dismal road record to Villa Park. Sunderland have lost five straight, four in a row by shutout, and are 1-11-1 in their last 12 EPL matches away. They have, however, managed an even 2-2-2 split from their last six at Villa. The US striker has only faced Guzan once, a 2-0 Red Bulls loss to Chivas USA back in 2007.
Tim Howard – Everton vs. Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
The veteran backstop, who has suffered but one defeat this season, enters unbeaten in 15 league games at Goodison. In their last 29 EPL tilts at home, the Toffees have lost only once. Enter Cameron's Stoke, who have won just twice in 10 matchups with the USMNT No. 1 and have been shut out seven times in their last dozen games at Everton. Shea should again contend for minutes off the bench for the Potters.
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg at Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 9:30 am)
The visitors' starting right back has performed consistently this season, but his club is the last winless among Europe's top seven leagues and will need him to rise to a star level at second-place Leverkusen. Chandler is 1-1 in games against Bayer, with the loss coming away. Der Club has traditionally struggled at the BayArena, but are 1-1-1 there the last three seasons. Offering hope for FCN, the hosts will be without top man Sidney Sam, responsible for 11 goals and eight assists on the campaign thus far.
Jermaine Jones – Schalke 04 vs. Stuttgart (Saturday, 12:30 pm)
The "Ger-Merican" midfielder should keep his place as the hosts try to heat up for winter. Despite spotty home form, Schalke have won four of six to climb to sixth place. Their lengthy shelf list still includes top gun Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Miners have usually dominated Stuttgart in Gelsenkirchen, but the Schwabians have suddenly gone 3-2-1 in the last six there. As for Jones, he's ended up on the losing side in five straight appearances against the southerners.
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes at Guingamp (Saturday, 2 pm)
Bedoya may get back into the lineup, having been a key part of the Canaries' current 3-0-1 road streak. Nantes stand a surprising fifth, but just four points ahead of nearby rivals and fellow risers Guingamp. The hosts, who have a bit of a defensive spine crisis for this one, have dropped just one of the last seven Ligue 1 meetings between the two at Stade du Roudourou.
Aron Jóhannsson – AZ Alkmaar at NEC Nijmegen, Sun. 10:30 am
The AZ top scorer hit twice the last time out on the road to snap a six-game goal drought across all away matches. Jóhannsson will be making his first start against NEC, after making a short sub appearance in a Nijmegen draw last season. Three points off the Eredivisie summit in fourth, AZ are undefeated in their last nine overall. The Cheese Farmers, who will miss the suspended duo of Nemanja Gudelj and Nick Viergever, are an admirable 6-1-3 in their last 10 at De Goffert.
BEST OF THE REST
Fabian Johnson – Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen, Sat. 9:30 am
Steve Cherundolo – Hannover 96 vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Sun. 9:30 am
Michael Bradley – AS Roma at Atalanta, Sun. 9 am on beIN Sport/RAI
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht vs. Cercle Brugge, Sun. noon
Babajide Ogunbiyi – Viborg vs. SønderjyskE, Sat. 11 am
Conor O'Brien – Odense BK vs. AGF Aarhus, Sun. 11 am
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna vs. Wacker Innsbruck, Sun. 1 pm