American Exports: Brad Guzan, Aston Villa look to secure EPL safety with win over Hull City
AMSTERDAM – Several Americans will lace up for key European contests over the weekend, with Brad Guzan attempting to secure Premier League safety with a victory against former loan employers Hull City.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa vs. Hull City (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
The Villans have not won in six, but a "W" against Guzan's old loan employers will all but ensure their EPL place for next season. His only previous match against the Tigers was a scoreless road draw earlier this season. Villa have posted five straight clean sheet victories at home to Hull, who have not scored a road win in this series since 1967.
Tim Howard – Everton vs. Manchester City (Saturday, 10 am on CNBC)
Four points back of fourth-placed Arsenal, the Toffees need a win and a little help to stay in the race for a Champions League berth. Good omen or not, Howard holds several happy trends heading into this key contest. Though he committed an own goal in the loss at City earlier this season, the American has never suffered a season sweep to them. The US No. 1 is 4-1-1 at home to the Citizens since joining Everton, including shutout wins in the last three meetings there. On top of all that, he's also won eight of nine at Goodison Park.
Tim Ream – Bolton Wanderers vs. Jonathan Spector – Birmingham City (Saturday, 7:15 am on beIN Sports Play)
While Bolton and their Player of the Season, sure starter Ream, are safe heading into closing day, the Brums still have some work to do if they want to stay up. Spector should start somewhere in defense for Birmingham, but club and country mate Will Packwood remains highly doubtful with a hamstring strain. Spector has ended up on the losing side of this match-up seven of the last eight times, with Ream a victor in the last two. Birmingham are winless in six at the Reebok.
Daniel Williams – Reading vs. Burnley (Saturday, 7:15 am on beIN Sports)
A closing-day victory clinches Reading's place in the promotion playoffs, Brighton or Blackburn could pass them if they manage less. The Royals are striving to get Williams over nagging knee trouble in time for his first clash with the second-placed Clarets, who are already assured of their Premier League return. Although Burnley typically hate coming to the Majedski – where they have lost six straight regular-season games – they did knock Reading out of the 2009 promotion playoffs there.
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg vs. Hannover 96 (Saturday, 9:30 am on MyGermanTV+)
All USMNT eyes will be watching when Chandler makes his second start back from an injury. He was programmed for 45 minutes last weekend, but is expected to go a bit longer as Nürnberg attempt to avoid the drop. With two games remaining, the only hope Der Club has is to pass Hamburg for the survival playoff spot. Though only one point back, they first have to deal with the matter of a five-game losing streak that has seen them outscored 15-4.
TURKISH SÜPER LIG
Jermaine Jones – Besiktas vs. Kasimpasa (Saturday, noon)
The midfield cop returns from suspension with his team again trailing Galatasaray by one point in the fight for Turkey's sole Champions League group-phase pass. Besiktas have three games left to fix the situation, but must begin by hosting a team that has suddenly become a rude guest. Kasimpasa has a pair of 3-1 wins and a draw at Atatürk Olimpic Stadium over the last two years.
BEST OF THE REST
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland at Manchester United, Sat. 10 am on NBCSN
Geoff Cameron – Stoke City vs. Fulham, Sat. 10 am on Premier League Extra Time
John Brooks – Hertha Berlin at Werder Bremen, Sat. 9:30 am on MyGermanTV+
Fabian Johnson, Joe Gyau – Hoffenheim at Borussia Dortmund, Sat. 9:30 am on MyGermanTV+
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes at Toulouse, Sun. 11 am
Juan Agudelo – FC Utrecht vs. Vitesse, Sat. 12:45 pm
Aron Jóhannsson – AZ Alkmaar vs. Feyenoord, Sat. 12:45 pm
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht at Club Brugge, Sun. 11 am
Babajide Ogunbiyi – Viborg at SønderjyskE, Sun. 8 am
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna vs. FC Wacker Innsbruck, Sun. 10:30 am