American Exports: Jones, Edu in action in UEFA Champions League

Jermaine Jones

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AMSTERDAM — With four Americans set again to take aim at UEFA glory, it's time to tee you up for the pertinent midweek Champions League and Europa League match-ups.

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Schalke vs. Hapoel Tel Aviv

Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET, DirecTV/Uefa.com

American: Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04)

After sitting out a league red-card suspension over the weekend, Jones should be rested and ready for a Group B start against the Israeli champs. Schalke, who've won four of five tourney matches at home, enter this contest with a red-hot hand in their side. Including Netherlands appearances, Miners striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has scored in eight straight and has 14 goals from his last 12 outings.

[inline_node:316248]Rangers vs. Valencia

Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET, DirecTV/Uefa.com

American: Maurice Edu (Rangers)

The US midfielder is expected to start, and the hosts will need to avoid looking ahead to the season's first Old Firm derby with hated rival Celtic at the weekend. Rangers, unbeaten in 24 at Ibrox across all competitions, have just one draw to show for four all-time meetings with Los Ché. Valencia, however, will be without stalwart Joaquín.

EUROPA LEAGUE

Villarreal vs. PAOK Saloniki

Thursday, 3 p.m. ET, DirecTV/Uefa.com

American: Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)

Altidore has been seeing most of his action in Europe and could start against a team that cut loose manager Pavlos Dermitzakis on Monday. The hosts, who could be missing veteran defender Carlos Marchena, have won 17 of 23 Europa League/UEFA Cup contests at home. Meanwhile, group G leaders PAOK have won just one of eight overall, and suffered shutout losses in three of their last four. 

Anderlecht vs. AEK Athens

Thursday, 1 p.m. ET, DirecTV/Uefa.com

American: Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)

The former Chivas USA midfielder has been relegated to the bench recently but could re-emerge against the Greeks due to injury uncertainty over Lucas Biglia, Jonathan Legear and Jan Polak. Les Mauves return home after losing three straight on the road to face an AEK side that's lost five of its last six Europa League games away. The clubs have met before, a pair of Champions League group-phase draws in 2006.


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