The most American friendly league outside of the U.S. continues to be the go to place to catch American’s in top tier action. In fact, that seems to be increasing with Tyler Adam’s set to return before the end of the year and Giovanni Reyna suddenly seeing the first team bench for Borussia Dortmund. This weekend is no exception either with several matches involving top of the table teams on network television. If that’s not enough for you we’ve also got Christian Pulisic in Premier League action on NBCSN and Sergino Dest and Ajax on ESPN+ if you’re willing to dabble in some streaming options. There’s a dearth of options on Friday but Saturday and Sunday are looking pretty good so let’s jump straight to Saturday morning.
Chelsea v AFC Bournemouth - 10a on NBCSN
It’s been a very busy stretch for Christian Pulisic who has now started 10 straight matches, another start on Saturday would be his fourth match in 11 days. It would be quite reasonable for Frank Lampard to give Pulisic the weekend off and he was pulled in the 60th minute of the teams 2-1 Champions League win over Lille on Tuesday. Whether that was with an eye towards a short rest ahead of another start this weekend or just a general acknowledgement that extended rest would be beneficial is anyone’s guess.
Chelsea is in a bit of a slump in EPL play recently with three losses in four games though they maintain their fourth place position, five points ahead of fifth place Manchester United. This weekend the team will take on an AFC Bournemouth team that has lost their last five, slipped to fifteenth in the table and has clearly given up on hopes of avoiding relegation having sold Emerson Hyndman to Atlanta United.
- Bayern Munich finds themselves in an unfamiliar position in 7th place in the table and coming off back to back defeats. They’ll look to take out some frustrations on a Werder Bremen team that had a shock loss to SC Paderborn last weekend. Josh Sargent remains out through the end of the year. The match will be played at 9:30a on FS1
- Amazingly Borrusia Dortmund needs to be added back to our viewing guide, at least on the short term, as Giovanni Reyna made the senior team bench for the first time last weekend. We’ll keep an eye on things to see if he continues to be called in and keep listing BVB’s matches unless it seems like that was a blip on the radar. This weekend the team will be playing Mainz 05 at 9:30a on FS2.
- Tyler Adams is inching ever closer to return from his lengthy injury layoff with recent reports that he is set to return to game action before the end of the year. If he’s able to make an appearance this weekend it would be against fellow American’s Zack Steffen and Alfredo Morales as RB Leipzig face Fortuna Dusseldorf at 12:30p on TUDN USA.
Schalke 04 v Eintracht Frankfurt - Noon on FS1
David Wagner has Weston McKennie and Schalke in fourth place, a bounce back season after last years disappointing 14th place finish. The team is coming off a 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen with McKennie getting yet another start though he’s once again seeing both the blessings and the curses of being a highly versatile piece on the team.
This weekend Schalke will face an Eintracht Frankfurt side that has failed to win in their past four matches since defeating Bayern Munich 5-1 over a month ago. Frankfurt have slid all the way to 11th in the Bundesliga table and are coming off a loss to Guimares Thursday in Europa League play despite the fact that they had yet to clinch progression to the next round. Timothy Chandler has seen just one minute for Frankfurt since October.
- John Anthony Brooks and Wolfsburg face first place Borussia Monchengladbach and Fabian Johnson Sunday morning at 9:30a on FS1. Brooks has been a key contributor for Wolfsburg this season while Johnson has just over 200 minutes over 18 games for Gladbach, a number due at least partly to a lengthy injury layoff.
- Sergino Dest and Ajax play AZ Alkmaar in a top of the table match on Sunday at 10:45a, streaming on ESPN+. Ajax are coming off their first loss of the Eredivise season and mid-week elimination from Champions League play. If their slump continues into this weekend they could see themselves tied for points at the top of the table with AZ Alkmaar.
- Update: Owen Otasowie made his senior team debut Thursday in the Wolverhampton Woles 4-0 defeat of Besiktas in Europa League play. The Wolves play Tottenham at 9a Sunday morning on NBCSN. It was the third time in the past two weeks that Otasowie made the bench though he was not in the 18 last weekend.
Let us know what else you’re tracking and what we should be aware of in the comments below.