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US Weekend viewing guide: der klassiker leads the way

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Injuries continue to be the unwelcome story but a number of big fixtures this weekend

RB Leipzig v Paris Saint-Germain: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

The last weekend ahead of the international break has some major games as well as a few players who will unfortunately be missing out due to injury. The first weekend of the game though features a player who is healthy but who will be pulled from participating in USMNT action due to COVID concerns.

Friday

Werder Bremen v Cologne - 2:30p on ESPN+

Unfortunately it sounds like Josh Sargent won’t be with the USMNT during the upcoming window as Werder Bremen plans to make him unavailable for callup due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and FIFA’s willingness to allow for exceptions to the normally stringent International Break rules. Sebastian Lletget has been called up to replace Sargent.

The good news is that Sargent is healthy and available for his team Friday afternoon as they look to build on their positive start to the season. Sargent has started every match thus far for Werder Bremen who have drawn their past three and not lost since opening day, the club is currently in 9th place. Sargent scored his first goal of the season last week in a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. On Friday Werder Bremen will face 16th place Cologne who have drawn two of their past three and kept things respectable against Bayern Munich last weekend, loosing 2-1.

Looking through the paywall:

  • DeAndre Yedlin is in a tough spot having not even been included on the bench recently for Newcastle. To add insult to injury the right back who is still just 27 wasn’t included in the team called up for November. It seems Yedlin should probably look for a move as soon as possible. In the meantime his Newcastle side face Southampton at 3p on Peacock this Friday.

Saturday

RB Leipzig v Freiburg - 9:30a on ESPN+

Tyler Adams missed out on RB Leipzig’s last two Bundesliga matches due to injury but did come off the bench Wednesday in Leipzig’s 2-1 win over PSG in Champions League group play. Adam’s played the final 14 minutes and is presumably fit to be considered for Saturday’s match against Freiburg. Leipzig suffered a 1-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach last weekend, their first loss of the season, which dropped them to third place in the league table. They will look to bounce back this weekend against 13th place Freiburg who are coming off a 4-2 loss to Bayern Leverkusen. The teams defense seems to be a weakness as they have yet to record a clean sheet and have given up four goals both times they have faced a top four team.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich - 12:30p on ESPN+

Giovanni Reyna came off the bench last weekend in Borussia Dortmund’s 2-0 win over Armenia Bielefeld and then started and went 77’ in the clubs 3-0 win over Club Brugge in Champions League group action. The competition will get ratcheted up another notch when the team faces first place Bayern Munich this weekend in the latest edition of der Klassiker. The matchup has historically and recently been dominated by Bayern Munich who have won nearly twice as many matchups as BVB and has won the last three matchups by a combined score line of 10-0. Dortmund will need to figure out how to turn those results around if they’re going to reach the top of the table.

Other Notes:

  • Christian Pulisic briefly returned to training this week but went right back to being out and will be unavailable this weekend when Chelsea face Sheffield United at 12:30p on NBC. Chelsea are in seventh place currently and will need to take advantage of facing a 19th place Blades team that has just one point through their first seven matches.

Looking through the paywall:

  • Timothy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt face Stuttgart at 9:30a on ESPN+. Chandler has seen very limited minutes thus far this season.
  • Sergino Dest and Barcelon who are coming off a (double checks... triple checks...) midweek win over Dynamo Kyiv in Champions League play are facing Real Bettis at 10:15a on beIN Sports. Dest played the full 90’ on Wednesday so he may start on the bench this weekend. The club is currently in 12th place and need to start putting together positive results in league play.
  • Antonee Robinson looks to be settling in rather nicely with a Fulham team that is coming off their first win of the season last weekend. Robinson has started the past four matches for the club as they head into their match against West Ham at 3p on Peacock.

Sunday

Philadelphia Union v New England Revolution - 3:30p on ESPN Deportes

The Philadelphia Union will look to claim the Supporters Shield and the top spot in the MLS playoffs on Sunday afternoon when they face the 6th place New England Revolution. The Union are tied with Toronto FC but hold a sizeable goal differential lead so a win will guarantee them the Supporters Shield. The Union can also clinch with a Toronto loss or if both teams draw. It will be the final regular season match in Philadelphia for Brendan Aaronson who will be moving to RB Salzburg following the season and perhaps for Mark McKenzie as well who has been rumored to be making a January move.

Other Notes:

  • Weston McKennie picked up an assist last weekend in the start against Spezia Calcio and then came off the bench midweek as Juventus would go on to defeat Ferencvaros 4-1 in Champions League play. This weekend Juventus face Lazio at 6:30a on ESPN2 for our earlier risers.
  • Tobin Heath and Christen Press take the field for Manchester United as they face Arsenal in WSL action at 7a on NBCSports.com
  • November call up Owen Otasowie made the bench last weekend in Wolverhampton’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. Otasowie was also not in the U23 squad for Friday suggesting he may again be available Sunday when the Wolves face Leicester City at 9a on NBCSN.
  • Jeremy Ebobisse and the Portland Timbers wrap up their season with a match against the LAFC. The Timbers can overtake SKC for the Western Conference title with a win and a SKC loss (I think, the PPG is making me do math, math is hard). The Timbers and LA meet at 6:30p on FS1.

Looking through the paywall:

  • John Brooks and Wolfsburg meet Hoffenheim at 9:30a on ESPN+. Wolfsburg have been solid defensively giving up just four goals through six games but have also only scored five themselves so are currently 11th in the Bundesliga.
  • Richie Ledezma has seen his first league and cup minutes over the past week for PSV Eindhoven who face Willem II at 2p on ESPN+.