With many teams involved in midweek European action there isn’t much to speak of on Friday but the action starts to heat up on Saturday so let’s jump straight there.
Manchester City v Fulham F.C. - 10a on NBCSN
Fulham F.C. are coming off their second win of the season, a 2-1 win over fourth place Leicester City, but will have a tough task building any sort of winning streak as they face a Manchester City side that is a deceiving 11th place and coming off a 5-0 win over Burnley.
Antonee Robinson has now started seven straight matches for a Fulham side that now sits one point outside the relegation spots. Fulham have given up a league leading 19 goals through 10 games thanks in large part to giving up 10 goals in their first three games, none of which Robinson appeared in. Since Robinson has become a starter the club has dropped their goals against average to 1.3 which is much more in line with what the club will need to maintain their Premier League spot. On a more negative side for USMNT fans Tim Ream has not appeared in the past four games for Fulham.
This weekend Fulham will be taking on Manchester City who are just 11th in the table but with a game in hand that could see them jump all the way to 4th. Unsurprisingly Zack Steffen has yet to make a Premier League appearance yet this season though he has started the teams two EFL Cup games and now that they have clinched advancement through the Champions League group stage could get a token appearance there as well.
- Christian Pulisic started midweek in Chelsea’s 4-0 thumping of Sevilla in the Champions League but frankly looked to still be finding his form. Unsurprising given his significant absence thus far this season. It seems likely he would come off the bench this weekend for their matchup with Leeds at 3p on NBCSN.
Looking through the paywall:
- Giovanni Reyna and Borussia Dortmund look to rebound from a shocking loss to Koln when they face Eintracht Frankfurt at 9:30a on ESPN+. The club will be without Erling Haaland for the remainder of 2020 which could hamper Reyna’s assist potential while also opening up the opportunity for more goal scoring.
- John Anthony Brooks and Wolfsburg have had one of the top Bundesliga defenses thus far this season though they did give up three goals to Werder Bremen last weekend in a 5-3 win. It was a mixed day at the office for Brooks who picked up a goal for each team. This weekend they will face Koln at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Weston McKennie started and went the full 90’ for Juventus in their Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev but he did not make it off the bench last weekend in their 1-1 draw with Benevento. The team faces relegation threatened Torino at Noon on ESPN+.
- It’s a top of the table matchup in the Bundesliga when the first placed and highest scoring team in Bayern Munich takes on second place and the leagues stingiest defense in RB Leipzig at 12:30p on ESPN+. Tyler Adams came on at the half midweek in a crazy Leipzig win over Basaksehir in the Champions League and he has started Leipzig’s last two Bundesliga matches. Chris Richards has been on the bench for Bayern Munich’s last two league games but did see nearly 30’ of Champions League action against Atletico Madrid mid-week.
- Sergino Dest and Barcelona face Cadiz at 3p on beIN Sports. Dest continues to be a regular contributor for a Barcelona side that is still looking to find some consistency this season.
Columbus Crew v New England Revolution - 3p on ABC
The MLS Semifinals kickoff on Sunday afternoon with the Eastern Conference finals as the Columbus Crew take on the New England Revolution. Gyasi Zardes and Darlington Nagbe continue to be key cogs for the Crew while the Revolution are led by a manager who may have significant ties to the USMNT but shall remain unnamed. It’s been a topsy-turvy season in the MLS since the very start with the MLS is Back tournament so it shouldn’t be surprising that the Eastern Conference final has a team in New England that in previous years wouldn’t have even made the post-season. As the East’s third place team Columbus should probably be considered the favorite for this one but Matt Turner might want to have something to say about that as well. The USMNT eligible keeper has been far and away the best shot stopper in MLS for some time now.
Looking through the paywall:
- It deserves some mention somewhere so we’ll throw it in here though the game doesn’t seem to be available in the US: Timothy Weah has had a rough season with minutes hard to come by but he came off the bench on Thursday with his team down a goal in Europa League play and promptly assisted on the game tying goal. Lille will face Monaco on Sunday at 7a.
- Josh Sargent missed Werder Bremen’s 5-3 loss to Wolfsburg last weekend but was expected to return to training this week. Werder Bremen face Stuttgart at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Richie Ledezma received his first start for PSV Eindhoven last weekend, a match the club would win 1-0. This weekend the team faces Heerenveen in a match that can be seen at 10:45a on ESPN+.
- This is painful but apparently we need to keep an eye on Schalke again. The club is nearing historic levels of awfulness having failed to win a match in 25 straight attempts. Matthew Hoppe did make his Bundesliga debut last weekend however so is something we will be tracking moving forward.
There you have it, a nice full weekend of matches. Let us know what you are watching in the comments section below.