The USMNT is back in action this weekend against a familiar foe when they face Trinidad & Tobago on Sunday evening. There’s also a solid slate of Saturday and Sunday action ahead of that match Sunday evening so let’s start there.
Werder Bremen v Schalke - 9:30a on ESPN+
We start the weekend out with a battle of American’s going head to head in a matchup that early in the season many might have assumed would be a de facto relegation playoff but Schalke look to have put a stranglehold on one of those spots, and Werder Bremen have worked themselves 11 points ahead of the second spot.
Everyone is suddenly familiar with Matthew Hoppe who scored a hattrick three weeks ago to break Schalke’s historic winless streak and boost Schalke from 4 points to 7, Hoppe would pick up goals in his next two games before the team was held scoreless in their matchup with Bayern Munich. The lesson to be learned here of course is that it takes the Bayern Munich jugernaut to stop Matthew Hoppe from scoring. Despite the scoring outburst by Hoppe Schalke still sit with just seven points through eighteen games, eight points back of FC Cologne for the relegation playoff position.
Meanwhile Werder Bremen haven’t exactly looked like world beaters this season but have been performing above the very modest expectations for them including picking up three wins and ten points in their past six matches. This includes last weekends 4-1 victory over Hertha Berlin in which Josh Sargent came off the bench and scored a banger to notch his second goal of the Bundesliga season.
Looking through the paywall:
- Giovanni Reyna and Borussia Dortmund need to get back on track quickly to work their way back into a top four Champions League spot. The team has lost two straight and currently sit in seventh place though just three points back of Wolfsburg. The face Augsburg at 9:30a on ESPN+
- Owen Otasowie was on the bench but did not appear for the Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday in their scoreless draw with Chelsea. The Wolves play Crystal Palace at 10a on Peacock.
- Magical Weston McKennie and Juventus look to continue their push up the Serie A table when they face Sampdoria at Noon on ESPN+. Juve currently sit in fourth place, seven points out of first though with a game in hand that could help close that gap.
- Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig look to bounce back from a loss to relegation fodder Mainz when they face Bayer Leverkusen in a top three matchup at 12:30p on ESPN+.
- We’ve only recently discovered Fanatiz and haven’t tried their service yet so can’t speak to the quality but it’s an additional streaming service option with some decent selection including La Liga, Ligue 1, Turkish Superliga, and Portuguese Primeira Liga. For $8 a month that has the potential to be a pretty solid addition to the lineup for those looking to watch USMNT players including Timothy Weah, Sergino Dest, Yunus Musah, Reggie Cannon, perhaps DeAndre Yedlin and others in action across additional leagues without springing for the full FuboTV option. For this weekend that action includes Yunus Musah and Villareal who find themselves in a crowded group just two points out of relegation as they face Real Sociedad at 3p this Saturday.
Chelsea v Burnley - 7a on Peacock
Christian Pulisic started on the bench but didn’t seem to bothered by the situation midweek in the teams draw with Wolverhampton. It was Thomas Tuchels first match in charge and the manager would come out after the match to give some pretty positive feedback for Pulisic and describe the decision as “unfair” to him.
"It was an unfair decision today for him to not start. I told him it was only because I know what you can bring from the bench because I know you"— USMNT Only (@usmntonly) January 28, 2021
Thomas Tuchel spoke about Christian Pulisic after Chelsea's 0-0 draw against Wolves today pic.twitter.com/PzqLQeVxrg
Whether this is manager speak and there is truly something to worry about regarding Pulisic’s playing time moving forward can only be seen with time but the body language experts would tell you there doesn’t seem to be much concern from Christian at this point.
Meanwhile Chelsea had to settle for a draw Wednesday and currently sit in eighth place, seven points back of cracking the top four positions. They really need to pickup three points against a 15th place Burnley side that has suddenly won three straight matches including league wins over Aston Villa and Liverpool.
- The USMNT face Trinidad & Tobago Sunday evening at 7p on FS1. The US won their last matchup 6-0 in the Gold Cup and the Soca Warriors haven’t played a match in over a year but it should provide a decent chance for the US to stretch their legs a bit.
Looking through the paywall:
- John Anthony Brooks and Wolfsburg face Freiburg at Noon on ESPN+. Wolfsburg have won their past two matches and worked their way into fourth place in the Bundesliga standings.
- Barcelona and Athletic Club play at 3p on beIN Sports and Fanatiz. Barcelona are currently in third in la Liga but still 10 points back of Atletico Madrid. Sergino Dest was held out of training this week and is not expected to appear.
Let us know what you’re watching this weekend leading up to the Sunday evening USMNT match.