Christian Pulisic and Chelsea will have another chance to hoist a trophy this weekend in the Club World Cup while action continues across Germany, Italy, Spain and England as well. There’s a full slate of games so we’re diving right in to Friday’s action.
RB Leipzig v Koln - 2:30p on ESPN+
Tyler Adams is reportedly healthy and ready to return to action for RB Leipzig as they look to bounce back from their 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich last weekend. Adams picked up a hamstring injury in the USMNT loss to Canada on January 30 and was held out of their 3-0 win over Honduras. He would go on to miss last weekends matchup with Bayern as well but his availability less than two weeks out of the strain would seem to indicate it was not a significant injury. Leipzig are currently tied for seventh place and just three points back of fourth place Union Berlin. Their opponent this weekend is sixth place Koln who they can jump with a victory.
Chelsea v Palmeiras - 11:30a on FS2
It may not be the most prestigious trophy but Christian Pulisic and Chelsea have a chance to secure some more hardware on Saturday, and avoid some embarrassment, when they face Palmeiras in the Club World Cup final. Chelsea defeated Al Hilal 1-0 in the Semifinal on Wednesday and will now face the Brazilian side who won their semi-final over Al Ahly 2-0. Pulisic was an unused substitute on Wednesday and it will be interesting to see how Thomas Tuchel elects to rotate his side. Chelsea will have a week off after their CWC match before facing Crystal Palace next weekend in league play and then heading into their Champions League semi-final matchup with Lille.
- Julian Green and Greuther Furth face Hertha Berlin at 9:30a on ESPN+. Green does not appear to be on the USMNT radar and his club is swiftly moving back to 2 Bundesliga.
- Ricardo Pepi and Joe Scally could potentially meet this weekend when Augsburg face Borussia Monchengladbach at 9:30a on ESPN+. Pepi was held out of last weekends match coming off his quick turnaround from Minneapolis but should be available this weekend. Meanwhile Scally, who led his team in minutes played through the first half of the season has seen his minutes dip over the last several weeks and did not make it off the bench last weekend.
- The second American Bundesliga matchup of the weekend sees Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt face John Brooks and Wolfsburg at 9:30a on ESPN+. Kevin Paredes also made the Wolfsburg bench last weekend just after his move from DC United but did not see the field.
- Timothy Weah and Lille look to bounce back from their loss to PSG when they face Montpellier at 11a on beIN sports.
- Josh Sargent has missed his clubs’ last two matches due to illness but has returned to health and is available as Norwich City face Manchester City at 12:30p on NBC. Perhaps one more week of recovery would’ve been best.
- Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessman and Venezia face Torino at 2:45p on Paramount+. Venezia have fallen back into the relegation zone, two points back of safety, and will need to find ways to get points against mid-table teams such as Torino to climb out.
Union Berlin v Borussia Dortmund - 9:30a on ESPN+
Giovanni Reyna returned after his five month injury layoff and saw 30’ off the bench in the clubs embarrassing 5-2 loss to Bayer Leverkusen that put an end to their hopes of catching Bayern Munich for the league title. Dortmund were already down 4-1 when Reyna was brought on, not an ideal situation to return to the field but a good step in returning to full playing time. It would not be surprising to see Reyna get the start this weekend as BVB look to bounce back in a tough matchup with fourth place Union Berlin.
- Matt Miazga’s Deportivo Alaves face Yunus Musah and Valencia at 8a on ESPN+. Miazga has found his way back to the bench while Musah has started four straight matches for Valencia.
- Chris Richards’ Hoffenheim face George Bello and Arminia Bielefeld at 11:30a on ESPN+. Richards remains out with the injury sustained while on international duty while Bello quickly made the field as a substitute in his first availability for Bielefeld.
- Weston McKennie and Juventus face Atalanta at 2:45p on Paramount+ in a crucial match in the race for Champions League qualification. Currently Juventus hold a two point lead over Atalanta for the fourth and final spot.
- Barcelona face Espanyol at 3p on ESPN+ and Sergino Dest should get the start at Right Back with Dani Alves picking up the straight red in last weekends 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid.
Hit the comments section below as you follow along with the action this weekend and let us know what you’re seeing.