It’s MLS Cup Final weekend, and the action is heavy on Saturday with some significant matches in Italy starting Friday afternoon. Here’s what we’re keeping an eye on this weekend:
Hoffenheim v Bochum - 2:30p on ESPN+
John Brooks was an unused substitute again last Saturday in Hoffenheim’s 2-1 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach. That makes three of the past four Hoffenheim matches in which Brooks has failed to take part. Despite the loss Hoffenheim remain in sixth place and face a Bochum side that are winless in their last three matches and currently sit in twelfth place.
Juventus v Napoli - 2:45p on Paramount+
Weston McKennie continues to be an every match starter for Juventus as their win last weekend kept them within two points of Serie A leading Inter Milan. Juve have an important top five matchup with Napoli on Friday afternoon and McKennie is likely to start in the middle yet again though unfortunately Tim Weah remains out due to injury.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool - 7:30a on USA Network
After being unable to break into the lineup at center back Chris Richards has suddenly started two straight matches for Crystal Place in the midfield. Richards has looked strong in the role though it seems unlikely to be a long term position for him. His team face a Livepool side who are undefeated in their last eight Premier League matches and have put up six goals in their past two matches.
Union Berlin v Borussia Mönchengladbach - 9:30a on ESPN+
Brenden Aaronson and Union Berlin snapped their nine game Bundesliga loosing streak two weeks ago in a draw with Augsburg but are still looking for their first win since August when they face Joe Scally and 10th place Borussia Mönchengladbach. Jordan Pefok looks like he will miss an opportunity to go up against his former team as he remains out due to injury.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich - 9:30a on ESPN+
Paxten Aaronson received his first start for Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend but was subbed at halftime with Frankfurt down 1-0 to Augsburg in a match they would go on to loose 2-1. They face a Bayern side coming off a bit of extra rest as their match last weekend was cancelled due to weather conditions.
Wolfsburg v Freiburg - 9:30a on ESPN+
Kevin Paredes was an unused substitute in Wolfsburg’s midweek 1-0 dfb Pokal loss to to Borussia Monchengladbach in extra time. Paredes did see 14’ off the bench last weekend in his side’s 3-1 loss to Bochum. Wolfsburg face a Freiburg side that are two points ahead of them in the league standings.
Heidenheim v Darmstadt - 9:30a on ESPN+
Lennard Maloney and Heidenheim face fellow promotion side Darmstadt on Saturday. Both clubs are close to the relegation spots and a quick return to 2 Bundesliga with Darmstadt in the relegation playoff spot and Heidenheim just two points ahead of them. Maloney picked up a rare assist last weekend in Heidenheim’s 2-1 loss to RB Leipzig.
Sheffield United v Brentford - 10a on Peacock
Auston Trusty is up to eight straight Premier League starts for Sheffield United who lost again last weekend, 2-0 to Liverpool. Sheffield are dead last in the league standings with just five points through fifteen matches and appear destined to be relegated at the end of the 2023-24 campaign but for now Trusty is getting some solid experience which will continue again this weekend as the team take on mid-table Brentford who have lost three of their past four matches.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Nottingham Forest - 10a on Peacock
Nottingham Forest and their non Matt Turner goalie continue to ship goals at a rate that one would think would result in Turner getting another shot if things don’t turn around quickly. Forest have given up 12 goals in their past four matches, including five in their most recent loss to Fulham on Wednesday.
Atalanta v AC Milan - Noon on Paramount+
Our second big Italian matchup of the weekend sees Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah travel to Atalanta. Milan are six points off the Serie A lead in third place coming off a 3-1 win over Frosinone in which Pulisic scored the eventual match winner. They take on an Atalanta side that are in eighth place but just four points out of the Champions League positions.
Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig - 12:30p on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+
Giovanni Reyna missed out on Borussia Dortmund’s midweek dfb Pokal loss to Stuttgart due to illness and it remains to be seen whether he will have recovered in time for this weekends matchup with RB Leipzig who currently sit a point ahead of Dortmund in fourth place in the Bundesliga standings.
Columbus Crew v LAFC - 4p on Fox
Aiden Morris and the Columbus Crew take on Timothy Tillman, Kellyn Acosta and LAFC in the MLS Cup Final on big Fox Saturday afternoon. The final pits the winners of two of the past three Finals against each other as the Crew won in 2020 and LAFC are looking to defend their title winning campaign from last season.
Fulham United v West Ham United - 9a on Peacock
Antonee Robinson has picked up an assist in three of the past four matches for Fulham as the team has won two and lost two in that time and currently sit in twelfth place. They take on ninth place West Ham on Sunday looking for some additional cushion from the relegation scrap.