The intensity continues to ratchet up as the season winds down. With the midweek guide picking up the Friday matches we’ll start our weekend on Saturday where most of the action is happening in Germany’s Bundesliga:
Union Berlin v Bayer Leverkusen - 9:30a on ESPN+
After his hot start to the season Jordan Pefok has just one goal since September and has started just three matches since the winter break. Union Berlin have fallen out of first place but still are within striking distance, five points back of Borussia Dortmund heading into the weekend. The team also holds a four point lead over fifth place RB Leipzig in the race for Champions League play next season. They have quite a bit to play for over the last five matches of the season and their opponent this weekend is a Bayer Leverkusen side who are themselves just six points back of Champions League qualification. Leverkusen are undefeated in their last thirteen matches across all competitions and are coming off a 2-0 win over RB Leipzig.
- Chris Richards got his first start since early February last Saturday in Crystal Palace’s 2-0 to Wolverhampton. Richards actually started at rightback in that one but shifted to a more central role when Joachim Andersen came off injured. On Saturday the team will take on West Ham at 7:30a on USA Network.
- John Brooks and Hoffenheim are coming off a 3-1 loss to Cologne but 10 points from their previous four matches have pulled them four points out of the relegation zone. They face RB Leipzig at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Paxten Aaronson has 50+ minutes combined in the past two matches for Eintracht Frankfurt. The team hasn’t won a match in over two months but sit solidly middle of the table, still just five points back of Leverkusen for Europa Conference League qualifying. They take on Augsburg who are just five points out of the relegation playoff position. This match will also be on ESPN+ at 9:30a.
- Joe Scally and Borussia Monchengladbach take on Stuttgart at 9:30a on ESPN+. Gladbach are coming off a 1-0 loss to Union Berlin and don’t seem like a threat for European competition though they are 11 points clear of relegation.
- Timothy Weah came off the bench for 12’ last week in Lille’s 1-1 draw with Auxerre. They face Ajaccio at 11a on beIN Sports this weekend.
- Nashville SC and Atlanta United will meet up on Saturday afternoon at 1:30p in a match that will be show on Fox. The match will feature two of the top USMNT centerbacks playing stateside in Nashville’s Walker Zimmerman and Atlanta’s Myles Robinson.
Bournemouth v Leeds United - 9a on Peacock
Weston McKennie started and Brenden Aaronson came on in relief as Leeds played Leicester to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday to maintain their one point lead over the relegation threatened side. With three of Leeds’ remaining matches coming against clubs in the top five their opportunities for points are going to be scarce so they likely need a result this weekend at a Bournemouth side that is two spots ahead of them in the standings as well as in two weeks when they face West Ham. There will be quite a bit of pressure as they look to avoid a return trip to Championship League play and their form recently has been quite poor with just one win and four points in their past six matches.
- Yunus Musah and Valencia will look to build on a huge last minute victory when they face Cadiz at 8a on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ in a relegation scrap. The victory pulled Valencia out of the relegation zone and had them jump Cadiz in the table, now leading by one point.
- Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson and Fulham have also struggled with form recently and will face Manchester City on Sunday morning at 9a. However, thanks to a large cushion the club built through the first three quarters of the season they still sit middle off the league table.
- Erik Palmer-Brown and Troyes sit 10 points from safety with six matches to play and seem almost guaranteed to go down but will cling to hope when they face Nice at 9a on beIN Sports.
- Luca de la Torre and Celta Vigo face Villarreal at 10:15a on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. de la Torre continues to start regularly for his side and has nearly 1,200 minutes on the season.
- Kevin Paredes missed last weekends 5-1 thumping of Bochum due to injury and his return timeframe is unknown. Wolfsburg face Mainz at 11:30a on ESPN+ in a battle of the seventh and eighth place teams who look to still track down European play in the last five matches of the season.
- Minnesota United and FC Dallas kick off at 9p on FS1 in some MLS After Dark action. Jesus Ferrira, Paul Arriola, and Paxton Pomykal continue to lead the way for Dallas.