Happy Thanksgiving! While there isn’t a wealth of options this weekend, there is a nice balanced schedule as you come back down from the excess of Thursday and roll into the weekend. Unfortunately, Christian Pulisic won’t be broadcast widely (his Chelsea team play West Ham at 10a on the NBC Sports Gold package Saturday morning), but there is some other EPL action to check in on as well as what is almost becoming a regular occurrence of (at least potential) American vs. American action in the Bundesliga. So let’s get to it, here’s what we’re watching this weekend:
Schalke 04 v Union Berlin - 2:30p on FS2
Weston McKennie came off the bench last weekend in Schalke’s 2-1 win over Werder Bremen. Speculation was that McKennie started the game on the bench due to the travel involved in the international break, but it was just the third match for which he was available that McKennie did not start outright. If that is the case, Weston should be back in the starting lineup Friday afternoon as Schalke look to improve on their fifth place position when they face 11th place Union Berlin. Schalke have suffered just two losses this season and are within three points of first place Borussia Mönchengladbach in what remains a packed top of the table.
Schalke’s opponents this weekend are Union Berlin who are coming off a 2-0 win over league leading ‘Gladbach that stretched their win streak to four straight games. Union Berlin had a rough stretch early in the season where they lost four straight and five of six, but otherwise have been playing like a top of the table team. Interestingly, Union Berlin have had just one draw so far this season. This should be an interesting match to start off the weekend.
- Tim Ream and Fulham will face Swansea City at 2:45p on ESPN+ in some bonus action of top six teams that look primed for a promotion battle this season.
Newcastle v Manchester City - 7:30a on NBCSN
DeAndre Yedlin will have his work cut out for him Saturday morning as Newcastle face Manchester City. It’s a bit shocking that the defending champions are nine points back of Liverpool already but they remain a very dangerous team. Meanwhile, a Newcastle team that many thought were primed for a relegation fight this season have been outpacing expectations early on and currently sit in fourteenth though they are coming off a 2-0 loss to Aston Villa, who sit just below them in the table. Yedlin has started six straight games for Newcastle after injuries slowed his start to the season, but he looks to have resumed his lock on the position without much question.
- New Hertha Berlin boss is former USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann, at least on an interim basis. His coaching debut with the team will come Saturday when Hertha face Borussia Dortmund at 9:30a on FS2
Wolfsburg v Werder Bremen - Noon on FS1
It’s our weekend matchup of Americans in the Bundesliga, though it does feel like it could go sideways relatively easily. Josh Sargent had a stretch of five straight starts for Werder Bremen, but returned to the bench with Yuya Osako’s return from injury and last weekend didn’t make it off the bench in the teams 2-1 loss to Schalke. The team has been disappointing thus far with just two wins through their first twelve games, which is relegation level quality, but they did manage to go through a stretch where they tied five straight games which is enough to have them in 14th place.
Meanwhile John Brooks, who was a lock starter for Wolfsburg last season, was shockingly relegated to the bench in early November. He did return to the lineup last weekend in the team’s 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt and again midweek in the team’s 1-0 Europa League win over Ukrainian side FK Oleksandria.
- Fabian Johnson’s Borussia Mönchengladbach, currently sitting top of the table but coming off a disappointing loss to Union Berlin, will face fourth place SC Freiburg at 9:30a on FS1. Johnson returned from injury last weekend to find a place on the bench but did not see the field.
- Early morning bonus streaming action as Sergiño Dest and Ajax face Twente at 6:15a on ESPN+. Dest has started the last three league games on the bench, but got the start midweek in the team’s 2-0 Champions League win over Lille.
- Double bonus action as Timothy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt side faces Mainz 05 on Monday at 2:30p on FS2. Chandler has rarely played this season for a Frankfurt side that has lost 3 of 4 and slipped to 10th in the Bundesliga.
Let us know what else you’re watching this weekend in the comments section below.