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USMNT midweek viewing guide: Attack on display

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Christian Pulisic, Konrad de la Fuente, Nicholas Gioacchini, and potentially Richy Ledezma will put their skills to work this midweek.

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2021/22 UEFA Europa League: FC Marseille vs Lokomotiv Moscow Photo by Mikhail Japaridze\TASS via Getty Images

There is no Champions League action this midweek, but there are 26 USMNT players with games on the line as we draw closer to Christmas Day. Let’s get into it!

Tuesday

  • Juventus v Cagliari, 2:45p on Paramount+: Weston McKennie returned from a knee injury to play 71’ in Juve’s 2-0 win over Bologna Saturday. Juve have won 3 of 4, but are still 6 pts out of Champions League places.
  • Sevilla v FC Barcelona, 3:30p on ESPN+: Sergiño Dest is out due to “an overload in his adductor muscles”. “The evolution of the injury will mark his availability.” I’m sure it sounded better in Spanish.

Also in action:

  • Antalyaspor v Kasımpaşa, 9a: Haji Wright has played 1’ across 2 games since injury kept him out from Nov 6-Dec 5. Antalyaspor are 5 pts clear of the drop.
  • Adana Demirspor v Galatasaray, 12p on beIN Sports, Fanatiz, fuboTV, Sling TV: DeAndre Yedlin has started 20 straight for Galatasaray, and been cautioned in 3 straight. The Aslansar won their Europa League group, but sit 11th in Turkey.
  • Villarreal v Alavés, 1p on ESPN+: Matt Miazga has been out since Dec 11 due to covid. Alavés are one of 3 clubs on 15 pts in La Liga, but are in the drop zone due to goal difference.
  • Maccabi Haifa v Hapoel Hadera, 1:30p: Josh Cohen and Haifa were unceremoniously dumped from Conference League, but are only 2 pts off first in Israel.
  • Arsenal v Sunderland, 2:45p on ESPN+: This Carabao Cup quarter-final could feature Folarin Balogun, who has 7’ in the cup for the Gunners, and was on the bench in their last Carabao Cup game, 2-0 over Leeds. Lynden Gooch has 4 assists for the Black Cats, and started in their last Carabao Cup game, when they beat QPR on penalties.

Wednesday

  • Venezia v Lazio, 10:30a on Paramount+: Gianluca Busio and Tanner Tessmann both started Sunday in Venezia’s 1-1 draw with Sampdoria. The Venetians haven’t won since November, but are 7 pts clear of the drop.
  • Heracles v Cambuur, 2p: Luca de la Torre has played over 800 consecutive Eredivisie minutes for Heracles, whose win over Groningen on Saturday broke a 4-game losing streak and pushed them into 14th, 4 pts above relegation.
  • Brentford v Chelsea, 2:45p on ESPN+ (free trial): Christian Pulisic missed Chelsea’s first two Carabao Cup games due to injury. He’s started as a false 9 in their last two EPL games, including Sunday’s 0-0 with Wolves. The Blues look to reach the Carabao Cup semifinals.
  • Marseille v Reims, 3p on Fanatiz, fuboTV (free trial), Sling TV: Konrad missed Marseille’s last league match, but got the start for them in the cup on Sunday. Les Olympiens are a surprising second in Ligue 1, trailing leaders PSG by 9 pts.
  • Montpellier v Angers, 3p: Niko Gioacchini has been working his way into the Montpellier lineup, and got his third start Sunday. La Paillade have won 3 straight and are fifth in France.

Also in action:

  • Sivasspor v Rizespor, 9a: Tyler Boyd has 1 assist in 14 games for Rizespor, and played for Sivasspor on loan last year. Rizespor have won 2 straight, but are 17th in Turkey, and need more wins to avoid relegation.
  • Roma v Sampdoria, 12:30p on Paramount+: Will Reynolds’ USMNT cameo have any impact on his standing with Roma, or were they just trying to raise interest for a Reynolds loan in January? The Giallorossi have won 2 straight and are fifth in Italy.
  • Hibernian v Aberdeen, 2:45p: Christian Ramirez has 8 goals in 18 games for Aberdeen, who’ve won 3 straight, pulling them into 6th of 12 in Scotland. Fellow Yank Chris Mueller will be making his way to Hibs in just a couple weeks’ time.
  • St. Mirren v Celtic, 2:45p: Cameron Carter-Vickers lifted the league cup with Celtic Sunday. His loan to Scotland has been massively successful so far, and he’ll be hoping for a World Cup qualifying call-up in January.
  • Bordeaux v Lille, 3p on Fanatiz, fuboTV, Sling TV: Tim Weah has been linked with Sevilla, but is currently out due to an injury “that is not trivial”, per Lille boss Gourvennec.
  • Troyes v Brest, 3p: Erik Palmer-Brown made just his third Troyes appearance in their cup game Sunday (they lost on penalties). Fellow US-eligible CB and Man City loanee Philippe Sandler is out with a hamstring injury. Troyes have lost 2 straight and 5 of 6, and sit 1 point clear of relegation in Ligue 1.

Thursday

  • PSV v Go Ahead Eagles, 12:45p on ESPN+: Will Richy Ledezma’s Eredivisie return come on Thursday? Since returning from injury, Ledezma has logged 45’ for Jong PSV, an 8’ first-team sub appearance in the cup, and made the bench for 3 other first-team matches (2 Eredivisie, 1 Europa League).
  • Vizela v Braga, 1:45p: Alex Méndez has played in 9 straight for Vizela, including starting and scoring in both their previous cup matches (this game is the cup round of 16). Fellow American Alejandro Alvarado made his first-team debut in Vizela’s last cup game.

Also in action:

  • FC Porto B v Penafiel, 9:30a: Sebastian Soto hasn’t played in 5 straight for Porto’s reserves, after notching 1 goal and 1 assist across his first two starts there. Porto B is 10th of 18 in Portugal’s second tier.
  • Brugge v Leuven, 3p on ESPN+: As of writing, the last news on Owen Otasowie is that he was injured in a game with Brugge’s U-21s. The first team is in the cup quarter-finals here.

That’s it! Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s see who impresses this week!