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USMNT midweek viewing guide: Final form

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Americans worldwide seek to hit top form in their final games leading up to the international break.

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Weston McKennie of Juventus FC celebrates after scoring a... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

As the international break draws near, USMNT-eligible players will be seeking to hit top form to maximize their chances of a World Cup qualifying call-up. Let’s get into it!

Tuesday

  • Real Betis v Alavés, 2p on ESPN+ (free trial): Matt Miazga could face El Tri rival Andres Guardado and old pal Diego Lainez in this La Liga match. The main obstacle to the Miazga-Lainez reunion is that Diego has played just 66’ in La Liga this season, across 3 matches.
  • Brighton v Chelsea, 3p on USA, Universo, fuboTV, Sling TV: Christian Pulisic and Chelsea go on the road to face the 9th-place team in the Premier League.
  • Juventus v Sampdoria, 3p on Paramount+: Weston McKennie is in the best form of his life, scoring in back-to-back games and generally dominating the midfield for Juve. They face Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia round of 16, just a week after dropping the Supercoppa on a devastating last-minute Inter Milan winner.

Also in action:

  • Young Boys v Sion, 10a: While Jordan Pefok and Young Boys aren’t in season, he does have this friendly match to potentially keep him fresh for World Cup qualifying.
  • St. Pauli v Borussia Dortmund, 2:45p on ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling TV: Gio Reyna is highly unlikely for this DFB Pokal match, as he continues to work his way back from injury.
  • Fulham v Birmingham, 2:45p: Antonee Robinson, Tim Ream, and Fulham are getting their mojo back. They’ve won back-to-back games and hold a 2-pt lead in the Championship.
  • Aberdeen v Rangers, 2:45p on CBS Sports, fuboTV: Scotland is suddenly full of Americans, as Christian Ramirez and new arrival Dante Polvara lead Aberdeen vs NYCFC loanee James Sands.
  • Dundee United v St. Mirren, 2:45p: Ian Harkes and Dundee United have lost 5 straight in the Scottish Premiership, falling to 7th in the 12-team table.
  • Talleres v Independiente, 7p on ESPN+: Alan Soñora and Independiente lost their first group game in the Torneo de Verano, and will be looking to rebound against his brother Joel’s former team, Talleres.

Wednesday

  • Hannover v Gladbach, 12:30p on ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling TV: Joe Scally logged 29’ off the bench Saturday in his return from covid protocol. Gladbach will be favorites in this DFB Pokal round of 16 clash.
  • RB Leipzig v Hansa Rostock, 12:30p on ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling TV: Tyler Adams and Leipzig face the slightly-less-heralded Ryan Malone, Nils Fröling, and Hansa Rostock in the DFB Pokal.
  • Hoffenheim v Freiburg, 2:45p on ESPN3, fuboTV, Sling TV: Chris Richards is rumored to be joined by fellow Yank defender Justin Che at Hoffenheim. This DFB Pokal meeting features the 4th- and 6th-place Bundesliga sides.
  • Valencia v Sevilla, 3:30p on ESPN+: Yunus Musah could see more time in the Valencia midfield if regular starter Daniel Wass makes his rumored move to Atlético Madrid.

Also in action:

  • Rizespor v Antalyaspor, 9a: Tyler Boyd and Rizespor face Haji Wright and Antalyaspor in Turkey’s top flight.
  • Lille v Lorient, 1p: No sign that Tim Weah will be fit or ready for this Ligue 1 match.
  • Montpellier v Troyes, 1p: Niko Gioacchini has featured in every match for Montpellier going back to Sep 12. Erik Palmer-Brown got the surprise start for Troyes vs Lyon Sunday, and was highly-rated despite being at fault for a handball penalty kick.
  • Genk v Mechelen, 2:45p: Mark McKenzie and Genk (8th place) have a nice chance to move up the table as they face Mechelen (7th).
  • Real Sociedad v Atlético Madrid, 3p on ESPN+: It’s highly unlikely Jonathan Gomez will feature in this Copa del Rey match, but we’re leaving the match details here just in case.

Thursday

  • Galatasaray v Kasımpaşa, 12p on beIN Sports, Fanatiz, fuboTV, Sling TV: DeAndre Yedlin has been left on the bench in Galatasaray’s last four, despite playing in 14 straight before that. His last appearance was Dec 18.
  • PSV v Telstar, 12:45p on GolTV, Fanatiz, fuboTV (free trial): Richy Ledezma has seen very few minutes since returning from injury. This KNVB Cup match could be a chance for him to get back on the field with PSV.
  • Athletic Bilbao v FC Barcelona, 3:30p on ESPN+: Sergiño Dest hasn’t played since Dec 4, between adductor problems, covid, and being left on the bench.

Also in action:

  • Odense BK v Fredericia, 7a: Emmanuel Sabbi and OB have a friendly.
  • Hibernian v Cove Rangers, 2:45p: Chris Mueller could debut for Hibs in this Scottish FA Cup match.
  • Roma v Lecce, 3p on Paramount+: Bryan Reynolds was heavily linked to Anderlecht, but reports claim that deal has fallen through and he’ll be loaned elsewhere in Belgium.
  • San Luis v Juárez, 10p on TUDN, fuboTV, TUDN.com: Ventura Alvarado is back in Liga MX after a brief stop at Inter Miami, and he’s stepped straight into the starting XI, going 90’ in both the Bravos’ games so far in the Clausura.

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