You win some, and you lose a lot (particularly if you’re Chelsea FC apparently). It’s no different with schedules, and there’s a relatively light slate for the weekend, particularly on Saturday with the Bundesliga yet to restart. The good news is the action is fairly balanced across the weekend with a few matches each day, including three on Friday afternoon that seem likely to have an American influence. Here they are:
Napoli v Juventus - 2:45p on Paramount+
Weston McKennie continues to feature for a Juventus side that have won their two matches since returning from the World Cup break but now face league-leading Napoli in a clash of the top two clubs in Serie A. Napoli have lost just once this season and currently hold a seven point lead over Juventus and AC Milan. It will be a tough task for Juventus as the visiting team, but they need at least a draw to keep from falling ten points back in the title race.
- Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson look to get Jesse Marsch off the hot seat as they travel to Aston Villa Friday at 3p in a match that will be on USA Network. Leeds remain just two points out of the relegation zone and need to find a way to pickup points against the mid-table teams.
- Luca de la Torre is still looking for his first league start for Celta Vigo and saw just a minute off the bench in his team’s 1-0 win over lowly Elche. Celta Vigo sit just one point out of relegation, so perhaps they’ll mix things up a bit when they host Villarreal at 3p on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+.
Lecce v AC Milan - Noon on Paramount+
The situation around Sergiño Dest may be one to continue to monitor, as he has been used sparingly for AC Milan with just five minutes in their two league matches since the break. He did start the team’s Coppa Italia match on Wednesday but his side gave up the loan goal of the match in extra time, shortly after Dest was subbed off. Furthermore, Dest was deployed on the left side as a left wing back in the loss. It may be hard for Dest to find minutes moving forward and it will be interesting to see if he decides a move elsewhere would be best in the near future. For now, Milan will look to improve on their third place position in Serie A when they face Lecce at noon Saturday.
- With the slow day on Saturday, perhaps there’s some time to check out a little Eredivisie action as Djordje Mihailovic looks for his second straight start for AZ Alkmaar when they travel to Heerenveen at 12:45p on ESPN+.
Newcastle United v Fulham FC - 9a on Peacock
Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson and Fulham continued their unexpected run with a victory over 10-man Chelsea on Thursday. Fulham were level with Chelsea in the 58th minute when Chelsea’s new signee Joao Felix was sent off in his club debut after drawing a red card on a dangerous challenge. Fulham would go on to score another and move into sixth place with the win. Somehow, the side is just two points back of Tottenham for Europa League qualification and four points back of Manchester United for fourth place and Champions League play.
Fulham go right into another tough match, as they face a Newcastle side on Sunday that currently sit in third place having lost just once this season. Newcastle have drawn their past two league matches, first against Leeds and more recently against league-leading Arsenal FC. They are a tough matchup and any points at St. James’ Park would be another huge pickup for Fulham.
- Timothy Weah should probably also be looking for a move as he can’t seem to stake a claim to serious minutes, even in a cup match. He saw just 12 minutes off the bench last weekend in French Cup play and has been deployed as a right back as well. Lille’s opponent this weekend should look familiar, as it is the Troyes team they just defeated in cup play last weekend. Erik Palmer-Brown was not included in the squad for Troyes last weekend, which was the first match he has failed to play a significant role in this season.
- Reports out of Chelsea are that Christian Pulisic will miss two months due to a knee injury he picked up in Chelsea’s loss to Manchester City a little over a week ago. Pulisic may have a new boss to impress by the time he returns as the seat is likely getting toasty for Graham Potter with his Chelsea side dropping to 10th place following their loss to Fulham on Thursday. Chelsea face Chris Richards’ Crystal Palace side on Sunday at 9a on USA Network and 12th place Palace would draw level with a win. Richards has yet to break through for Palace, with just 30 minutes across all competitions since his return from injury.
Hit the comments below to let us know what else we should be keeping an eye on this weekend or if you see anything noteworthy from USMNT-eligible players as the matches progress.