The Saturday schedule is full, including two possible matchups between young Americans in the Bundesliga. It’s possible that injuries and lack of playing time could ruin everything. Things are pretty sparse on Friday and Sunday, so we’ll be digging around a bit to see what we can find.
Derby County v Fulham - 2:45p on ESPN+
As mentioned, the pickings are pretty slim on Friday, so we’re jumping over to ESPN+ where you can catch Derby County and Fulham in action Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, even this match is marred as Duane Holmes picked up an injury last weekend that will keep him out for several weeks, casting doubt on his availability for his club as well as for the United States Men’s National Team in the upcoming March window.
On the opposite side of the field, Tim Ream should be lining up for a Fulham side that are in the thick of a promotion battle. Currently, Fulham sit in 3rd place with 56 points, three points behind Leeds United for automatic promotion and also just three points ahead of 7th place Bristol City. A strong push down the stretch could mean automatic promotion, while any slip up would mean missing the promotion playoffs all together. Ream has gone the full 90 in every match for which he has been available since the opener.
Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund - 9:30a on FS1
Schalke 04 v RB Leipzig would be the real marquee matchup on Saturday if everyone were healthy, but with both Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie banged up, we’ll turn our eyes to the second head-to-head match of USMNT players and hope that the youngsters actually see the field.
Josh Sargent has not had the type of year that he and most USMNT fans were hoping for, and the bad news is that he appears to have lost a starting position with the team. The good news is that he has continued to see significant minutes off the bench as he looks for opportunities to continue his growth. Werder Bremen are in the midst of a rough stretch, having lost four straight and eight of their past nine games. The team is now squarely in the relegation zone, five points back of 15th place Mainz 05. If you’re thinking that 5 points don’t seem like so many, this would be a good time to remind you that Werder have just 17 points through 22 games thus far. It would be great if Sargent could provide a spark that would see the team avoid relegation.
Werder Bremen will certainly have their hands full this weekend as they face 3rd place Borussia Dortmund. BVB has won four of their past five and the matchup also pits the league’s most productive offense against the leakiest defense. Dortmund is averaging nearly three goals per game over the entire season and four and a half goals per game over their past five. The game seems certain to produce its fair share of goals, and it would be fantastic to see Giovanni Reyna get in on the action and pick up his first league goal. The young man has seen minutes in every match since his first start in mid-January and has recorded a goal in dfb Pokal play and an assist in Champions League play, so the only remaining step is to open his Bundesliga account. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Reyna see extended time on Saturday given the weak opponent.
- Christian Pulisic is doubtful for Chelsea’s matchup with Tottenham Hotspur at 7:30a on NBCSN Saturday morning. Chelsea have been scuffling recently and currently sit in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth place Tottenham.
- Borussia Mönchengladbach play Hoffenheim at 9:30a on FS2. Fabian Johnson seems unlikely to see significant time for fourth place Gladbach.
- Schalke 04 and RB Leipzig face off at 12:30p on FS2 and it would be a fantastic matchup of USMNT youngsters if not for the fact that both Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams are questionable to play for their respective teams.
- Ventura Alvarado and Necaxa face Leon at 6p on ESPN Deportes
Looking through the paywall:
- Alfredo Morales and Fortuna Düsseldorf will play Freiburg at 9:30a on Fox Soccer Match Pass. Düsseldorf are also struggling in the relegation zone and will need to pick up some points over the final quarter of the season.
- DeAndre Yedlin’s Newcastle side will face Crystal Palace at 10a on NBC Sports Gold. Yedlin was not included in the squad last weekend in Newcastle’s 4-0 loss to Arsenal.
- Timothy Weah suffered yet another injury in his brief return for Lille and will be unavailable when the team meets Toulouse at 2p on beIN Sports Connect.
Wolfsburg v Mainz 05 - Noon on FS2
John Brooks has had an opportunity to work himself out of the doghouse over the past couple of matches for Wolfsburg, as he has started their last two matches including Europa League play. The team won both matches and currently sit in 9th place in the Bundesliga. This weekend, they will be facing 15th place Mainz, who are coming off a scoreless draw with Shalke.
- Sebastian Saucedo continues to make an impact south of the border for Liga MX leading Pumas UNAM. Saucedo has started every match for the team that is undefeated through their first six games in the Clausura. The will face a Morelia side that has won just once thus far in a match that will be televised on Univision at 1p.