Injuries to key USMNT contributors are putting a damper on the end of the season, as there are fewer premier games to watch this weekend. However, Zack Steffen could get a chance for Manchester City and others look to avoid relegation or make an impression for a potential summer transfer.
Derby County v Fulham FC - 3p on ESPN+
Things are a bit slow on Friday afternoon, so if you’re looking for some action, head over to the English Championship and catch Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson in action as Fulham take on Wayne Rooney and Derby County. On paper, this one looks like a mismatch. Fulham are running away with the title, up 10 points with six matches to play, and they are all but mathematically guaranteed promotion to the EPL next season. Meanwhile, Rooney and Derby County are almost certainly going to be relegated as they trail Reading by 9 points for safety. It remains to be seen whether Ream and Robinson will continue the yo-yo process with Fulham. Ream has started every match for Fulham this season, including wearing the captain’s armband in most of those fixtures. But, he is also 35 years old and his contract with Fulham runs out in June. Robinson has also started the majority of matches for Fulham, but has repeatedly been the subject of rumors to move elsewhere.
Manchester City v Liverpool - 10:30a on ESPN+
Zack Steffen has again been the keeper for Manchester City’s FA Cup matches this season, and with the team still alive in Champions League action and in a fight with their opponent this weekend for the league title, it seems a good bet that Pep Guardiola will stick to his approach. If he does this, it should give Steffen a chance to go against one of the world’s top sides, though they may also feature a rotated side. It’s not all been smooth sailing for Steffen recently, so it would be good to see him show well this weekend.
- Josh Sargent and Norwich City get an opportunity to play spoiler against Manchester United this weekend. Norwich are all but relegated, but Man U still have a shot to qualify for European play next season. This match will be at 10a on USA.
- The San Jose Earthquakes face Walker Zimmerman and Nashville SC at 3:30p on Univision and Twitter.
- Cristian Roldan, Jordan Morris and the Seattle Sounders face DeAndre Yedlin and Inter Miami at 10p on FS1 in Saturday’s nightcap.
- John Brooks, Kevin Paredes, and Wolfsburg will look to stretch the gap between themselves and relegation when they face Borussia Dortmund at 9:30a on ESPN+. BVB’s Giovanni Reyna has been shut down for the season so will be unavailable for this matchup.
- Pellegrino Matarazzo and Stuttgart currently sit one point ahead of Arminia Bielefeld for the relegation playoff position. This weekend the club faces Mainz at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Augsburg have a six point gap between themselves and relegation and can do themselves a real favor this weekend by defeating relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin when the clubs meet at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Matt Miazga seems likely to move again this summer, but for now his Deportivo Alavés side face Rayo Vallencano at 10:15a on ESPN+. Alaves are seven points back of safety with seven matches yet to play.
- Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessmann, and Venezia also look headed for a drop. They are three points back of safety though at least they have a game in hand. They’ll face a tough Fiorentina side that still has a shot at Europa League. The match will be played at 10:30a on Paramount+.
- Joe Scally and Borussia Mönchengladbach look like they have secured their position in the Bundesliga next season, and Scally has been getting more minutes again lately. They face a Köln side that still has a chance to qualify for Europa league. The match can be seen at 12:30p on ESPN+.
- Yunus Musah and Valencia are solidly middle of the La Liga table, as is their opponent this weekend Osasuna. This match will be at 12:30p on ESPN+.
- Tim Weah returns from his two match red card suspension as Lille face Lens at 3p on beIN Sports. Lille are three points back of Europa Conference League qualifying with seven matches to play.
MLS Matchups (all on ESPN+):
- CF Montreal ( Djordje Mihailovic) and the Vancouver Whitecaps get the MLS weekend started at 3p.
- Atlanta United (Miles Robinson) takes on FC Cincinnati at 6p.
- The Houston Dynamo and the Portland Timbers face off at 6p.
- The New York Red Bulls (Kyle Duncan, Caden Clark) face FC Dallas (Jesús Ferreira, Paul Arriola, Paxton Pomykal, Brandon Servania, et al) at 7p.
- The Columbus Crew (Gyasi Zardes, Aidan Morris) and Orlando City kick off at 7:30p.
- DC United (Moses Neyman, Griffin Yow, Chris Durkin) face Austin FC at 7:30p.
- The New England Revolution (Matt Turner, Sebastian Lletget, DeJuan Jones) and Charlotte FC face off at 7:30p.
- Toronto FC (Michael Bradley) and the Philadelphia Union (Leon Flach, Paxten Aaronson, Quinn Sullivan) also kick off at 7:30p.
- The Chicago Fire (Gabriel Slonina) take on the LA Galaxy at 8p.
- Minnesota United (Wil Trapp, Hassani Dotson, Chase Gasper) and the Colorado Rapids (Auston Trusty, Jonathan Lewis) round out the schedule when they kick off at 8p.
Celtic FC v Rangers FC - 9a on ESPN+
Cameron Carter-Vickers scored the match winner two weeks ago for Celtic in their 2-1 Old Firm victory over Rangers and now the two clubs will go at it again, this time in Scottish FA Cup action. The win over Rangers gave Celtic a six point lead for the title race as they head into the final five matches, all against the top six in the league as the Scottish Premiership enters its “second phase.” It was a huge victory for Celtic, and CCV’s goal silencing the home crowd will be one he remembers for a very long time. The Cup match this weekend is the semifinal, but you can bet that the two sides will treat it as though it were for the silverware.
- Kellyn Acosta and LAFC take on Sporting Kansas City at 4p on ESPN. LAFC lead the Western Conference but are coming off a 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy, while Kansas City have lost five of their last six.
- Erik Palmer-Brown and Troyes face Strasbourg at 9a on beIN Sports. Troyes are currently six points out of relegation, while their opponent Strasbourg is in fourth place and fighting for a place in the European competitions.
- George Bello and Arminia Bielefeld have a tough matchup against Bayern Munich this weekend at 9:30a on ESPN+, which will make their attempts to stave off relegation more difficult, currently they sit in the relegation playoff position and trail Stuttgart by one point for safety.
- Chelsea face Crystal Palace in FA Cup action this weekend. Christian Pulisic was a second half sub midweek as Chelsea were bounced from Champions League play by Real Madrid.
- Chris Richards and Hoffenheim face Julian Green and Greuther Fürth at 11:30a on ESPN+. Fürth are as good as relegated, while Richards and Hoffenheim are clinging to sixth place and Europa Conference League qualifying.
- Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig meet up in top four clash Sunday afternoon at 1:30p on ESPN+. Tyler Adams unfortunately has just one start since January.
MLS Matches (on ESPN+):
- NYCFC and Real Salt Lake meet at 1p. NYCFC have won just one game so far this season while RSL currently sit third in the West.
Hit the comments section below and let us know what you think of Steffen’s performance, the relegation races, or who you think should be showing off for a summer move.