The largest of clashes in Scotland happens again this weekend, with Americans on both sides of the battle. Elsewhere in Europe, Americans look to impress new managers, ready for summer moves, or stave of relegation. Here’s what we’re watching involving USMNT players this weekend:
Celtic v Rangers - 7:30a on CBS Sports
The U.S. will suit up on both sides of the latest edition of the Old Firm derby, with Malik Tillman taking the field for Rangers while Cameron Carter-Vickers will man the defense for league-leading Celtic FC. Celtic is running away with the league, with just one loss, to St. Mirren last September, and one draw, a 2-2 result that came against Rangers FC in their first league meeting on January 2nd. In the team’s most recent meeting, Celtic defeated Rangers 2-1 in the Scottish League Cup final.
Both Carter-Vickers and Tillman look like they could use a step up to more regular competition this summer. Carter-Vickers has cemented himself in the Celtic defense, which has given up just 21 goals in 30 matches, and Tillman has 10 goals and 4 assists in league play. But, both are playing for sides that are regularly dominating the ball, with little defensive pressure or resistance in attack. For now though, the two will take opposing sides in one of soccer’s most historic rivalries.
- Gio Reyna was out last weekend as Borussia Dortmund were embarrassed by Bayern Munich 4-2. He returned to the bench midweek, but did not play as BVB were bounced from the DFB Pokal 2-0 by RB Leipzig. He should be available this weekend as Dortmund take on Jordan Pefok and Union Berlin at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Paxten Aaronson was an unused substitute last weekend for Eintracht Frankfurt. The team travel to face Bayer Leverkusen this weekend at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Antonee Robinson, Tim Ream, and Fulham FC look to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to Bournemouth last weekend when they face the West Ham at 10a on Peacock. Fulham have lost three straight, but still sit in 10th place while West Ham are part of the massive group looking to fend off relegation.
- Christian Pulisic and Chelsea FC have a new interim manager as Frank Lampard has taken temporary leadership of the team until the end of the season. Chelsea are out of the running for European competition right now, as they sit in 11th place with nine matches to play. Still, they are also nine points clear of the relegation scrum. They will face the Wolverhampton Wanderers at 10a on USA Network.
- Malik Tillman’s brother Timothy has looked sharp for LAFC to start the season. He joined Aaron Long and Kellyn Acosta at the club and the three could represent the United States against Mexico in the upcoming non-FIFA window match, though Timothy said he has yet to hear from US Soccer. This weekend, they will face Austin FC at 7:30p on Fox.
Almeria v Valencia - 12:30p on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+
Currently part of a three way tie for the final three spots in La Liga, Valencia and Almeria will face off this weekend in a match with huge relegation implications. The two sides have identical 7-6-14 (W-D-L) records, though Valencia holds a significant goal differential advantage (side note: Valencia’s -3 goal differential would suggest they should be much closer to the middle of the table than their current 17th place position). The two teams drew 2-2 the last time they met in late January, with Valencia holding the advantage in terms of possession and shots but perhaps fortunate to walk away with the draw given that Almeria hit the woodwork on a penalty shot late in the first half.
Yunus Musah came on as a second half substitute for Valencia last weekend with the team down 1-0 to eighth place Rayo Vallecano. The team picked up a late penalty to draw one one and pick a point. Valencia have been getting better results recently with seven points from their last five matches, with the two losses in that time coming to FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
- Weston McKennie, Brenden Aaronson and Leeds United picked up three huge points against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday. It was a come from behind victory that saw them climb out of the relegation spots and jump Forest in the table, though they still sit just two points out of safety. They face Chris Richards’ Crystal Palace side, who sit just one point ahead of them in 12th place, at 9a on USA Network. Richards was not in the squad last weekend and has just eight minutes of playing time in the past two months.
- Erik Palmer-Brown and Troyes suffered another loss last weekend and remain in the relegation zone in France’s Ligue 1. They will face 12th place Clermont at 9a on beIN Sports.
- Joe Scally and Borussia Mönchengladbach take on Kevin Paredes and Wolfsburg at 9:30a on ESPN+. Scally has started all but four matches for ‘Gladbach this season, while Paredes came on as a substitute yet again last weekend as he picked up the game-tying assist in the dying minutes of Wolfsburg’s 2-2 draw with Augsburg.
- John Brooks and Hoffenheim have won two straight and are suddenly out of the relegation zone, though just three points ahead of Hertha Berlin. They face fellow relegation candidate Schalke at 1:30p on ESPN+.
Hit the comments to discuss all of this weekend’s action!