It wasn’t a great week in Europe for Americans playing in the Champions League and Europa League competitions with some uneven performances and unexpected results. We’re looking for a bounce back weekend and we have four days of competition again this weekend, so here we go:
Arminia Bielefeld v Wolfsburg – 2:30p on ESPN+
John Brooks and Wolfsburg get the weekend started on Friday when they face relegation candidate Arminia Bielefeld. Wolfsburg currently have a three point advantage over Bayer Leverkusen for the fourth and final Champions League position. The team has not given up a goal in their past five games though they were held to a scoreless drawn with seventh place Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend. Wolfsburg is no longer a part of the Europa League competition, so they are able to focus on their Champions League pursuit.
Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund – 12:30p on ESPN+
Giovanni Reyna did not make it off the bench for Borussia Dortmund in their 3-2 win over Sevilla in Champions League play on Wednesday. He has started three straight league games for the club, though the personal and team results in those competitions have been uninspiring. This is the first full season for the young man, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he was running into some issues with fatigue, but the club has a good chance to pick up points when they face last place Schalke. In fact, currently sitting six points back of Champions League qualifying, it seems almost necessary for BvB to pick up the points this weekend against such weak competition.
Matthew Hoppe and Schalke seem destined for relegation to 2. Bundesliga, unless of course the young striker, who has come on fast should make a sudden move to greener pastures. Reports are swirling that a number of clubs across Europe have their eyes on him. The team has managed draws in two of their past three, but still sit on just 9 points, another 9 back from relegation playoff positioning.
Looking through the paywall:
- Christian Pulisic is reportedly unlikely to play due to injury when Chelsea takes the field against Southampton at 7:30a on NBCSN.
- Pellegrino Matarazzo and Stuttgart face Köln this Saturday at 9:30a on ESPN+. Matarazzo recently signed a deal to stay with his surprising Stuttgart team through 2024.
- Antonee Robinson has not started the last couple of matches for Fulham after leading the team in minutes since his introduction. The club face Sheffield United in a battle of relegation threatened teams.
Hoffenheim v Werder Bremen – Noon on ESPN+
It’s another US v US matchup in the Bundesliga, as Chris Richards and Hoffenheim face Josh Sargent and Werder Bremen on Sunday afternoon. The two clubs have worked their way to middle of the table and are tied on 23 points, though they are only five points ahead of the relegation playoff position. Sargent has been a regular start for Bremen, while Richards has not started every match but has worked himself in very quickly since joining Hoffenheim from Bayern Munich.
Looking through the paywall:
- It was a rough Champions League result for Sergiño Dest and Barcelona, who got smoked midweek 4-1 by PSG. They’ll look to rebound when they face Cadiz at 8a on beIN Sports and Fanatiz.
- Timothy Weah picked up the goal in Lille’s 2-1 loss to Ajax in Europa League play. The team will look to hold on to their first place Ligue 1 position when they face Lorient at 11:05a on beIN and Fanatiz.
Juventus v Cortone – 2:45p on ESPN+
Juventus gave up a couple of shockers in their first leg loss to Porto in the Champions League. The team is also coming off a 1-0 loss to Napoli in league play and they now sit 8 points back of Inter Milan for the league title. On Monday, they look to take out some frustrations on last place Cortone.