5 to Watch This Weekend
Guzan and Villa Face a Huge Relegation Battle
Aston Villa's crucial battle against Norwich City headlines a busy club weekend for American players. Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and others will be on the tube as well.
BY Eduardo Mendez PostedPatience will be the key for the American soccer fan this weekend. Can you patiently wait for a tape delay? Can you stay up past your bedtime? Just how dedicated are you to the American cause? All those questions will be put to the test in this week’s five to watch. SATURDAY
May 03, 2013
May 03, 2013
Norwich City vs. Aston Villa 10:00 a.m. (all times Eastern) Fox Soccer Channel Christian Benteke took all the glory in Monday’s 6-1 win over Sunderland, but Brad Guzan will warrant a year’s worth of glory should Aston Villa stave off relegation. Somehow the American keeper has managed to survive a makeshift defensive line all season. Things are a bit less complicated for Guzan this weekend. Villa will travel to Carrow Road to face a Norwich City offense that is among the Premier League’s worst with just 33 goals scored. A win on Saturday would propel Villa to the magical 40-point mark and almost assure a spot in England’s top division next season. Fiorentina vs. A.S. Roma 2:45 p.m. 4:00 p.m. (delayed) on beIN Sport You won’t be able to catch this one live, but if you cover your eyes and ears for an hour and 15 minutes—and maybe even stay off Twitter—you can watch in almost real time. Fiorentina stands just one point behind A.C. Milan for the final Champions League spot from Serie A. Roma is just one point ahead of Udinese for the final spot in the Europa League. Everything will be on the line in Florence Saturday afternoon. This is exactly the kind of match Michael Bradley was made for. America vs. Tigres 6:00 p.m. Univision, Univision Deportes America and Tigres have already clinched a spot in La Liguilla, but the No. 1 seed is up for grabs at the Azteca. Both teams sit atop the Liga MX table with 32 points, with America holding a slight edge on goal differential. They may not be dire circumstances, but momentum is key. Entering the playoffs on a confident run is essential for any team, and confidence may not be brewing for Jose Torres’ side. Tigres have just one win in their last four matches. The time to turn that around is now. SUNDAY Liverpool vs. Everton 8:30 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel Don’t expect Liverpool to drop six goals this week. Champions League aspirations have all but evaporated for Everton, but Europa League positioning is still within reach. The Toffees enter Saturday sitting three points back of Tottenham for fifth in the Premier League. Clint Dempsey is vying for that final Champions League berth, but Everton can inch closer to knocking him out of Europe altogether. It starts with a win on Sunday. Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo 11:00 p.m. ESPN 2, ESPN 3 This is a rematch of the last two MLS Cup finals, but it won’t feel like a rematch Sunday night. The grandeur that is David Beckham is gone. Brad Davis will be forced to miss the action due to his red card suspension, and the late start time is enough to alienate the casual soccer fan. That said, this is still a battle between two teams that sit near the top of their respective conferences. That alone is reason enough to get that extra cup of coffee ready for Monday morning. BEST OF THE REST Premier League: Tottenham vs. Southampton (10:00 a.m., Saturday, ESPN 2, ESPN 3)—If you fancy a race to the top four over a relegation battle, keep an eye on Clint Dempsey Saturday morning. Liga MX: Tijuana vs. Chivas Guadalajara (10:25 p.m., Friday, Univision Deportes)—The Xolos are still battling for the Copa Libertadores, but their league form has been less than stellar. Watch as Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona attempt to end their disappointing league run on a high note. NO U.S. ANGLE BUT... Premier League: Manchester United vs. Chelsea (11:00 a.m., Sunday, Fox Soccer Channel)—If Manchester United take this one seriously, Tottenham will owe them a serious debt of gratitude. So what are you watching this weekend? Which matches did we miss that we should tune in for? Let us know in the new and improved comments section. Eduardo Mendez is a Brooklyn-based writer and an ASN contributor.