Weekend preview

Sargent vs. Brooks, Vienna Derby, highly weekend for Americans abroad

As most Americans are still relaxing from Thanksgiving, there is also plenty of soccer to take in as well. As he does every Friday, here is Brian Sciaretta's detailed weekend preview for Americans abroad - led by the intense Vienna derby, Sargent and Brooks facing off, Yunus Musah visiting Atletico Madrid - and much more. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
November 27, 2020
7:25 AM

WHILE MANY AMERICANS stateside are relaxing for the holiday weekend, there is a full slate of games this weekend for Americans abroad and the best game takes place on Friday when the top American forward takes on the top American central defender.

But there is plenty more as American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo and his Stuttgart team take on Bayern Munich. There is also the always intense Vienna Derby. We can only hope that Christian Pulisic returns for Chelsea and the London club has not ruled him out as of yet.

As with every weekend, here is what I will be watching for in the day ahead.


Wolfsburg - Werder Bremen

The Bundesliga
Friday, November 27: 2:30pm EST


The top American central defender in John Brooks will square off against probably the top American center forward in Josh Sargent on Friday when Wolfsburg hosts Werder Bremen.

Wolfsburg has been in excellent form defensively as it has conceded just five goals over eight games to start the season. It has yet to lose a game while it has won three while drawing five. Brooks has been excellent so far this season as Wolfsburg has scored just nine goals and has been relying heavily on its defense.

Josh Sargent, meanwhile, has scored just once this season but is coming off his best game of the season in a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich. Sargent assisted on Werder’s only goal while saw two shots denied by great saves from Manuel Neuer. Werder Bremen has drawn its last five games and has just one loss on the season so far – a huge improvement from last season when it narrowly avoided relegation via a playoff.


Borussia Dortmund – FC Koln

The Bundesliga
Saturday, November 28: 9:30am EST


Gio Reyna, 18, and second place Borussia Dortmund trail leaders Bayern Munich by just a single point and can move into the league lead if Bayern drop points and Dortmund defeat Koln on Saturday. Dortmund is heavy favorites in this one as Koln sit in 17th place out of 18 teams and is yet to win a game. Its three points are from three draws.

Reyna should start this one as the young American playmaker has been playing well lately and has been a positive influence on Dortmund’s strong start to the season.


RB Leipzig - Arminia Bielefeld

The Bundesliga
Saturday, November 28: 9:30am EST


Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig will be the heavy favorites when they host 16th place Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday. Adams was an unused sub midweek for Leipzig when it dropped a 1-0 decision to Paris St. Germain in the Champions League. Last weekend he started at right back in a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt.

But with Adams well rested in this one, a return to the starting lineup seems probable. While he doesn’t always start (even less so in central midfield), the former New York Red Bull has done well when on the field.


Benevento - Juventus

Serie A
Saturday, November 28: 12:00pm EST


Weston McKennie and Juventus will be the favorites on Saturday when they travel south to visit Benevento – which snapped a four-game losing streak last weekend with a win over Fiorentina.

While McKennie hasn’t quite been a regular starter for Juventus, he has started three times for the defending champions. He made his first Champions League start midweek for the club when he was quiet in a 2-1 win over Ferencvaros. But overall, the Texan has adjusted well to the spotlight of Juventus and will continue to get starts.


Valencia - Atletico Madrid

La Liga
Saturday, November 28: 10:15am EST


The day before his 18th birthday, Yunus Musah will likely start for Valencia in a huge game when it hosts contending Atletico Madrid on Saturday. Musah has looked worthy of the growing hype that is surrounding him so far this season as he has locked down a starting role with the club and has been part of some big performances.

Last weekend, he played a big role for Valencia as it rallied from a two goal deficit to draw Deportivo Alaves 2-2. Normally a central midfielder, Musah has been playing mostly on the right side of the midfield for Valencia.

This will be the biggest test of Musah’s young career as Atletico Madrid has won its last five La Liga games. We don’t know yet if he will decide to represent the U.S. team permanently but until he makes that decision, he is well worth it for American fans to follow.


Barcelona – Osauna

La Liga
Sunday, November 29: 8:00am EST


Sergino Dest, 20, is coming off a terrific midweek performance for Barcelona in the Champions League when he scored his first goal for the club in a 4-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv. It wasn’t just the goal either, Dest had 100 touches in the game and was regularly dangerous.

But Barcelona has struggled so far in the early La Liga season at it has just 11 points from eight games. It is a transitional year for Barcelona as it will eventually look to move on from what’s left of the team’s older, legendary core. Dest, however, has looked like a genuine part of the next generation.

Barcelona will be the favorite in this game and its opponent, Osauna, also has 11 points but has played one more game.


Boavista – Belenenses

Primeira Liga
Sunday, November 29: 12:30pm EST


After notching two assists for the United States on Monday in a 6-2 win over Panama, Reggie Cannon now looks to help his Boavista team that has just one win from seven games to start the season. That win, two games before the international window, came against a very good Benfica team. In the subsequent game, however, Boavista lost to a previously winless Farense team that came into the game in last place.

So which Boavista team will show up? It is tough to tell and when watching the team, you can see both talent and a complete lack of chemistry as many of the players, like Cannon, are in their first year at the club. Cannon has been among Boavista’s better players and is an automatic starter at the moment but he will need to get involved more in the attack.

Belenenses is a winnable game for Boavista playing at home. Both teams have one win in seven games with Belenenses having seven point to Boavista’s six points.


Rapid Vienna - Austria Vienna

The Austrian Bundesliga
Sunday, November 29: 11:00am EST


The typically intense Vienna derby will take place on Sunday when Rapid Vienna hosts Austria Vienna. United States U-23 central defender Erik Palmer-Brown will likely start for Austria Vienna which is looking to snap a four-game winless stretch in the Austrian Bundesliga. Midweek, it looked sharp in a 5-3 win over Hartberg in the Austrian Cup.

Rapid is the deserved favorite in this one as it is in third place, and just two points off the top of the table. It could have moved atop the table last weekend if it defeated lower-table club Ried – but instead it was upset 4-3.


SM Caen - Chateauroux

Ligue 2
Saturday, November 28: 1:00pm EST


Nicholas Gioacchini is red hot these days and SM Caen has benefitted greatly. Just before the international window, Gioacchini came off the bench and scored a stoppage time winner in a 1-0 win over Nancy. Then Gioacchini scored two goals for the U.S. national team in a 6-2 win over Panama during the November window. Last weekend, Gioacchini earned the decisive penalty in Caen’s 2-1 win over Le Havre.

As a result, SM Caen has moved into second place of Ligue 2 and is expected to be a strong contender for promotion into the top flight next season. It should once again be the favorites on Saturday against 16th place Chateauroux.


Elsewhere around the globe


In the Premier League, Christian Pulisic is questionable for Chelsea when it hosts Tottenham in a big London derby on Sunday. DeAndre Yedlin will be lucky just to make the bench for Newcastle United when it visits Crystal Palace on Friday. Owen Otasowie is still looking to make his professional debut and that might happen on Sunday when his Wolves squad visits Arsenal. Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson and Fulham visit Leicester City on Monday.

In the Championship, team captain Geoff Cameron will likely start for Queens Park Rangers when it visits Brentford on Friday. United States U-20 forward Charlie Kelman will hope to make his QPR debut after joining the club in September. Duane Holmes and Derby County host Wycombe Wanders on Saturday. Matthew Olosunde and Rotherham United host AFC Bournemouth on Saturday. Bournemouth’s Cameron Carter-Vickers is injured for this one.

In third tier League One, Lynden Gooch and Sunderland visit Fleetwood Town on Friday.

In the Bundesliga, Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt visit Union Berlin on Saturday. It will also be an intriguing matchup on Saturday when Stuttgart, managed by American Pellegrino Matarazzo, hosts defending champions Bayern Munich which have occasionally used young American defender Chris Richards – who started in the Champions League midweek in a 3-1 win over Salzburg. Matarazzo’s Stuttgart team has drawn four straight and has not lost since the season’s first game.

In the 2.Bundesliga, Julian Green and second place Greuther Furth visit Nurnberg on Sunday. Leon Flach, Kevin Lankford and St. Pauli hosts Osnabruck on Friday. Jann George and Jahn Regensburg host Wurzburger Kickers on Saturday. Bobby Wood and Hamburg visit Heidenheim on Sunday. Alfredo Morales and Fortuna Dusseldorf visit Bochum on Monday.

In Italy’s Serie B, Wisconsin forward Andrija Novakovich and Frosinone visit Brescia on Saturday. Former Long Island University midfielder Giuseppe Barone and Salernitana visits Cosenza on Sunday.

In Spain’s Segunda, Shaq Moore and Tenerife visit Albacete on Sunday.

In Ligue 1, Tim Weah and Lille visit St. Etienne on Sunday.

In Ligue 2, Patrick Koffi and league leading Paris FC visit Grenoble Foot 38 on Saturday.

In the Eredivisie, Desevio Payne and FC Emmen visit Ajax on Satuday. Uly Llanez and Heerenveen visit ADO Den Haag on Saturday. Luca de la Torre and Heracles host AZ Alkmaar on Sunday. Richard Ledezma and PSV Eindhoven host Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday.

In Holland’s second tier Eerste Divisie, Ledezma might also feature for PSV II on Friday against Helmond Sport. Sebastian Soto and Telstar visit Utrecht II on Monday.

In Turkey’s Super Lig, Eric Lichaj and Fatih Karagumruk visit Kayserispor on Monday. Meanwhile, Tyler Boyd is still ineligible for Besiktas when it visits Fenerbache on Sunday.

In the Scottish Premiership, Ian Harkes, Dillon Powers and Dundee United visit Livingston on Saturday.

In Belgium’s top flight, Matt Miazga and Anderlecht host Standard Liege on Sunday. Chris Durkin and St. Truiden host Joe Efford and Waasland Beveren on Saturday. Ethan Horvath will likely be on the bench for Club Brugge when it visits Excel Mouscron on Saturday. Brenden Hines-Ike will hope to return to the bench for Kortrijk when it hosts KV Oostende on Sunday.

In Denmark’ Superliga, Emmanuel Sabbi and OB will likely start for OB Odense when it visits Randers on Friday. Michael Lansing will likely be the backup goalkeeper for Horsens when it hosts Vejle on Sunday. Haji Wright is questionable for Sonderjyske when it hosts Copenhagen on Sunday.

In the Swedish Allsvenskan, Mix Diskerud and Helsingborg host Haklenberg on Sunday. Romain Gall and Orebro visit Hacken on Sunday. Aron Johannsson and Hammarby host Norrkoping on Monday.

In Norway, Henry Wingo and Molde host Haugesund on Sunday.

In Poland’s top flight, Kenny Saief and Lechia Gdansk host Lech Poznan on Monday.

In Austria’s Bundesliga, American manager Jesse Marsch and Salzburg will look to rebound from their first loss of the season when they host St. Polten on Saturday.

In the Swiss Super League, American-born forward Jordan Siebatcheu should be on the bench for league leaders Young Boys when they visit Lausanne Sport on Sunday.

In Greece's Super League, 2015 U.S. U-23 midfielder Gboli Arybi and winless Panaitolikos visit Panathinaikos on Sunday.

In Argentina’s Copa Liga Professional, Alan Sonora and Independiente visit Colon on Saturday. While his older brother, Joel Sonora, and Talleres de Cordoba visit Lanus on Sunday.

In Brazil’s Serie A, U.S. national team defensive midfielder Johnny Cardoso and Internacional visit Atletico GO on Sunday.

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