Weekend preview

U-17s, Sargent, Pulisic, & Robinson highlight weekend's best games

A busy weekend awaits for many American players based in Europe while the U.S. U-17 team face a must-win game. ASN's Brian Sciaretta is here with his weekly weekend preview with the 10 best games to follow for American fans
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
November 01, 2019
10:00 AM
NOVEMBER IS here and midseason in Europe is essentially upon us. The first part of the season had some growing pains but many American players are starting to hit their stride.

With MLS season nearly complete and MLS Cup still a week away, the focus will shift to Europe where many players such as Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Weston McKennie, and DeAndre Yedlin will be looking to build off their momentum from positive performances.

Meanwhile in Brazil, the U.S. U-17 team will fight to play another day.

As we do every Friday, here are the top 10 games to follow this weekend from an American perspective.

United States – Netherlands

U-17 World Cup
Saturday, Nov. 2: 7:00pm EST

What is at stake is easy for the U.S. U-17 national team: win and they advance to the round of 16. Lose or draw, they come home after three games.

After being soundly beaten by Senegal 4-1, the United States played Japan to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday. A win would ensure that it would likely be the second-place team in its group while at worst it would be one of the four best third place teams in the World Cup.

Right now, the U.S. team has a lot of concerns. While its defense improved against Japan, it was still held scoreless. Offensive output is lacking and the team struggles against physical opponents.

The Netherlands enters this game having lost its first two games and is playing poorly as well. When the two teams met last month, the United States prevailed.

This is anyone’s game.

West Ham - Newcastle United

The Premier League
Saturday, Nov. 2: 11:00am EST.

Seemingly every year, DeAndre Yedlin is in a relegation battle. This year looks to be no different as his Newcastle United sits just one point above the drop zone. The good news for Yedlin is that he has been sharp since his return last-month from a surgery he underwent in May.

Ahead will be difficult trip to London where 10th place West Ham awaits.

Watford – Chelsea

The Premier League
Saturday, Nov. 2: 1:30pm EST

Last week, Christian Pulisic earned accolades when he became the second ever American player to score a Premier League hat trick. Despite playing in a midweek loss to Manchester United in the League Cup, Pulisic is trending upward in recent weeks where he has been a difference maker in big games.

Watford has had a brutal start to the season as it sits in last place in the Premier League with just five points through 10 games.

Wigan Athletic - Swansea City

The Championship
Saturday, Nov. 2: 8:30am EST

American left back Antonee Robinson was named to the Championship team of the month for October by several publications and is clearly playing very well. Robinson, a native of England, is among the most athletic left backs in the league with his ability to cover the endline in both the attack and defense. Despite the left back’s success, Wigan sits just three points from safety in the Championship.

Swansea City will be a difficult opponent as it sits in a log-jam of four teams that is tied for second place on points. These teams all trail leaders, West Brom, by two points.

Derby County - Milddlesbrough

The Championship
Saturday, Nov. 2: 11:00am EST

Derby County is trying to fight through a lot of challenges this season after the loss of its captain in an incident where four players went out drinking and were involved in an automobile accident.

Duane Holmes missed the preseason with an injury and that also cost him the first four rounds of the season. He has also missed time this season with an illness. But Holmes is back on the field, playing well, and is helping the club stabilize and climb back towards midtable.

These games are important for Holmes who is trying to climb back into the U.S. national team picture after his injury forced him to withdraw from the Gold Cup team.

Middlesbrough is one of the three teams in the relegation zone and is a beatable opponent for Derby – who will be playing at home.

Reading - Millwall

The Championship
Saturday, Nov. 2: 11:00am EST

Matt Miazga and Reading came into this season with hopes of an improved season from 2018/19 where they narrowly escaped relegation. So far, the team is in the exact same place as it is only out of the bottom three thanks to goal differential.

Miazga has been a stable force for Reading although he’s dealt with his share of injuries. But the New Jersey native will have his hands full on Saturday with an improving Millwall team that has climbed well out of the relegation zone and into 15th place.

Werder Bremen – Freiburg

The Bundesliga
Saturday, Nov. 2: 10:30am EST

Josh Sargent is hitting his stride right now for Werder Bremen where he is seemingly part of goals or assists on a weekly basis. Since the international break, Sargent scored vs. Hertha BSC, assisted vs. Bayer Leverkusen, and assisted midweek in the German Cup vs. Heidenheim.

Sargent is progressing from a young player finding his footing to a player who can have a consistent impact in the Bundesliga. But ahead of Sargent and Werder will be a tough Freiburg team that sits surprisingly in third place with 17 points from nine games.

Fortuna Dusseldorf - Koln

The Bundesliga
Saturday, Nov. 2: 10:30am EST

Fortuna Dusseldorf is coming off a brutal loss last week to last place Paderborn and has lost four of its last five and has earned just four points from its last eight games.

Zack Steffen has been one of the team’s bright spots but can only do so much in keeping opponents off the board. The team posted a 2-1 midweek win over Erzgebirge Aue in the German Cup and Alfredo Morales went the distance (Steffen did not play).

This will be another big game for Fortuna as it is even with Koln on points towards the bottom of the table. These are the games that will be telling at the end of the season in the relegation battle.

Augsburg - Schalke

The Bundesliga
Sunday, Nov. 3: 1:00pm EST

Weston McKennie returned from an injury and played for Schalke in a 3-2 win over Arminia Bielefeld in the German Cup.

Now returning to the Bundesliga, Schalke has not won in three games but have a chance to climb into the top four with a win over an Augsburg team that sits second to last in the Bundesliga. McKennie should once again be back in the starting lineup as he will start to regain his momentum after missing out on the past two league games.

OB – Hobro

Danish Superliga
Sunday, Nov. 3: 9:00am EST

The U.S. U-23 duo of Emmanuel Sabbi and Christian Cappis will likely start for Hobro when it visits fourth-place OB on Sunday. Hobro is a small team that regularly faces relegation battles and Cappis and Sabbi are a big part of the chances at survival.

Last week, Sabbi scored a goal in a disappointing 1-1 draw with Silkeborg. Cappis played only limited minutes due to an injury suffered in the game a week before.

But for Sabbi and Cappis, both could be playing their final six games for Hobro as both could be sold this winter when the January transfer window opens.

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