Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

Americans Abroad

Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

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Zak Whitbread 1 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Zak Whitbread is on the brink of doing something that he's only done once this season: Start consecutive games.

A week after returning to Norwich City's lineup in a surprise victory over Newcastle, Whitbread appears set to start for the Canaries when they play Tim Howard and Everton. A solid performance there would likely serve as a confidence boost for the oft-injured center back, and it could also catch the eye of U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Two of Klinsmann's regulars have marquee matches this weekend as well, albeit under totally different circumstances. Jermaine Jones will look to keep Schalke 04 within striking distance of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich when his club faces fifth-place Werder Bremen. Meanwhile, Michael Bradley will try to help Chievo Verona from falling further down the Serie A table when they battle Cagliari.

If you're wondering what other match is worth watching, look no further than Aston Villa's game against Liverpool. The match will arguably provide Brad Guzan's biggest test to date this season, as he goes up against a potent Liverpool attack that includes the likes of Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy.

Here is who the Americans Abroad square off against this weekend:

FRIDAY

Edson Buddle and FC Ingolstadt 04 play FC Erzgebirge Aue.

Matt Taylor and SC Paderborn 07 play Fortuna Dusseldorf.

SATURDAY

Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann and Everton play Zak Whitbread and Norwich City.

Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers. (Holden is out injured.)

Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest play Bristol City.

Conor Doyle and Derby County play Ipswich Town.

Daniel Potts and West Ham United play Barnsley.

Mike Grella and Brentford play Bury.

Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Wycombe Wanderers.

Anton Peterlin and Walsall play Chesterfield.

Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra and Rangers play Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Dominic Cervi and Greenock Morton play Hamilton Academical.

Michael Bradley and Chievo Verona play Cagliari.

David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg. (Chandler is out suspended).

Terrence Boyd and Borussia Dortmund play SC Freiburg. (Boyd is with the U.S. U-23 men's national team.)

Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play Alfredo Morales and Hertha Berlin.

Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Werder Bremen.

Luis Robles and Karlsruher SC play MSV Duisburg play Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich. (Wood is out injured.)

Quentin Westberg and Evian Thonon Gaillard play Lyon.

SUNDAY

Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Liverpool. (Lichaj is out injured.)

Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Sunderland.

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Kaiserslautern.

Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play NAC Breda.

Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting CP play Academica de Coimbra.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play KSC Lokeren.

MONDAY

Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City play Crystal Palace.

Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play St Pauli.

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Which matches are you most looking forward to? How do you think Whitbread will fare against Everton's attack? Who has more chance of winning, Jones and Schalke or Bradley and Chievo? Think Guzan will blank Liverpool?

Share your thoughts below.

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