Photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Everton has enjoyed a dream first couple of months in the Premiership campaign, overcoming the typical slow starts that have haunted them in years past. They currently sit in fourth place in the league standings, and are within striking distance of second after having lost just once in their first eight games of the year.
Things could get that much sweeter this weekend.
Everton hosts Liverpool at Goodison Park on Sunday in the first Merseyside derby of the season, and the Toffees will be aiming to compound on their rivals’ misery by handing them their fourth loss of the season. While Liverpool is currently down in 12th place, Tim Howard is likely to be a key figure in the high profile tilt as he will need to prevent the dangerous duo of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, among others, from finding the back of the net in what is sure to be an open affair.
One match that will not draw nearly as much publicity but is still worth watching is the battle between Rosenborg BK and Molde FK. Both teams are currently atop the Eliteserien standings with 52 points apiece and with only four games remaining in the campaign, Sunday’s result looks to prove vital to each team’s respective title hopes. Mix Diskerud should be in the lineup for Rosenborg, while Josh Gatt is out for Molde due to yellow card accumulation.
Club Tijuana will also attempt to jump into first place, but the Xolos will need to defeat Morelia in order to give themselves a chance of doing so. Joe Corona should see time in the match in some capacity for Tijuana, while teammates Greg Garza and Edgar Castillo’s statuses are a little less certain.
Here is who the Americans Abroad will battle this weekend:
Caleb Patterson-Sewell and Vitoria Setubal play Guimaraes.
Eugene Starikov and FK Rostov play Kuban Krasnodar.
Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjaelland play Aalborg BK.
Brian Span and Djurgardens IF play Malmo FF.
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Norwich City.
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Stoke City play Sunderland.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Leeds United.
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Crystal Palace.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Middlesbrough. (Holden is out injured.)
Conor Doyle and Derby County play Peterborough United.
Frank Simek and Carlisle United play AFC Bournemouth.
Mike Grella and Scunthorpe United play Milton Keynes Dons.
Robbie Rogers and Stevenage play Swindon Town.
Oguchi Onyewu and Malaga play Espanyol.
Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play Mainz.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg.
Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen play MSV Duisburg.
Alfredo Morales, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin play TSV Eintracht Braunschweig.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Royal Charleroi SC.
Charlie Davies and Randers FC play Silkeborg IF.
Michael Orozco Fiscal and San Luis play Queretaro.
Herculez Gomez, Benji Joya and Santos Laguna play Monterrey.
Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Club Tijuana play Morelia.
Jose Torres and Pachuca play Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL.
Tim Howard and Everton play Liverpool.
Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Southampton.
Carlos Bocanegra and Racing Santander play Elche.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma play Udinese.
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Bayern Munich.
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Joe Gyau and St Pauli play Dynamo Dresden.
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play Vitesse Arnhem.
Tony Taylor and Estoril Praia play FC Porto.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play SV Salzburg.
Conor O’Brien and SonderjyskE play Esbjerg.
Clarence Goodson and Brondby IF play FC Midtjylland.
Alejandro Bedoya and Helsingborgs IF play GAIS.
Chad Barrett and Valerenga play Tromso.
Sean Cunningham and Viking. (Cunningham is out injured.)
Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Odd Grenland.
Josh Gatt and Molde FK play Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK. (Gatt is out due to yellow card accumulation.)
DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla play Atlante.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America play Pumas UNAM
Which of these games are you most looking forward to? Think Howard and Everton will see off Liverpool in the first Merseyside Derby of the season? Bummed that you won’t get to see Diskerud vs. Gatt in a game with so much on the line?
Share your thoughts below.