This post is typed reluctantly given the tragedy of the day in Connecticut. Perhaps this will be a minor distraction, but for me it is even hard to click the buttons.
In the Barclay’s Premier League two U.S. players face off against each other when Stoke City takes on Everton. Geoff Cameron and Stoke hold the league’s third best defense and sit three points back of Everton. Tim Howard should expect less action than his goalkeeping counter part as Everton should take more possession coming off a dramatic last minute victory last week. Despite the good defense, Stoke is tied for the most matches failing to score on the season with six. Everton have failed to score only once this season. The numbers favor Howard’s squad.
Clint Dempsey and Tottenham are looking to recover from that last minute loss to Everton as they take on Swansea City. It is unclear if Brad Friedel will be back in net for the Spurs as they take on a team just three points adrift on them in the table. Tottenham have scored the third most goals in the Premier League this season and Swansea gave up four goals to Norwich in its last match. Both squads are looking to find some consistency in their form.
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj, and Aston Villa return to Anfield sitting above the relegation zone only on goal differential. They take on a Liverpool team that has a small win streak of two in a row. Joe Bennett and Enda Stevens are back in form so Lichaj may be back on the bench as a substitute. Villa has scored only 12 times on the year.
In Germany Mainz 05 and Shawn Parker will play Stuttgart only two points back of a Europa League spot. They are trying to rebound from a frustrating 2-0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Timmy Chandler and Nürnberg compete against Werder Bremen with both teams near the bottom of the table. Steve Cherundolo and Hannover take on Düsseldorf looking to use momentum from last week’s 3-2 win of Leverkusen. Finally, Danny Williams, Fabian Johnson, and Hoffenheim have a large challenge coming in with one of the league’s worst defenses. They take on third place Borussia Dortmund.