All times Pacific
Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie: RB Leipzig vs. Schalke, Saturday, 6:30 AM
Adams, who still hasn’t returned from injury, will most likely miss this massive clash for his league-leading side against McKennie’s fifth-place Schalke outfit. McKennie is expected to be in the middle of the action, although he has seen his minutes take a slight hit lately, starting on the bench two games ago and being removed in the second half last time out. Still, the central midfielder is a key piece of the Schalke setup, and that should reward him with a start in a critical early season fixture.
Brooks still hasn’t returned from the injury he picked up during the international break, and with nothing new coming out about the player this week, it’s likely he will again miss Wolfsburg’s match. It’s not a great time to be injured either, as with the Wolves in the Europa League, their schedule is busy at the moment.
Josh Sargent: Werder Bremen at Borussia Dortmund, Saturday, 9:30 AM
Werder are one of the most injured teams in Europe at the moment, but that has been a blessing for Sargent, who is getting big minutes and received his second start of the season last week. Odds are decent that he’ll get another this week, but even if he doesn’t, there’s a good chance he could work his way in late, especially if Bremen are down, which is a likely scenario away at one of the league’s best.
Zack Steffen: Fortuna Dusseldorf vs. Freiburg, Sunday, 6:30 AM
At this point, Steffen should be the first name on the team sheet for Fortuna. The keeper has settled in fantastically, and after a solid start to the season, put together another amazing performance last week to add a rocket to his rising stock. Steffen has the most saves in Europe’s top five leagues, and even though his defense has let him down at times, he’s keeping 13th-place Dusseldorf, who are in desperate need of points, in every match. Rumors are that Dusseldorf are attempting to extend his one-year loan thanks to the great start.
Christian Pulisic: Chelsea vs. Brighton, Saturday, 7:00 AM
Pulisic got his first Chelsea run in two weeks in a midweek Carabao Cup demolishing of Grimsby Town. That’s the problem, though; at the moment, Pulisic is the type of depth player who plays in the League Cup and not the man starting on weekends in the Premier League. It would be little surprise to see him not log a minute this weekend, though he will most likely be on the bench, so there’s always a chance.
DeAndre Yedlin: Newcastle at Leicester, Sunday, 8:30 AM
Yedlin again missed the Newcastle squad last weekend, but another week of practice should push him over the hump to full fitness. That doesn’t necessarily mean he will be in the Newcastle XI, as new manager Steve Bruce has enjoyed playing Javier Manquillo at right back. The decision could rely on if Bruce wants more attacking power, which Yedlin can provide for the 17th-place side. Newcastle’s defense has been pretty solid, which bodes well for Manquillo, but their lack of points stems from just four goals scored, so it will be interesting to see how Bruce goes about making more chances for his side.
Timothy Weah: Lille at Nice, Sunday, 11:00 AM
Weah’s hamstring tear looks set to sideline the winger for another week as Lille play Nice. There were rumors that the winger was approaching a return before suffering a slight setback this week. There’s still no timetable on the injury, but it seems to be pretty severe after that latest issue, and it is possible that the playmaker will sit out for an extended period of time.
Turkish Super Lig
Tyler Boyd: Besiktas at Trabzonspor, Sunday, 9:00 AM
Boyd has been relegated to the bench (or worse, missing the 18 in their Europa League opener last week) recently as Besiktas seem to be shaking things up. It hasn’t really worked, with Besiktas nabbing one point in their last two in the league and losing their aforementioned Europa League match in between. That could see Boyd take a step back towards the starting XI, but it’s anybody's guess as to where he will factor in this week against Trabzonspor.
Sergino Dest: Ajax vs. Groningen, Saturday, 10:45 AM
All eyes are on Dest, who put in a solid 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw last weekend with PSV and started in a 5-0 midweek hammering of Fortuna Sittard and now is reportedly being pressured by Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman to make a decision on his international future. He’s playing a lot, but given injuries to his main competition for minutes at right back, it’s likely that the 18-year-old will be in the starting XI again this weekend against struggling Groningen.
Ethan Horvath: Club Brugge at Mechelen, Saturday, 9:00 AM
After getting a rare start and a clean sheet in a 3-0 midweek Cup win over amateur Francs Borains, Horvath should return to the bench for Saturday’s league match with sixth-place Mechelen.
Danish Super League
Jonathan Amon: Nordsjaelland at AGF, Sunday, 3:00 AM
Now with two substitute appearances under his belt on his road to full fitness, Amon may be ready for a return to the starting lineup for the first time this season. It’s an important game, as AGF are in third and have won five matches in a row; with Nordsjaelland able to pass their hosts by beating them, there could be more incentive to get him on the pitch for as many minutes as possible.
Bobby Wood: Hamburg vs. Jahn Regensburg, Saturday, 4:00 AM
Wood is now up to 23 minutes spread across three substitute appearances, and it’s unlikely that his pattern of coming on to provide fresh legs late is changing. Hamburg are currently second in the 2. Bundesliga, while Regensburg reside in 14th.
Sebastian Soto: Hannover vs. Nurnberg, Monday, 11:30 AM
Soto logged some rare minutes this week, playing for Hannover in a friendly victory and scoring a goal. He’ll hope that display earns him a league appearance in a matchup against another relegated side, but it’s certainly a longshot.
Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson: Fulham vs. Wigan, Friday, 11:45 AM
There are very likely going to be two Americans on the pitch for all 90 minutes on Friday as Ream’s Fulham host Robinson’s Wigan with both unbeaten in three. Each player is a stalwart in his side’s defense — Ream has started seven of eight Championship games, while Robinson has started all eight — and should get the nod this week as both sides look to keep inching their way up the table.
Duane Holmes: Derby County vs. Birmingham, Saturday, 7:00 AM
It’s been a nightmare week for Derby County as a team dinner gone awry led to two first-team players being arrested for drunk driving and one other suffering a potentially career-ending knee injury in the car accident between the two. There were reportedly a few other players involved in the incident, though Holmes has in no way been implicated. If he wasn’t involved, Holmes should be a lock to start against Birmingham given that those who were among the misbehaving group may well be suspended for the match.
Matt Miazga: Reading at Swansea, Saturday, 7:00 AM
Miazga made his return from injury and was inserted straight back in the Reading squad in the midweek, and he stood out in a penalty shootout loss to Wolves in the Carabao Cup (in which the center back converted a spot kick). Although teams can sometimes try to bring a player back slowly after a period out, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Miazga back in the lineup against high-flying Swansea, who are in second place.