Americans Abroad preview: Guzan looks to keep Villa rolling


Tim Howard’s stint as No. 1 USMNT backstop may be on hiatus, but the battle of who’s the top American goalkeeper in the Premier League is alive and well.

Brad Guzan’s task of making it four clean sheets in five matches takes a step up after Aston Villa’s 1-0 win over Liverpool last week, as the Villans host dangerous Arsenal on Saturday.

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As for Howard, the Everton goalkeeper and his Toffees play host to Crystal Palace on Sunday. With just five points through four matches, Roberto Martinez’s men are performing below expectations.

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland are both struggling this year, as the American striker has barely played in the Black Cats rough start. Sunderland is just one point ahead of the drop, and really needs three points at Burnley.

In the Championship, Emerson Hyndman has undergone a manager turnover at Fulham. Felix Magath is out, and Hyndman’s immediate future is uncertain as Blackburn comes to Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Eric Lichaj and table-topping Nottingham Forest are off to Millwall on Saturday, while Brek Shea, Will Packwood and Jonathan Spector bring Birmingham City on the road against second-place Norwich City.

Tim Ream and Bolton are off to Wolverhampton on Saturday as well, while Zak Whitbread and Derby host Cardiff City.

To the Bundesliga, where Hertha Berlin’s John Anthony Brooks pay a visit to Freiburg. Timmy Chandler’s hometown club Eintracht Frankfurt goes to Schalke, while loanee Julian Green and Hamburger SV host Bayern Munich. Sunday finds Fabian Johnson and Borussia Monchengladbach at FC Koln.

In France, Ale Bedoya and Nantes host Nice on Saturday.

In Norway, Bob Bradley will manage Stabaek on the road at Aalesund. Andrew Jacobson scored for Bradley in his last outing. Meanwhile, Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg are off to Haugesund.

In the Netherlands, Rubio Rubin and Utrecht are home to Groningen.

In Belgium, Sacha Kljestan’s Anderlecht side hosts Cercle Brugge on Saturday.