Americans Abroad Preview: Bradley with chance to shine against AC Milan

AS Roma midfielder Michael Bradley should have a chance to start against AC Milan on Monday, and the American star will look to impress potential suitors as well as Rudi Garcia.
Michael Bradley is still struggling to gain consistent playing time at AS Roma, but on Monday he should have a chance to showcase his worth - and potentially his value to suitors - when Roma takes on AC Milan.

With Miralem Pjanic set to miss the match with a red card, Rudi Garcia is almost assuredly going to turn to his American option in the Roma midfield, and Bradley will need to really turn in a strong showing to keep getting opportunities for a Roma side that has slipped to second place in Serie A after a recent run of draws. Bradley was limited to a stoppage-time substitute’s appearance in Roma’s win against Fiorentina last week.

Bradley isn’t the only American facing a high-profile opponent this weekend. Brad Guzan and Aston Villa take on struggling Manchester United in a match where United will be desperate for all three points. Villa sits just three points behind the Red Devils in the standings, and Guzan will be looking to add another shutout to a season that has seen him show well against top competition.

Fabian Johnson also has a tall task, as he and Hoffenheim take on Borussia Dortmund, which is fresh off qualifying for the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League. Johnson has been slowly working his way back into the Hoffenheim lineup after returning from injury.

Another team that has booked a place in the Champions League Round of 16 is Schalke 04, and Jermaine Jones will look to take the field for Schalke on Sunday against SC Freiburg.

Staying in Germany, Steve Cherundolo’s Hannover 96 takes on Tim Chandler and Nuremberg in a potential match-up of right back options for Jurgen Klinsmann. Cherundolo is still searching for his first real minutes since recovering from injury, while Chandler will look to help Nuremberg escape the Bundesliga’s relegation zone. The club is currently two points out of the relegation playoff spot.

John Brooks will look to hold onto the starting job he just got back a week ago when Hertha Berlin faces Werder Bremen on Friday. Brooks went the full 90 minutes in Hertha’s 2-0 win against Eintracht Braunschweig, and could help the club move past Schalke in the Bundesliga standings with a win and a Schalke loss.

In England, Tim Howard and Everton will look to continue their unbeaten ways as they take on Fulham. The Toffees are sitting in fifth place in the English Premier League, just two points out of second place.

Jozy Altidore will look to keep up his recent run of starts on Saturday when he and Sunderland face fellow strugglers West Ham United. The Black Cats are five points away from escape the relegation zone, but can cut that margin to two points with a win on Saturday.

For Geoff Cameron and Stoke City, a showdown against Hull City could help the Potters climb closer to the top half of the Premier League standings. Brek Shea will also be looking to break into the squad for the match after dressing for recent matches for Sunderland.

In France, Alejandro Bedoya will look to continue his goalscoring ways as Nantes faces off against Toulouse on Saturday. Nantes has a solid two-point hold on fourth place in Ligue 1, and will look to close the gap on third-place Lille with a win.

In Belgium, Sacha Kljestan will look to build on the UEFA Champions League goal he scored at mid-week when Anderlecht faces Gent on Sunday. Anderlecht sits just four points away from league leader Standard Liege.

In the Netherlands, Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar have tumbled all the way to sixth place after briefly leading the Eredivisie, but they will look to halt their four-match winless slide on Sunday against Heracles. Johannsson remains the third-leading scorer in the Dutch League with 10 league goals.