photo by Matt West/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
If Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj are to get their first starts of the Premiership campaign with Aston Villa, now might be the best time to do so.
The Villans are in last place in the Premier League standings and changes could be coming in order to help them avoid a third straight defeat at the start of the year. Guzan and Lichaj both started for the club in their shutout victory over Tranmere Rovers in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday and they might get nod again when Aston Villa faces Newcastle United, especially if Lichaj's assist in last week's Premiership match and incumbent goalkeeper Shay Given's poor form are taken into account.
Joe Gyau could also make his respective league debut this weekend, and he could do so against another youngster looking to make his first appearance with his new club. Gyau and his new club, St Pauli, host Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen on Saturday in what could wind up being a battle of two former U.S. Under-23 men's national team players.
Another match to keep an eye out for is DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla's visit to Chivas de Guadalajara. Beasley has started in all six of the club's games this season, and he seems a safe bet to be amongst the first eleven as Puebla try to grab their second win of the year.
Here is who the Americans Abroad take on this weekend:
Eugene Starikov and Zenit St. Petersburg play Mordovia Saransk.
Brian Span and Djurgardens IF play Orebro SK.
Conor O'Brien and SonderjyskE play Aalborg BK.
Chad Barrett and Valerenga play Sandnes Ulf.
Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Club Tijuana play Jaguares de Chiapas. (Castillo is out injured.)
Clint Dempsey and Fulham play West Ham United. (Dempsey has been left off the traveling roster for the match.)
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Norwich City.
Tim Howard and Everton play West Bromwich Albion.
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Stoke City play Wigan Athletic.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Peterborough United.
Conor Doyle and Derby County play Watford.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Hull City. (Holden is out injured.)
Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest play Charlton Athletic.
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Blackpool.
Mike Grella and Scunthorpe United play Hartlepool United.
Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Milton Keynes Dons.
Robbie Rogers and Stevenage play Shrewsbury Town.
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play SC Freiburg.
Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Borussia Dortmund.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play FC Augsburg.
Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play Eintracht Frankfurt.
Joe Gyau and St Pauli play Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen.
Tony Taylor and Estoril Praia play Guimaraes.
Jose Torres and Pachuca play Cruz Azul.
Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna play Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL.
Michael Orozco Fiscal and San Luis play Leon.
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Newcastle United.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma play Inter Milan. (Bradley is out injured.)
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play VfL Wolfsburg.
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play PSV Eindhoven.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell and Vitoria Setubal play Gil Vicente.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Racing Genk.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play SV Mattersburg.
Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjaelland play Clarence Goodson and Brondby IF.
Charlie Davies and Randers FC play AC Horsens.
Alejandro Bedoya and Helsingborgs IF play AIK.
Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Aalesund.
Josh Gatt and Molde FK play Brann.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America play Toluca.
DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla play Chivas de Guadalajara.
Alfredo Morales, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin play FC Union Berlin.
Sean Cunningham and Stabaek IF play Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK.
Which of these games are you most looking forward to? Do you see Guzan and/or Lichaj starting? Think Gyau will make his debut? Expecting a win from Beasley and Puebla?
Share your thoughts below.