The Merseyside Derby: As American as Baseball, Great Goalkeepers and Credit Default

Welcome to a quick-hit Yanks-in-England weekend preview (many day-job doughnuts were made today).

Let’s start with Sunday’s meeting between Liverpool and Tim Howard’s Everton at Goodison Park. The two teams find themselves in unfamiliar positions—17th place for Everton, 18th for Liverpool—heading into the 214th edition of the rivalry game.

Liverpool has been contending with off-field distractions all season long, and this morning got news that John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox, had won a legal battle clearing the way for his purchase of the team from its previous debt-ridden American owners, Tom Hicks (also a baseball man) and George Gilett.

Henry will pay $477 million for the club, some $200 million less than Forbes’s most recent estimate of its worth.

Everton’s problems have at least been strictly soccer-related, but they’ve been no less troublesome: the Toffees are riddled with injuries. Howard will be ready to go on Sunday, but no fewer than five starters are questionable or out for the big game.

Midfielder Marouane Fellaini pulled a hamstring while playing for Belgium this past week, midfielder Steven Pienaar is out with a groin injury, midfielder Jack Rodwell is out with a bum ankle, striker Luis Saha is doubtful with a calf strain, and defender Phil Jagielka is doubtful with a hamstring tweak.

But no matter who takes the field, this will be a fierce battle as both sides of the rivalry are in desperate need of points.

Fox Soccer Plus has the game at 8:30 a.m. EST on Sunday.

Here are the other Americans in action in the Premier League, all on Saturday:

Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Fulham welcome London rivals Tottenham [Fox Soccer Plus, 10:00 a.m. EST].

Stuart Holden and Bolton host Stoke City [Foxsoccer.tv, 10:00. This game will also be rebroadcast on Fox Soccer Plus on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.].

Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, newly-minted U.S. international Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa host league leaders Chelsea [Fox Soccer Channel, 12:30 p.m.].

Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves play host to Jonathan Spector and West Ham [Fox Soccer Plus, 4:00 p.m. (delay)].

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