Only two weeks remain in the EPL season, and this weekend is our last opportunity to watch multiple games live on multiple days given all kickoffs will be synchronized for Mother’s Day Sunday on the final weekend. The relegation battle is over very early this year, so it’s all about the title and the terrific battle for fourth. We have games stretched over Saturday, Sunday, the England bank holiday Monday, and the make-up games on Wednesday, so enjoy. And, recall, my ratings system is for neutrals, and those who can’t watch all 10 (or 12) matches!
My ratings system:
: Must-see. Cancel all other activities. Do not even DVR as even in America you might hear the score!
: Strong match; worth watching live; DVR a must if you can’t see live
: Flip through quickly to see the goals, red cards, injuries, and perhaps watch the last 5 minutes + injury time if close
: Only if you’re a die-hard
Matches shown in chronological order:
Saturday, May 1 (all times EDT)
Birmingham v Burnley 7:45 am, ESPN2 HD
Too bad the high-def game is meaningless. Some will upgrade this to 2-stars simply for the glorious ESPN Hi-Def picture.
Man City v Aston Villa, 10 am, FSC
Tottenham v Bolton, 10 am FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
I’ve grouped these together because the battle for fourth may be the most interesting. If you can only watch one, watch the City-Villa match. This is Spurs’ last home fixture, and if they are going to get 4th, they will need to do it on the road. There are at least two terrific players to watch in the City-Villa showdown. Villa is still alive for Champions’ League, and James Milner has been their outstanding player this season. His late penalty in the Second City derby kept their hopes alive for fourth. Carlos Tevez has been the signing of the season for City; City are in the driver’s seat for 4th, but must win this match.
Stoke v Everton, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv, 4 pm FS+ delayed
Everton has a very small chance of qualifying for Europa, but will need to win out and hope for help from Chelsea and Hull City! Stoke is one of the loudest grounds in England, and they will be appreciative of the season-long mid-table efforts in their final home game.
Portsmouth v Wolves, 10 am foxsoccer.tv, 12 pm FSC delayed
Final Premier league home game for Pompey for perhaps a long, long time.
Sunday, May 2
Liverpool v Chelsea, 8:30 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
Chelsea can smell the title, but they have been deprived of many points up at Anfield. Along with the City-Villa fixture, the game of the weekend. Steven Gerrard has finally turned on the form, but Liverpool have been inconsistent all year, and Chelsea have found ways to win games on the road. Drogba & Lampard led the way last week as they pumped in 7 goals for the third time this season against Stoke City. Chelsea must have been thrilled at the extra 30 minutes Liverpool had to play on Thursday night in the Europa league, and Liverpool were knocked out on a late away goal by Atletico Madrid.
Fulham v West Ham, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 10:30 am FS+ delayed
West Ham barely survived and will need to improve to stay up next year. Fulham were solid mid-table and spent their incredible energy Thursday to make the Europa final!. For those who love derbies, by all means, but not one to spend much time watching.
Sunderland v Man United, 11 am, FSC (HD where available)
If United can get some help from their arch-rivals, a win here will give them a chance for their 4th consecutive title. Will Rooney play, though? Very unlikely. But United have been strong enough even without him since the Chelsea match, with Nani and Scholes doing enough to win the last 2 matches. How ironic that United will be cheering on Liverpool as they warm up for their match.
Monday, May 3
Wigan v Hull City, 8:30 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
Two of the worst sides in the league, though Martinez’s side did just enough to stay up.
Blackburn v Arsenal, noon, ESPN2
Unfortunately, these special Monday bank holiday matches don’t give us much.
Wednesday, May 5
Man City v Tottenham, 3 pm, ESPN2
We’ve been eyeing this showdown ever since it had to be re-scheduled. Each of these teams controls its own destiny to win 4th. City now has to do it with emergency keeper signing Marton Fulop, after the league denied them permission to recall Joe Hart from Birmingham. This fixture was all Spurs back in December at White Hart Lane, with the men in white winning 3-nil, on a brace from Krancjar and a 2nd half goal from Defoe.
Fulham v Stoke, 3 pm, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
View the full Premier League TV guide for US television.