EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, Gameweek 3

Villa Park Aston Villa v Everton (2-2) Premier League 14/04/10 Carlos Cuellar (Aston Villa) Diniyar Bilyaletdinov (Everton) Photo Roger Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

Granted I haven’t been writing this column for years, but for the first time in my tenure, there simply isn’t a 4-star drop-everything match. So enjoy the late summer fine weather, hang out at the beach or lake or your local soccer field. Queue up the DVR as there are some interesting early-season games, though, and once again, all 10 are available on television: 6 live, and 4 delayed.

**** 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, August 28 (all times EDT)

** Blackburn v Arsenal, 7:45 am, ESPN2 & espn3.com
Arsenal will want to start securing 3 points away from home.

*** Chelsea v Stoke, 10:00 am, Fox Soccer Plus & foxsoccer.tv & again 8pm Fox Soccer Plus
Chelsea are just scintillating to watch, even if this game is likely to be another blow-out. Drogba’s unselfishness may play dividends down the road. There are going to be some awful teams at the bottom again this year, so Tony Pulis need not hit the panic button yet.

** Tottenham v Wigan, 10:00 am, Fox Soccer Channel & Fox Deportes
This game perhaps should have been 1-star, but Defoe was so incredible in this fixture last year, it’s worth a look at the goals, etc. I am not sure if there is an adjective in the English language that can adequately define Wigan’s defending. WHL will be in full voice after Spurs advanced to the Champions League group stage Wednesday night.

** Wolverhampton v Newcastle, 10:00 am, foxsoccer.tv & 6 pm (delayed) Fox Soccer Plus
These two sides are in the top half of the table, so does this match deserve an upgrade to 3 stars? Naaaah; at least one will likely be in the relegation battle as we progress.

** Blackpool v Fulham, 10:00 am, foxsoccer.tv, & Sunday 9am (delayed) Fox Soccer Channel
I thought Fulham was absolutely terrific at times against Man United. Yes, this one is away from Craven Cottage where they have traditionally struggled. And we finally get to see Bloomfield Road as a Premier League venue, upgraded from 12,555 to 16,220 seats.

** Man Utd v West Ham, 12:30 pm, Fox Soccer Channel
West Ham continue to have trouble defending, and they simply cannot put the ball in the net. (They needed an injury-time goal from Parker to advance past Oxford United in the Carling Cup this week.) Meanwhile, Scholes and Berbatov have started strong for the Red Devils; Rooney & Nani not so much.

Sunday, August 29
*** Bolton v Birmingham, 8:30 am, Fox Soccer Plus & foxsoccer.tv
These two are fighting for a Champions League spot at the moment. Will that continue past, say, Week 5? Probably not, but a terrific start for each side. Worth watching.

** Liverpool v West Brom, 10:00 am, foxsoccer.tv; 5pm (delayed) Fox Deportes; 7pm (delayed) Fox Soccer Plus
Presumably the Baggies visting Anfield finally gives the Reds a seriously winnable match.

** Sunderland v Man City, 10:00 am, foxsoccer.tv; 5 pm (delayed) Fox Soccer Plus
City will need all 3 points to justify their expenditures and title hopes. They looked strong enough on Monday night to do so.

*** Aston Villa v Everton, 11:00 am, Fox Soccer Channel
This is the match the schedule-makers singled out as best-of-the-week, with national television in both the UK & the USA. But Villa went from sublime to sub-standard in their visit to St James Park last week. And Everton is off to another slow start.

18 thoughts on “EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, Gameweek 3”

    1. Probably because there are international matches scheduled next week, so national teams need to have the club players available as soon as possible for training, etc.

      The Gaffer

  1. “*** Chelsea v Stoke, 10:00 am, Fox Soccer Plus & foxsoccer.tv & again 8pm Fox Soccer Plus
    Chelsea are just scintillating to watch, even if this game is likely to be another blow-out. Drogba’s unselfishness may play dividends down the road. There are going to be some awful teams at the bottom again this year, so Tony Pulis need not hit the panic button yet.”

    We’ve got our pants down and are waiting to get f*%$ed roughly from behind.

  2. I think the Villa v Everton matchup has received much more importance with the loss of Villa in the Europa league today. Kevin MacDonald may already be on his way out after today’s performance, but the weekend may make all things better with a smasher against the Toffees.

    This will be my must-see game of the weekend for sure.

    1. TGov, they’re showing the same number of games they show each week. For the Premier League, they have a Saturday 10am ET and 12:30pm ET, as well as a Sunday 11am ET game.

      The Gaffer

      1. I think TGov’s point is that they easily could have shown the 8:30am Bolton-Brum match AND the 11am Villa-Everton matches on FSC, and then shown one of the 10am matches live on FSP. Instead, they’re showing a rebroadcast of a Saturday match at 8:30am.

        I have to say I don’t get their decision, as one of the 10am matches involves Liverpool and the other involves City. Both clubs normally have nearly all of their matches shown live in the States.

        Normally they’d try to show as many live matches as possible, but these are the first games after FOXSoccer.TV goes subscription, so them pushing that service makes sense. I know I’ll be giving it a shot this weekend to catch City live.

        1. The Sunday 8.30am spot is always on Fox Soccer Plus, though (and before that was on Setanta). It’s very rare for Fox Soccer Channel to go ahead and put that on air on an early Sunday morning. One of the reasons why is that they’d have to bring a crew in to their LA headquarters for a 5.30am PT start. Much easier to have it auto-play on FoxSoccer.tv instead.

          The Gaffer

  3. I would be more bothered about a tape delayed game in the early morning Sunday from the previous day. The reason for this failure is because of the new condensed highlight show on Saturday of 2 matches.

    Waste of time., the diehard EPL fans are going to know the results instantly like me. I would rather watch an hour or whole matches delayed not on 10 am eastern throughout Saturday afternoon-evening.

  4. 3 stars for Bolton v Brum!! I’d look at Liverpool v West Ham and Sunderland v Man City as decent games. Brum are not fun to watch though I like Bolton (never thought I’d say that).

  5. Gaffer,

    I have been coming on this site for a few years now, since I got into the footy…this is the first time I have stumbled upon you doing this! BRILLIANT!!!!! PLEASEEEEEEEEEE TRY AND DO THIS EVERYWEEK IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY DONE SO!!!!!!

    Sometimes I am not aware of the delayed broadcast. For example, the Fulahm Blackpool match. Did not realize it will be delayed and showed on SUNDAY! THANKS SO MUCH!

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