Once again, all 10 matches are available on television in the US, once again 6 live and 4 delayed. Note the date change on Everton-United; the channels remain the same. I do enjoy getting those early morning matches on Saturdays.
**** 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, September 11 (all times EDT)
*** Everton v Man Utd, 7:45 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
Fixture moved from Sunday to accommodate Man Utd’s Champions League match against Rangers Tuesday night. The match stays on FS+. Everton won this fixture last year 3-1; Rooney’s return usually makes for a good match.
** West Ham v Chelsea, 10 am, ESPN2 & espn3.com
Because ESPN had been advertising this derby all week, and FS+ the Everton match, they stuck with the same matches even when the EPL moved Everton up a day, so ESPN2 doesn’t get their usual 7:45am time slot. West Ham are off to their worst-ever start, and Chelsea their best-ever. An upset in the brewing? Naaaah. Lampard and Terry, the east London boys, are due back for the Blues.
*** Arsenal v Bolton, 10 am, FSC
The Wanderers may be brought down to earth by an in-form Arsenal side. Contrasting styles could make this an interesting watch, as Bolton play physically and Arsenal pass the ball. But no Van Persie, Bendtner, nor finally maturing Walcott will give Bolton some hope.
** Man City v Blackburn, 10 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
The natives will get restless if City lose two on the hop. City pumped in 6 goals on the Rovers last season. Tevez looked extraordinary with two assists and a goal against the World Champions Tuesday back in Argentina.
** West Brom v Tottenham, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv, 12 pm (delayed) FSC
Spurs should play with a chip on their shoulder after what Wigan did to them and not look ahead to their trip to Germany Tuesday night. The North London side is losing players to England duty though, includng injuries to Dawson and Defoe.
** Fulham v Wolverhampton, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv, 11:30pm (delayed) FSC
Wolves are getting results; every point may matter.
** Newcastle v Blackpool, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv, 8:30 am Sunday (delayed) FS+
They split their fixtures in the Championship last year, with each side winning at home. Newcastle have looked bright, and Blackpool have matched them with a win, a loss and a draw.
** Wigan v Sunderland, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv, 12:30 pm Sunday (delayed) FS+
Perhaps upgrade to three stars if the Black Cats’ latest signing Gyan of Ghana gets the start upfront. Actually, Sunderland’s roster looks pretty strong. And Wigan is fun to watch, as you never know if Martinez’s side is going to concede 7 or upset a Champions League side.
Sunday, September 12
*** Birmingham v Liverpool, 11 am, FSC
We only get one live game on Sunday, and it should be a good one. Both matches were draws last year.
Monday, September 13
** Stoke v Aston Villa, 3 pm, espn3.com
With Gerard Houllier in place for Villa by Monday, he has some raw material to shape over the course of the season. There was only 1 goal in their 2 fixtures last year, so not the most scintillating of matches for “Monday Night Football”.