Does anybody enjoy the international break? Especially after horrendous US and England matches Tuesday, I’m glad to have our beloved EPL back. The 4-star match is, of course, the Liverpool derby, and it’s a bottom-of-the-table 6-pointer to boot! Sorry, West Coasters, you simply have to get up early for that one. The bottom 4 face each other with Wolves hosting West Ham. We get a fun London derby from Craven Cottage, and we see if Villa is ready for Chelsea to visit in the Saturday tea-time featured match. Looks like a great weekend ahead!
****: 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, October 16 (all times EDT)
** Man Utd v West Brom, 10 am, ESPN2/ESPND & espn3.com
It’s pretty clear that whenever given first choice, ESPN will choose Manchester United. Their research has told them Americans would rather tune in to watch a bad game with the most recognizable English name in soccer, over, say, a juicy London derby at Craven Cottage. Rooney still can’t find his form, even against lowly Montenegro.
*** Fulham v Tottenham, 10 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
Spurs did not allow Fulham a goal last year, but Fulham always play better at home.
** Arsenal v Birmingham, 10 am, FSC/FD
(Please note that Fox Soccer Español has changed its name to Fox Deportes, so I will now use FD as the symbol for that channel.) With no 7:45 am match this week, we’re back to 3 simultaneous live matches at 10 am Eastern, meaning those of us who are both out of the house and without foxsoccer.tv subscriptions will have to decide which 2 to record. This is probably the one I’ll skip, though it could end up more entertaining then the derby above.
** Wolverhampton v West Ham, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 4 pm (delayed) FS+
A sign of things to come for these 2 teams? We have to wait for FS+ to televise the Boro-Leeds match on tape delay before we can get Wolves-Hammers on tape delay! Avram’s team was much improved in the games prior to the break.
** Newcastle v Wigan, 10 am foxsoccer.tv & 8:30 pm (delayed) FSC
* Bolton v Stoke, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 10:30 am Sunday (delayed) FS+
Fox makes another correct choice on which game to delay all the way til Sunday.
*** Aston Villa v Chelsea, 12:30 pm, FSC/FD
Chelsea lost at Villa Park, 2-1 last year, then got their revenge by pumping in an amazing 7 back at the Bridge. This should be entertaining.
Sunday, October 17
**** Everton v Liverpool, 8:30 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
Kuyt’s serious injury and the loss of Agger just add to Hodgson’s pain, though supporters seem ecstatic at the High Court ruling to oust Hicks & Gillett. Moyes’s team, fortunately back in blue, are on a bit of an upswing, and the tackles will be flying, as always, in this one. The Toffees would have to score 5+ goals, though, for Liverpool to end the weekend rock bottom in the league. Liverpool won both encounters last season without conceding a goal.
** Blackpool v Man City, 11 am, FSC/FD
City needs to win these if they want to challenge seriously for the title.
Monday, October 18
* Blackburn v Sunderland, 3 pm, ESPND & espn3.com
These were both entertaining encounters last season, with 7 goals scored, so perhaps I’ve been too harsh. So enjoy if you’d like.