Well, perhaps I’m just really disappointed by the lack of action and goals in the Manchester Derby, but I’m in a foul mood, and am going to be very parsimonious in handing out the stars this week. No 4-star matches. The picks of the week are probably United visiting Villa Park, and Arsenal’s Merseyside trip to Everton.
****: 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, November 13 (all times EST)
*** Aston Villa v Man Utd, 7:45 am, ESPN2/ESPND & espn3.com
Houllier v Ferguson. Should be fun.
** Man City v Birmingham, 10 am, FSC/FD
City were very disappointing Wednesday night. I felt they really missed Bellamy, who offered pace and width in the derbies last season. Milner had a number of really bad touches, and Barry struggled too. De Jong was terrific. Tevez had flashes of brilliance but not enough attacking support. Birmingham are organized, so let’s see if City can break through.
** Tottenham v Blackburn, 10 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
I said to a friend of mine (big Spurs fan) last weekend, that if Kaboul & Gallas are the center half pair for Spurs for most EPL games, they will struggle to finish in the top half of the table. And Tuesday night they struggled again. Poor start in the league for ‘Arry.
* West Ham v Blackpool, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 4 pm (delayed) FS+
Blackpool is a bit up the table, but their goal difference is awful, and I’m calling this an early 6-pointer.
** Newcastle v Fulham, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 5 pm (delayed) FSC
Newcastle’s return to the league is going better than planned!
* Wigan v West Brom, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 6 pm (delayed) FS+
* Wolverhampton v Bolton, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv only
I can’t find a delayed tv listing for this one. Maybe you can, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
** Stoke v Liverpool, 12:30 pm, FSC/FD
Top half of the table, and here comes Torres!
Sunday, November 14
*** Everton v Arsenal, 9 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
Don’t look now, but Everton are just 6 points off a Champions League spot. I was in London last week, and Gunners supporters are convinced that Wenger’s going for Cup trophies and not the league.
** Chelsea v Sunderland, 11:10 am, FSC/FD
A +23 goal differential from 12 matches is quite impressive.
Non-EPL note: The Milan derby is live on FSC at 2:30 pm Sunday.