Fox & ESPN made the right choices this week, though you could argue that ESPN might have gone for the potentially more exciting Man City v Bolton match, or the London derby, but they went with the champions, home to Everton. Remember, record that match and watch it last if you are watching more than one 10 am Saturday match. ESPN2 will show both Chelsea (Saturday) and Liverpool (Monday) this week, and we’re back to all 10 matches televised again, using the Sunday morning delayed spot for Wigan v Stoke. No 4-star must-sees this week, but a few good 3-star matches.
****: 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, December 4 (all times EST)
*** Chelsea v Everton, 10 am, ESPN2/ESPND & espn3.com
Two teams at different ends of the tables, but both needing to improve their performances. This fixture last year was extremely exciting; finished 3-3 at the Bridge.
** Arsenal v Fulham, 10 am, FSC/FD & 2 am Sunday (delayed) FD
Arsenal might be able to go top of the table Saturday afternoon, even if for a couple of hours. Fulham didn’t score a goal against Arsenal last year.
*** Man City v Bolton, 10 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv & 10 pm (delayed) FS+
Can you believe the team that looked the most like Barcelona in a couple of goals they scored last week was Bolton, and not Arsenal or Man City or Chelsea? No more hoof it up to Davies. City may be locked in another duel with Spurs for 4th; Bolton is trying to crash that party. I list the delayed times for Arsenal & Man City as for those without foxsoccer.tv and with DVR’s that can only record 2 simultaneous matches, that’s your way to see all 3 of the 10 am games if you’re away from your television.
* Blackburn v Wolverhampton, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 2 pm (delayed) FS+
** Birmingham v Tottenham, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 5 pm (delayed) FSC
A terrific mid-week derby Carling Cup win was marred by the pitch invasion. Spurs will need to win games like this away if they want to compete for the title.
* Wigan v Stoke, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & Sunday 10:30 am (delayed) FS+
*** Blackpool v Man Utd, 12:30 pm, FSC/FD
This is usually about the time that the bloom comes off the rose for the newly promoted sides; let’s see if Holloway has something up his sleeve to prevent a thrashing by a probably angry United side (see below) that know Arsenal and Chelsea are right behind them.
Sunday, December 5
** West Brom v Newcastle, 8:30 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
** Sunderland v West Ham, 11 am, FSC/FD
Well, where did that come from? A 4-nil drubbing of Manchester United to advance to the Carling Cup semi-final and a home win last weekend against Wigan have the East End faithful believing maybe they can escape the bottom of the table after all. The Hammers managed a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light last season.
Monday, December 6
*** Liverpool v Aston Villa, 3 pm, ESPN2/ESPND & espn3.com
Because it’s Liverpool, ESPN2 makes room on the deuce. Torres needs to start converting his (many) chances.