Special EPL Viewing Guide this week. We have 3 make-up EPL matches, 2 FA Cup 4th Round replays, 6 FA Cup 5th Round matches, Liverpool’s return to Europe, and Chelsea & United’s first leg visits to Europe. So 14 matches involving EPL sides: that’s good enough for me!
****: 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:
Thursday, February 17
** Sparta Prague v Liverpool, Europa League, 3 pm, GolTV
Should be a nice test for Kenny and the lads. I’ll start adding stars in the quarterfinals.
Saturday, February 19
*** Chelsea v Everton, FA Cup 4th Round Replay, 7:30 am, FSC/FD
Remember, if Chelsea win, their first United encounter is postponed again, with the result most likely back-to-back matches at Old Trafford and the Bridge in May.
** Birmingham v Sheffield Wednesday, FA Cup 5th Round, 10 am, FSC/FD
We’ve gotten a lot of Birmingham games this year as they’ve done well in the Cups. Some have come down to the wire, but the soccer is not particularly attractive to watch.
* Stoke v Brighton & Hove Albion, FA Cup 5th Round, 10 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
If you are wondering, due south of London.
** Man Utd v Crawley Town, FA Cup 5th Round, 12:15 pm, FSC/FD
I don’t expect much romance here. Crawley Town averages 1,822 spectactors at home; it would be quite humorous if they earned a replay!
Sunday, February 20
*** West Brom v Wolverhampton, 7 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
As both were knocked out of the FA Cup and they needed to make up this Black Country derby, this is the sole EPL game on the weekend. Given the derby and their relative league standings, this might be the game of the week.
** Man City v Notts County FA Cup 4th Round Replay, 9 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
I’m sure Paul Ince will not be welcomed warmly to the Eastlands. Notts are not far above the League 1 relegation zone and did well to earn this replay. But City advances.
*** Fulham v Bolton, FA Cup 5th Round, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 11 am (delayed) FS+
Fulham is taking the lead in games decided on late goals. Dempsey did extremely well to win the late penalty in the Chelsea derby against the run of play, but he looked spent in lining up to take the kick. Our only all-EPL 5th round match of the week.
** Leyton Orient v Arsenal, FA Cup 5th Round, 11:30 am, FSC
They beat the best team in the world on Wednesday night, and now travel to East London for a derby against a mid-table League One side on Sunday! Brisbane Road seats 9,271 and average attendance this year has been half that. They’ll fill the place Sunday tea-time. A let-down? No; Arsenal’s kids will prevail.
Monday, February 21
*** West Ham v Burnley, FA Cup 5th Round, 3 pm, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
This one could be entertaining. They met in the league last year at Upton Park and the Hammers prevailed 5-3!
Tuesday, February 22
** Copenhagen v Chelsea, 2:45 pm, Champions League knockout leg 1 of 2, 2:45 pm, FSC & 5 pm (delayed) FS+
Quick turnaround for London’s 3rd best team.
** Arsenal v Stoke, 2:45 pm, foxsoccer.tv & 5 pm (delayed) FS+
The games keep coming for the Gunners.
*** Blackpool v Tottenham, 3 pm, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
This should also be very entertaining.
Wednesday, February 23
*** Olympique Marseille v Man Utd, Champions League knockout leg 1 of 2, 2:45 pm, FSC & 5 pm (delayed) FS+