EPL Weekly Viewing Guide, Gameweek 34

53 matches to go, with 12 this week.  While the title seems to be in United’s grasp, Everton have been playing well and will go for it with nothing to lose.  The battle for fourth may end up the most exciting, but with the City – Spurs showdown still a couple of weeks away, our attention is increasingly on the bottom of the table, with huge matches for the W’s and B’s this weekend.  Not sure if Fox quite gets it, and worried they will show us a meaningless Fullham – Arsenal match on the final Sunday vs., say, airing West Ham v Sunderland or Wolves v Blackburn!

****:  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, April 23 (all times EDT)

*** Man Utd v Everton, 7:45 am, ESPN2/ESPND & espn3.com [Walton]
Everton playing well again.  United have definitely benefited from Arsenal’s frailties this season but could have one eye on Germany.

*** Liverpool v Birmingham, 10 am, FSC [Webb]
Could Liverpool actually join Birmingham in Europe next year?  We’ll see which team we get this week in this Jekyll and Hyde season.

Aston Villa v Stoke, 10 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv [Foy]
Both just about safe and mid-table.  So clearly Fox doesn’t understand how much more interesting Sunderland v Wigan is.

**** Wolverhampton v Fulham, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & noon (delayed) FS+ [Oliver]
Just a humongous match for Wolves, along with their visit to Stoke Tuesday night.  We’ll get a good sense if they are going down or if they are dragging sides like Fulham and Stoke into it.

*** Tottenham v West Brom, 10 am, FD & foxsoccer.tv & 5 pm (delayed) FSC [Attwell]
Spurs can catch City still so these are 3 important points.

** Blackpool v Newcastle, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 6:30 am Sunday (delayed) FS+ [Atkinson]
I really don’t understand why Fox can’t put every one of the 10 matches on each weekend, even delayed into the late evening or early morning hours as they are doing this weekend with Blackpool v Newcastle.  Of course, diehards will subscribe to foxsoccer.tv, but for those who do pay for FSC & FS+, I don’t see why we couldn’t have Sunderland v Wigan on, say, at 4:30 am.  Meanwhile, I don’t know if I can bear to watch these final Blackpool matches as their utter implosion continues.

*** Sunderland v Wigan, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv only [Probert]
Black Cats crashing down the table, and Wigan are still favorites for the drop.

*** Chelsea v West Ham, 12:30 pm, FSC/FD [Dowd]
I’m not sure why Ancelotti was saying “We really blew this season.”  The way I look at it if Chelsea can win their final five matches, they still have a decent shot at the title!  The Hammers look truly doomed.  Stay tuned for West Ham-Millwall matches 2x next year.

Sunday, April 24

*** Bolton v Arsenal, 11 am, FSC/FD [Jones]
My view is that Arsenal really blew it.  They certainly should have beaten Liverpool, and had Spurs well beaten too!  It may not be over yet, but I think Wenger is going to have to stop blaming everyone else and really improve both is squad and the training methods that saw his team exhausted at the end of matches late in the season.

Monday, April 25

*** Blackburn v Man City, 3 pm, ESPN2/ESPND & espn3.com [Marriner]
Very important for both sides, as City strive for Champions League football and prep for the FA Cup final, while Rovers are still in deep trouble.

Tuesday, April 26

**** Schalke v Man United, Champions League Semifinal Leg 1, 2:45 pm, FSC/FD
An away goal = Wembley?

*** StokeWolverhampton, 2:45 pm, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv [Mason]
I imagine I’ll watch Schalke – United first, but this is a big match.

Wednesday, April 27

***** bonus match:  Real Madrid v Barcelona, Champions League Semifinal Leg 1, 2:45 pm, FX/FD
Note that the Wednesday semifinal legs have been upgraded this year from Fox Soccer Channel to the more widely broadcast FX channel.  Jose’s Pepe-in-the-middle strategy is generally working and these teams are getting awfully feisty after repeated matches.  Cards may be important here.

** Fulham Bolton, 3 pm, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv [Taylor]
If Fullham beat Wolves, downgrade this to 1 star and watch the Clásico.

9 thoughts on “EPL Weekly Viewing Guide, Gameweek 34”

  1. My plan for the weekend:

    1. Watch Man Utd vs Everton on ESPN2 HD at 4:45am PT on Saturday

    2. If Man Utd were to win, I will skip the rest of the EPL matches for the weekend and just watch the highlights once they become available at foxsoccer.com

    The two “big” EPL games for me are Arsenal vs Man Utd on May 1 and Man Utd vs Chelsea on May 8. The title could be decided on May 8.


    Don’t agree with the 4 stars for Wolves vs Fulham. 3 stars max for relegation scraps until the final week of the season.


  2. Don’t forget last time Fulham played Wolves – Karl Henry broke Bobby Zamora’s leg by pulling him down into a scissor tackle. Craven Cottage erupted with ‘Disgrace to the Premiership’, and Craven Cottage does not ‘erupt’. Danny Murphy then went to the press blaming Managers for the bad tackles.

    Fulham will not get a nice reception. Wolves need to win. Fulham need to win. This game will be a cracker.

  3. Manchester United vs Everton is a very big game for United. If United win, I cannot see them losing the title because it will be hard for them to lose to both Arsenal and Chelsea. Everton are playing well at the moment but they still have too many injuries to star players; Arteta, Fellaini, Cahill and Saha. United at home always find a way to win these types of games. It will be an easy win for United.

  4. Manchester united vs Everton is a must-win for United to put more distance between them and Chelsea (I think Arsenal are out of the race becaase they are not strong enough at the back). Playing at home and with Everton not at full strength this should be routine win for United.

    Spurs vs West Brom is a big game for Spurs as they try to beat Manchester City to 4th place. If Spurs play like they did against Arsenal they should win comfortably. West Brom have improved under Hodgson, especially at the back, but their midfield is still no match for Spurs. Spurs should win this one.

    Sunderland vs Wigan is a huge game for both teams. Sunderland are in free-fall while Wigan have played better recently. Still Sunderland are at home and Wigan don’t play too well away. But if Wigan want to avoid the drop then this is the game they have to win. I can see Wigan winning this one as this maybe the right time to play Sunderland.

    United will fancy getting something from their away game against Schalke. Schalke have improved under their new manager but United have too much over them so I can see United wrapping this up in the 1st leg. But even if United get a draw or lose (which I cannot see happening) they will still be favorites to go through with the 2nd leg at Old Trafford.

    Chelsea vs West Ham is big fro both teams. Chelsea need to win this game if they are to have any chance of overtaking United. Don’t see united slipping up but Chelsea has to go out and win all the remaining games to keep their mathematical chances alive. West ham need a win badly to start moving away from the drop zone. A loss in this game and they could be in the Chmapionship next season. I cannot see past a Chelsea win. But this is a London derby so who knows.

  5. In the past, FSC would focus on the relegation battles on the final Sunday of the season if everything at the top of the table (title, Champions League, Europa League) were already decided.

    That last happened in 2009 (recalled that Man Utd drew Arsenal 0-0 to win the title on the 3rd Saturday of May.)


    The opposite happened in 2010, when all 3 relegation spots were decided prior to the final Sunday, but the title and 3rd place were not decided.

  6. Predictions:
    Manchester United 4 – Everton 0 [United know a win and they have the title won]

    Liverpool 2 – Birmingham 2

    Aston Villa 2- Stoke 1

    Wolves 1 – Fulham 2 [loss for Wolves mean they go down]

    Spurs 2 – West Brom 1

    Blackpool 2 – Newcastle 1 [Blackpool will have hope of staying up, but won’t]

    Sunderland 2 – Wigan 2 [Wigan will have hope of staying up while Sunderland will be worried]

    Chelsea 2 – West Ham 0 [this loss for West Ham means they will go down]

    Bolton 3 – Arsenal 2 [Bolton will bounce back from their FA Cup no-show to beat an Arsenal team that know they dropped 4 points from winning positions]

    Blackburn 1 – Manchester City 2 [things get worse for Blackburn]

    Schalke 1 – Manchester United 2 [United are on their way to Wembley]

    Stoke 2 – Wolves 0

    Fulham 2 – Bolton 1

    Real Madrid 1 – Barcelona 2 [Barcelona on their way to Wembley]

  7. I’ll be watching the Man United – Everton game and hope Tim Howard does well. I don’t see Everton winning at United and United know that the title is theirs to lose so they will go all-out to win this and will be helped by the home-field advantage. If United win then they will have the title wrapped up and neither the Chelsea – West Ham game or Bolton – Arsenal game will be worth watching. Then the other games will be the ones to watch, Wolves – Fulham is a must-win for Wolves for them to have any hope of avoiding the drop, Blackpool – Newcastle is also a must-win for Blackpool to give them any hope to go down and the Sunderland – Wigan is important for both teams as Wigan try to keep moving away from the bottom 3 and Sunderland need to stop moving down towards the bottom 3.

  8. Manchester United will hammer Everton. This will be the game that solidifies the title to United. I’d fancy Everton getting a draw if they were playing at home but give them no chance at Old Trafford where United always find a way to win. This could be a goal-fest. Fun to watch, unless you’re an Everton fan.

    Spurs should make easy going of West Brom who don’t have the quality that Spurs have. Besides, all Hodgson’t teams struggle away from home. Spurs will want this game more as they are battling Manchester City for 4th.

    Liverpool need to beat Birmingham, whom they haven’t beaten in their last 6 games, if they are to have any hope of getting 5th in case Spurs or Manchester City slip up. Tall order but Liverpool are still in it mathematically at least. With all of liverpool’s injuries Birmingham might benefit and frustrate Liverpool once again. Might be an interesting game to watch as Liverpool will attack and we might see a very open game. I hope so anyway. I don’t think this will end in a draw but I cannot decide who will win.

    Blackburn vs Manchester City is an interesting game as Blackburn will want to avoid being in a relegation battle. They are at home and might be able to get something out of this game with a win or draw. City are a Jekyl-and-Hyde team so who knows which one will turn up. City don’t play as well away so Blackburn will go into this one with confidence. I’ll go for a draw. that means the battle for 4th will go down to the wire.

  9. Disagree with all the Everton loss predictions. Blues always seem to play well this year when no one expects anything of them-see Man U, City, Tottenham, Chelsea, etc., and have a habit of letting you down when you expect them to win easily-see WBA, Wigan. I say Everton gets its first W at Old Trafford in almost 2 decades, 2-1. Wonder how long Fergie will play Rooney with Schalke looming…

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