Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 2: Open Thread

Photo by World of Good

The best word to summarize today’s matches in the Premier League is fascinating. Why? Because now that the first gameweek of the 2011-12 Premier League season is out of the way, we will learn a lot today from each of the six games — which all feature clubs who are evenly matched, or so we think. First, let’s run down the matches that are scheduled today across England:

  • Sunderland v Newcastle, 7am,
  • Arsenal v Liverpool, 7.45am, ESPN2/ Deportes
  • Everton v QPR, 10am, FOX Soccer
  • Aston Villa v Blackburn, 10am,
  • Swansea v Wigan, 10am,
  • Chelsea v West Brom, 12:30pm, FOX Soccer, (available on delay on at midnight)

In the early kick-off of the Tyne-Wear derby, pride is on the line. Newcastle and Sunderland have both brought in plenty of new players to their squad, Sunderland even more so. This should be an intriguing match to see if Steve Bruce can get his side to gel as well as we saw in the second half against Liverpool. For Newcastle, will they be able to offer more than what we saw against Arsenal. And what role is Joey Barton going to play today? Villain or hero?

The second match of the day is arguably the biggest of the weekend. Arsene Wenger’s backing by Arsenal supporters hangs in the balance, so it’s vital that the Gunners get a result today to quash any criticism. It’s also vital that Arsenal wins because they have two tough games coming up next: away to Udinese in the Champions League qualifying round on Wednesday, and then away to Manchester United next Sunday. Liverpool, on the other hand, will be desperate to get at least a point against Arsenal at the Emirates. There are still a lot of question marks about the side despite the abundance of talent, and Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will want to see improvements.

At 3pm UK time and 10am on the east coast of the United States, there are three games on offer. Everton will be playing its first game of the season at home against Queens Park Rangers. For QPR, it’ll be interesting to see if the club plays any better now that the side has a new owner. The players will now that their places in the squad are in jeopardy since new footballers will be signed, so maybe now that the ownership issue has been resolved we’ll get to see Neil Warnock’s side playing better. Everton, meanwhile, will want to get a home win under their belt especially after a frustrating summer where they’ve made no transfer signings. The big question for David Moyes is what formation he’ll set up his squad. Will he keep a 4-5-1 (with Saha up top, and Cahill behind him as a withdrawn striker), or will he go with a 4-4-2 (with Saha and Beckford up front)? Meanwhile, it’ll be good to see the return of Marouane Fellaini to the squad. He’s been injured since February.

In Alex McLeish’s first home game for Aston Villa, we’ll see what his squad is made of and whether they have the attacking flair that Villa sides have been famous for, especially at home. If they play too defensively, expect to hear a chorus of boos against Blackburn. Another manager under pressure is Blackburn’s Steve Kean who will want to quickly forget about his side’s home loss last weekend to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

After the Swansea against Wigan match is the enticing game between Chelsea and West Brom. After a disappointing away draw to Stoke City last Sunday, Chelsea’s new manager Andre Villas-Boas will be desperate for not only a win, but also a very convincing display by his Blues. After all, it’s his first home league match and he’ll want to impress his owner and fans in a game that they should win. At the same time, we all know that West Bromwich Albion is a side that can play exceedingly well. Peter Odemwingie is still out injured, so expect new signing Shane Long and Chris Brunt to be involved in the action up front for Roy Hodgson’s side. No one expects West Brom to win this one, so the pressure is definitely on Chelsea — which WBA players and manager will love.

Before, during and after today’s games, be sure to use the comments thread below to post your questions, observations, rants and raves. There’s definitely going to be a lot to talk about today with six mouthwatering matches. I look forward to reading your comments!

43 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 2: Open Thread”

  1. LFC needs to have more complexity in the final third. Either Henderson needs to show his ability to get forward with the ball at his foot, or Carroll needs to start moving more fluidly across the back 4.

  2. Ian Darke has mentioned on more than once that Liverpool look like a completely different team with Suarez on the pitch. Could he be giving Suarez too much credit when Arsenal playing with 10 men?

  3. It’s amazing how much Arsenal looks like Stoke when they don’t have 60 million pounds patrolling the center midfield. I think this highlights the end of the Dirk Kuyt era at Liverpool. He provides depth but he really should be plying his trade elsewhere as a regular.. also Andy Carroll is only the second biggest waste of a transfer fee because of Fernando Torres.

      1. LOL…exactly…ahh dammit.

        We could use some of that steel and will that Stoke possess. I can’t believe i’m saying that but it’s true (sorry Arsene).

  4. I don’t know why but I expected more from the Gunners today. It’s clear Liverpool aren’t up to where they will be when the newer players start gelling so I thought Arsenal could very well get something out of the game, but they looked pretty timid.

    These 2 clubs are going in opposite directions.

    Sigh…Go Gunners

  5. Sunderland showed once again that they have an inferiority complex when it comes to the Derby games. The squad is in place, the football looks good but the belief is still missing. And that is the hardest thing to find in football. No amount of money will buy you belief.

      1. its bad I keep getting errors.. I went to the ipad it shows no games live…

        lots of problems today .. if you got to the bottom on the ipad and look at schedule you can get a game

    1. Piece of crap!!!! Same with EPL fantasy website. Maybe the players need to channel some of their money to EPL infrastructure!!!

  6. Fox Soccer TV doesn’t work AGAIN! For the love of.. ESPN will you please buy out these f**ks and put them out of business like how capitalism is supposed to function. ESPN3 IS FREE and it works 1000 times better and covers a million times more content as the pay service fox soccer.. Nevermind that you dipshits can’t even get HD or FSC plus on my provider.

  7. Glad to know I am not the only one. This really irritates me when I am looking forward to watching these games. Damn!!!!!!

  8. Once again foxsoccer’s increasingly expensive subscription service fails to deliver.

    “Oops, Sorry. Something went wrong.”

    “Oops. Sorry. I’ve cancelled my free trial.”

  9. i am not to happy with it .. i got back in on my ipad the picture quality is great but they score at the bottom of the screen is peterbourgh 0 Scarborough 0 … why is that score from 2/22 sitting there?

    also the live ticker should at least scroll its static does not move? you have to scroll through all the scores to get to the ones you want.. is there a way to remove scores I am not interested in other countrys scores

  10. Today’s EPL experience sucks!!! F#xSoccer sucks, EPL Fantasy website sucks, Wigan v Swansea sucks!!! (I had to resort to P2P to watch it.) I’m missing my sleep for all this aggravation!!!

    1. No, EFC cannot buy anyone…literally. No cash, no credit, no buys. I hope the suits at Goodison can figure it out b/c I’d hate to see EFC in truly dire financial straits. EFC isn’t in crisis mode yet, but how far can it be?

      Good luck to my mates across the park.

      1. BTW, I’m being sincere here. While I’d love to see ManUre burned to the ground, I truly respect EFC, their fans, and shared history with LFC.

    1. Same here. This is getting ridiculous. I’m getting a network connection error on the iPad app. The website version doesn’t work. But the iPhone one does work. needs to get their act together.

      The Gaffer

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