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Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 16: Open Thread

6443590105 419d5246ff Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 16: Open Thread

The Christmas fixtures begin today with several games coming in short succession between now and the turn of the year. Needless to say, it’s a big day in the Premier League today. At St. James’s Park, Newcastle United will give a special tribute to former United footballer Gary Speed. The pre-match tribute will include Gary Speed’s wife as well as a Welsh tenor. Then, of course, there is the match itself featuring the battle of the two Dutch keepers (and the best two in the league, right now) between Tim Krul (Newcastle) and Michel Vorm (Swansea).

In the other matches, there are plenty of high-pressure games featuring must-win games. Fulham plays at home against Bolton. Whoever loses this one will find a whole lot of pressure on their football manager. Then there’s Blackburn Rovers against West Bromwich Albion. It’s a must-win game for Steve Kean, while Roy Hodgson will want to win it after the embarrassment of losing against Wigan Athletic last week.

In the other two 10am ET/3pm GMT kick-offs, Everton is at home against Norwich City, while Wolves battle Stoke City at Molineux. Last, but not least, the late kick-off today is Wigan Athletic versus Chelsea.

Before, during or after any of the games today, post your comments, observations, questions, rants and raves in the comments section below.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

25 Responses to Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 16: Open Thread

  1. Martin says:

    Sorry, but what a crappy Saturday of matches. And no early ESPN2 match either (which I will usually watch even if it is crappy).

    C’mon and surprise me, you crap matches.

    • The Gaffer says:

      I can’t speak for the other matches as I’m watching Newcastle against Swansea right now. Very disappointed so far with Swansea performance thus far. They can’t keep possession, which is something rare to say about the Swans. Joe Allen is having his worst game of the season so far. His final touch has been awful all game.

      The Gaffer

    • The Gaffer says:

      Fulham against Bolton looks good so far. Two brilliant goals.

      The Gaffer

  2. BBC says:

    Sad day for me. . . .I’ve been getting foxsoccer on my iphone for free ever since I signed up and then cancelled the free trial. No more *sigh*

  3. Mike says:

    Gaffer – newcastle should be up 4 on your swans right now

    • The Gaffer says:

      Unfortunately, I agree. Swansea’s worst first half performance of the season so far. They can play do much better.

      The Gaffer

      • The Gaffer says:

        Time for Swansea to bring on Nathan Dyer for Wayne Routledge. Swansea need to make some more positive changes.

        Very frustrating performance so far.

        The Gaffer

    • The Gaffer says:

      How the hell Swansea got a point there, I don’t know. But based on that performance, I’ll gladly take the point.

      Newcastle must be kicking themselves.

      The Gaffer

  4. CTBlues says:

    Why is the Newcastle match on espndeportes.

    FYI starting January 11 Fox Deportes is getting moved to the spanish package on DirecTV.

  5. Arsenio Billingham says:

    I’m writing a letter to Fox Soccer threatening to cancel my subscription unless “former engurland international” Warren Barton learns how to pronounce “th” properly.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Keep an eye out for something special from me in early 2012 which will help solve that issue (and others). Pretty vague, I know, but I can’t say much more right now ;)

      The Gaffer

  6. dan says:

    Great tribute to Gary Speed. Newcastle figured Swansea out from the offand pressed them in their own half, only to inexplicably let them back in it after half time. Obertan should have done better and Cabaye’s corners were afwul. Pardew needs to sort out who does what between Best and Ba, they’re both going for the posts when one of them should hang back. Coloccini the hero once again.

    • The Gaffer says:

      The tribute to Gary Speed was the best part of the game, for me. Newcastle played well, and on any other day would have won 3-0 or 4-0, but the ball didn’t drop well for them.

      The Gaffer

  7. Guy says:

    Absolutely ready to watch Wigan v Chelsea. Not because I think it’s going to be a great match, but because FS HD has mysteriously shown up on my channel guide here in eastern NC. Don’t care why or how. I now have the trifecta….FS HD, FS+HD and ESPN3. Livin’ la vida magnifico! :-)

    • The Gaffer says:

      Lucky man! I still have FOX Soccer in SD only :(

      Enjoy the match in HD! I’m envious.

      The Gaffer

      • Guy says:

        Well, not much in it so far, HD or not, but I’m not complaining. At least everything is sharp and clear for a change. Guess I’m lucky to have TimeWarner and not Bombast. ;-)

  8. Latic says:

    Clearly whoever is responsible for putting together the starting lineup graphics for FSC have never seen Wigan play, they had half the team listed in the wrong position.

  9. Guy says:

    So this is the team that beat City? Not exactly striking fear into the hearts of Wigan at this point. You gotta love football.

  10. jtm371 says:

    whatever is ailing Torres Cech has also caught.i read last week they were talking a 4 year deal for Cech.

  11. Jack Tomczuk says:

    Don’t look now, but Wigan are turning it around…

  12. Justin says:

    what a disgraceful display from andres villas boas. as a chelsea fan i am disgusted. where is the drive to go for a 2nd goal? wigan is by no means an attacking force and there was no reason to bring mikel on. what does he offer as a sub off the bench at that point? and then to take your goal scorer off was even more mind boggling. unbelievable and terrible result

  13. Harry says:

    Wigan played so much better in the second half that they could have won the game. Poor result for Chelsea and I really think they are going to fight it out with Arsenal and Liverpool for 4th. It is only going to get worse for them when they lose Drogba and company next month because of the African Cup of Nations.

  14. eric says:

    Chelsea lack cohesion. Cech has not had an impressive campaign, Bosingwa is hit and miss every week (and horrible in the air every week), JT is off banging other players’ wives and bailing his mother out of jail, there’s no consistent CB partner, Mikel has the control and field awareness of Helen Keller, Lamps and Malouda are on the bench most of the time now, Mata is a defensive liability, Drogba hasn’t been taking the few chances that come his way, Kalou wastes all of his, Romeu can only step on the field against lesser opponents, and Torres, who recently found his scoring touch, receives a 3 match ban and now finds himself back in the wilderness.

    The only consistent performers in my opinion have been Ivanovic (no longer an automatic selection), Ashley Cole, Daniel Sturridge (also not an automatic selection). So Chelsea have 1 consistent performer in their starting 11.

  15. eric says:

    If only Liverpool could stop dropping points to the smaller clubs (Norwich, Swans, Fulham) we could actually make a title run. Against City, Utd, Arsenal, and Chelsea, we’ve picked up 8 of a possible 12 points, yet find ourselves in 7th. Hopefully now that Kenny has steadied the ship, he can really set sail for glory. Liverpool’s lackluster holiday schedule (@Fulham, QPR, @Villa, Wigan, @Blackburn, Newcastle) will be a telling sign of the club’s current direction.

    I bet a Utd supporter that Liverpool will take more than 14 of the available 18 points from the their December schedule. The away loss to Fulham leaves it on a knife’s edge and without our defensive stall-wort Lucas (in my opinion Liverpool player of the year thus far), I leave Liverpool’s chances at 50/50. Hopefully Suarez receives no more than a 2 match ban as he would only miss the Wigan and Blackburn games. Come on Reds! Don’t make a liar out of me!

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