Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 31: Open Thread

Today is one of those rare Saturdays when there are no early kick-off nor late kick-offs in the Premier League. Instead we have seven Premier League matches all kicking off at the same time (10am ET/3pm UK time).

In the race for the Premier League title, all eyes will be on Etihad Stadium where Manchester City takes on Sunderland. City will be without Sergio Aguero who is injured due to a burn from a foot spray (no joke), while Vincent Kompany should return for the Citizens. After Sunderland’s mid-week FA Cup exit, underestimate the Mackems at your peril. O’Neill’s side will want to bounce back from the disappointing loss against Everton.

In the other matches, Wolves against Bolton could get ugly especially if Terry Connor’s side doesn’t get three points. I’m starting to feel sorry for Wolves, but they need to fight to stay up in this Premier League side. And if they could beat any team in the Premier League, Bolton is it. If Wolves loses, you can pretty much count them as relegated.

Speaking of relegation battles, Wigan is at home against Stoke. The Latics will surely find Stoke City a much tougher opponent that the Reds, I believe.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa plays Chelsea, QPR tackles Arsenal, Fulham is at home against Norwich and, last but not least, Everton takes on West Bromwich Albion.

You know the drill. Before, during or after any of the Premier League matches today, post your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below. I look forward to reading your thoughts!

14 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 31: Open Thread”

  1. well it was great to see Fabrice sitting up.lets get behind Stiliyan Petrov keep him and his family in our prays.we have your back and God willing you beat the leukemia and enjoy the rest of your life.once again we get slapped upside the face that it is just a game not life and death.stay strong Stan!

  2. I find it very frustrating on days like today. ESPN is showed Manchester City – Sunderland while Fox showed Chelsea – Aston Villa, and Arsenal – QPR weren’t on TV at all. I’m sure there’s a legitimate explanation for it all, but I don’t see why we can’t have some kind of on-demand soccer channel in which consumers can download their game of choice if time slots are overloaded.

    A few questions then: does Chelsea get the time slot because they are a bigger club than Arsenal? This situation in which Arsenal is bumped for Chelsea has happened earlier another time this year. Do Chelsea have more fans in either the US here, or worldwide? I was under the impression that fanwise, Manchester United is #1, followed by Liverpool, then Arsenal. I thought Chelsea and Tottenham were more recently successful clubs. Am I wrong here?

    I suppose Chelsea have more big-name players. But here in San Francisco, I know several Arsenal and Man United fans, and zero Chelsea fans. Last weekend I went to an Irish bar down in North Beach and at 8 AM on a Satruday there were 40 Arsenal fans there to watch the game against Aston Villa. Maybe the Chelsea fans are somewhere, but I don’t see them in the US, and I don’t see why Arsenal shouldn’t get the priority.

    1. Nate, you’re generalizing a US fan-base based on one city. Over the last 6 years I have lived in both New York and Washington DC and have seen a pretty even distribution of fans supporting most of the bigger clubs (Chelsea included).

    2. ESPN2 had the first pick because there wasn’t an early kick-off, and FOX Soccer must have thought that the Aston Villa against Chelsea game would have resulted in bigger TV ratings than QPR versus Arsenal. FOX’s decision to show the Chelsea match may have been swayed more by Aston Villa being bigger than QPR than the other two clubs involved.

      The Gaffer

  3. So many outstanding matches today. And my boy Lichaj scored.

    Does a new manager really mean so much to a club? Sunderland have had players of superior ability before, but they never played at this level. Imagine what O’Neill could have done with them if he had Gyan and Bent, among others. Goodness.

  4. Strange having a packed 3pm fixture list for a change! Only happened because Sky and ESPN have used up nearly all of their TV picks so couldn’t afford to pick anything for 12.45 or 5.30 but it was great to see! Spent the entire afternoon watching Soccer Saturday and now I’m looking forward to a very good Match of the Day tonight! 😉

  5. Valiant effort from City in the final 10 minutes but yes today was probably the end of the dream. Still a brilliant season and all credit to the zombie United team. Until their head is cut off United will never die I guess.

  6. They never lost u pollock! Although they have been doing for the large part of 30 years. Shame there are bitter little people like you out there who just spew out random and bitter bile who want them to fail. You don’t work for the British media by any chance do you? Lol

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