Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 35: Open Thread

It’s been a while since we’ve had two massive clubs play in the early kick-off on a Saturday, but we have one today with Arsenal at home against Chelsea.

Didier Drogba is doubtful for Chelsea after picking up an injury mid-week against Barcelona. And for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta is out fot the season, so while both clubs are depleted, both will be focused on getting all three points in this London derby.

After the early kick-off, there are five Premier League matches starting at 10am ET/3pm BST. In each of them, there are implications on either relegation or the battle near the top. Bolton needs three points to escape relegation when they play Swansea at the Reebok Stadium. Fulham is at home against Wigan Athletic. Can Roberto Martinez’s men do it again, or can Clint Dempsey score another one? Newcastle United is at home against Stoke City, where the Toon Army is flying high. Blackburn will want to wipe away the cobwebs from their loss last weekend against Swansea by beating Norwich City at Ewood Park. And last, but not least, Aston Villa plays at home against Sunderland in a match where Martin O’Neill returns to Villa Park for the first time as an opposition manager since he left the Stadium of Light club.

In the late kick-off, QPR plays Tottenham Hotspur in a London derby. Spurs usually has a tough time winning at Loftus Road, so don’t be surprised if the R’s come away with a shock win here to try to escape the relegation danger zone.

Before, during and after today’s Premier League matches, share your rants, raves, questions and observations in the comments section below.

45 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 35: Open Thread”

    1. Hmm, that’s really strange. I wonder if Darkey has got his information wrong on this one. ESPN has first pick of all of the May 13 games, and Arsenal vs Norwich wouldn’t be one I would pick if I was ESPN. If Arsenal has third place sewn up by that date, why bother showing this match when there’s nothing to play for, for either side?

      The Gaffer

    2. Now that’s scary…I thought I heard the same thing…but after rewinding and listening a second time he said “on CUP FINAL” day/

  1. Some quick thoughts about the first half:
    1. Arsenal backline looked very slow early on, Chelsea got in behind at least twice in first ten minutes, but seem to have gotten with it after that.

    2. It really might be as simple as not having Arteta in the lineup but Arsenal look out of ideas going forward. Chelsea know this and are very patient and compact. You get the feeling in those situations Arsenal could have all the time in the world and not create anything.

    3. Chelsea do look vulnerable to a counter. On the last one down the left side AOC might have wasted a good opportunity.

    Despite Chelsea looking the better of the two I get the feeling Arsenal could get one against the run of play and win.

    1. It’s a very open game so far. There’s definitely goals to come in this one.

      Another disappointing performance by Aaron Ramsey so far. I think he’s really overrated, and I’m Welsh.

      The Gaffer

      1. Can’t believe there haven’t been more goals. Chelsea defensively are strong again, especially when they have a wall of 8 defenders in the back. And up front, Sturridge has been wasteful.

        The Gaffer

  2. What a goal by Scott Sinclair for Swansea against Bolton!

    Be sure to check it out during half-time, or the highlights packages.

    The Gaffer

  3. Great great goals by Newcastle. Cannot help but admire what Pardew has done w/ this side. And he had a tough task to follow, taking over from a very popular Hughton.

    Ba, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cisse, Gutierrez, I should hope that they take 4th spot at the end of the season. And even 3rd is not out of question, w/ Arsenal dropping points today.

    And Tottenham has faded really bad over the last couple of months. What happened with them? From the most exciting team to watch early in the campaign to almost unwatchable right now…

    1. Seeing the Magpies in the Champions League will be so strange (if they can hold up – and hey, hopefully it will require a 3rd place finish to qualify if Chelsea can pull off another miracle)

      What a pleasant surprise they have been this season. Along with the extremely strong performances out of the Swans and Canaries. I’ve been a supporter of the Blue Moon since season 1 of the EPL but Newcastle was always my “second” team.

  4. 1 point from 6 for the arse haha!. They play stoke away next and it looks like my prediction of 3 from 9 is looking like an overestimation. Maybe they get 1 or 2 points from 9, a win away @ stoke looks very unlikely. All my spurs need to do is win out and then we finish 3rd.

    Where are all the ” your crazy, arse will easily get 9 of 9″.

    Of course we have to win out to take advantage of the Arse collapse.

    Untill then however…
    Your not singing anymore! Yoourrr not singing annyymmmooorree!!

    1. “Where are all the ” your crazy, arse will easily get 9 of 9″.

      I guess in the same place as ‘Spurs are title contender’ crowd.

          1. Chelsea, Loose FA cup to liverpool, and finish 6th no europe so, err no…We can still finish 4th or even 3rd its not over yet.

          1. Watching the game with a pint.. For spurs its not over. Qpr should be relegated just for their poor sportsmanship and idiotic fans

          2. err toffee…stuck in 7 again, your season best will be if you can finish above liverpool. and thats a big if! great goals for a club, LOL you can have Pienaar, he sucks LOL

          3. “Qpr should be relegated just for their poor sportsmanship and idiotic fans”

            So you’re a QPR supporter, interesting..


    1. LoL and they will be with you in the championship, what are you even on this blog for? Isn’t there a championship blog

  5. Newcastle now in sole possession of 4th place, and only 3 points behind Arsenal with a game in hand. They and Chelsea still have tough games coming up, but the magpies in the Champions League is a scenario that is looking more and more realistic…

    who would’ve thought this at the beginning of the season?

    1. Surely didn’t see this coming…I think this is good for the EPL. It gives other “mid-table” clubs an idea that maybe they can play for the Champions League next season. Also, dishes out some humble pie to the BIG SIX.

  6. Lots of effort and attack from Spurs, QPR hung on for dear life, it won’t save them, I’d rather see Blackburn in the premiership, Hughs is a wingnut…we will see how it plays out… after completely demolishing Newcastle and going 2 up on the arse, it all looked good, but that is football.

    Harry and England speculation, a player collapsing of a heart attack in front of them, defensive injuries leaving a terrible center of defense.

    The sooner Harry goes the better, same with King, Benny, Gallas & Brad

    1. In order to have any chance for CL spot Spurs would have to re-learn how to win. Since they lost to Arsenal 2-5 they won only once in 11 games.

      1. wow thanks for that update, even after the poor performance you point out they are still in a shot of fourth or third, thats how good they were, they can and will figure it out, its not too late. Now Barca just lost to Real, I’m sure they will not be up for destroying Chelski. Please Messi, put the nail in the coffin and kill of the blues european hopes so they will be out of europe, I will laugh heartedly .

        I don’t like Barca but can’t stand Cheatski.

        Cant wait for Tuesday

        1. As a Spurs fan you shouldn’t focus too much on how Barca or Chelsea fare in the CL semifinals. There are things closer to home to worry about with the team going through their traditional season end implosion and Harry ready to jump yet another ship.

          1. LOL as a spurs fan, hating Chelski and the arse comes natural, I’m not worried about the CL far from it, its just honest dislike of everything about Chelski or the arse.

            So would you like to see Spurs in the champions league? surely not

    2. Harry is a choke artist…

      end of.

      Same old Tottenham, always choking. how’s that pre game lasagna? sad thing is you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

      1. The real sad thing is that you assume to much, you are a real fan right? been a fan forever and maybe you even live in the mighty london? perhaps even within the sound of the bow bells? Why not dazzle me with your rhyming slang, or jellied eel recipe, that’ll show how much of a real supporter you are compared to me or anyone else.

        Lasagna gate oohhh, good one, LOL, perfect incident to test a true Spurs fans knowledge and background…

        What is it with English people living in England thinking they know everything about everything, even about other people on blogs.

        You were probably one of the clever supporters calling for Harry to get fired and accused him of nepotism when he kept picking his nephew Lampard, when really its because he was a great midfielder, how did that work out?

        I’m sure, Chelsea fans say thanks for him, Terry and Joe Cole…oh…Thanks for Scott Parker by the way, he is working out well. Irony is Harry loves West Ham too, he was a great player for you, developed great players for you as a manager and how do you carry on? No class.

        Please continue to forever dream of bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air, remember, they will fade and die just like your dreams of being in the Premier League (lets hope so).

        You have No clue, heres a link to help you out.

        1. If you could incapsulate a Spurs fan, there ya go.
          We know who we are, and are just fine with it. You have a very talented team, and will play again in Europe, but you think your team is Barca, Real or United.

          and dude, I live in New Jersey. I may have a constant English accent in my ear ( the wife), but I was engaging is a bit of banter, you just launched a load of vitriol that just shows the nature of a Spud.

          and enjoy Arry while he lasts.

          1. i am all for friendly banter or even just a bit of back and forth like in this thread with alexi, what he hasn’t done is position himself as superior. However, what you said was and I quote

            “Same old Tottenham, always choking. how’s that pre game lasagna? sad thing is you probably have no idea what I’m talking about.”

            Read it back and see how it came off, you position yourself as “a real fan” and that i wasn’t if i didn’t know about the lasagna incident, so yes, I called you out.

            my response is hardly “cruel and bitter”, if me revealing to you the information i did has upset you in anyway, I would probably avoid an actual West Ham game. you will need to know “blowing bubbles if you do”.

            and no we don’t think we are real, barca or utd.

  7. Just saw the El Clasico and I have to say I don’t wan’t Real Madrid winning now. I would prefer Barcelona winning because they are the lesser of the two evils. They at least try to pass the ball along the floor when they play Madrid. But Madrid return the favor by playing like thugs. I hope it’s Bayern and Barcelona in the final. If it were Chelsea and Real, it would be a snooze-fest if both teams play long-ball tactics. One team was taught to play this way by Mourinho and the other one is playing this way him now.

    1. The Real second goal had everything to like about game of football: speed, power, composure and inch perfect precision. As for thuggery Dani Alves was the only thug on the field.

      1. The real second goal was the exception to the rule. If you look at the high-profile games played between the two sides, you’ll find that Barcelona have been the ones playing beautiful intricate football and Real Madrid the ones hacking at the Barcelona players. As for time-wasting and gamesmanship, both teams are to be accused. That’s where they have let down the beautiful game. the Champions League semi-final at the Bernabeu was a dark night where both teams engaged in theatrics and Jose Mourinho didn’t help matters with his conspiracy theories bull-sh*t. I despise Jose Mourinho for his personality. He may be a good manager who has achieved success, but he is not a likable man. His arrogance, his tactics, his colorful comments. If he comes back to English football, I’ll have to stop watching Sky News because I don’t wan’t to listen to what he is going to have to say. I had enough for three years when he was managing Chelsea and making them play boring long-ball football which they have become conditioned to playing. Andre Villas-Boas tried to make them play attractive football along the floor, but it didn’t work for long, and Roberto Di Matteo knows that and is just letting them play the way they know, which is get a 1-0 lead and defend for dear life.

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