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Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 12: Open Thread

arsenal spurs Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 12: Open Thread

There are several must-see matches to watch today beginning with the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. In previous seasons, the derby has been an explosive match that has often weeble-woobled back and forth throughout the 90 minutes. If those matches are anything to go by, this could be an instant classic.

Arsenal starting lineup: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud.

Tottenham starting lineup: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Gallas, Naughton, Sandro, Huddlestone, Bale, Lennon, Defoe, Adebayor

If that wasn’t enough, there are six intriguing Premier League matches kicking off at 10am ET/3pm UK time. Take your pick from “el Sackiko” between Queens Park Rangers and Southampton. Whichever manager loses could get sacked. So my bet is on a draw. There’s so much on the line there.

Liverpool against Wigan is a good opportunity to see whether Fenway Sports Group made the correct decision this past summer in picking their manager. Roberto Martinez was wined and dined in South Beach, but John W. Henry ultimately picked Brendan Rodgers instead. Did he make the right choice? We’ll find out today.

I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Newcastle against Swansea match. This one will be an intriguing affair with both sides crippled with injuries. Newcastle hasn’t been in the best form lately, so the Swans have a chance to capitalize on a rare chance to get some revenge on United, one of the teams that Swansea often have a tough time beating.

Reading against Everton should be a comfortable win for the Toffees, but I wouldn’t count out Reading yet. Brian McDermott’s side doesn’t deserve to be in the bottom three, and today’s the ideal opportunity to show their home fans they still have a fight in them.

Last but not least, out of the 10am ET/3pm UK time matches, high-flying West Bromwich Albion plays Chelsea in a match that gives Baggies manager Steve Clarke an opportunity to come up against the side where he used to be assistant manager, Chelsea. Today’s a great opportunity for West Bromwich to try to play their beautiful passing game against a Chelsea side who can play just as well. It should be a wonderful match to watch.

If Aston Villa’s performance last weekend against Manchester United is a sample of how Villa will play today, Manchester City‘s game against Aston Villa today should be an entertaining match to watch. However, City has hardly been inspiring at home, but City has a chance to move to the top of the table with a win before Manchester United plays away at Norwich City in the late kick-off.

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

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 →

124 Responses to Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 12: Open Thread

  1. Guy says:

    Well, Dust can start the day with a smile. Hugo!!

  2. Dust says:

    Hugo baby

  3. Dust says:

    Defoe and Ade

  4. Dust says:

    Sucks caulker is out, stupid England freindly

  5. IanCransonsKnees says:

    I’ve got little interest in today’s matches with Stoke not playing other than how the results affect our position in the table. Draws all round will do me.

    A mate of mine is up at Anfield and stopping over so I’d like to see Wigan get at least a point.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the holier than thou Arsenal fans treat Adebayor today.

    Southampton v QPR is the most interesting match for me. Before the season started I said on here that QPR reminded me of Sunderland at the start of last season, buying so many players and not gelling. I got berated by the Rs fans who were around at the time. Hughes’ season at Fulham was poor until January so it’s no surprise they’re in the position they are.

    Interesting transfer rumour today, Walcott and £8m for Sterling. I’d snap their hand off!

  6. Dust says:

    Dempsey behind Defoe was still 2 strikers, wtf is wrong with people? It was 4231 with Defoe and Dempsey, It’s still 4231…watch the transition play.

  7. Dust says:

    Sol you traitor

  8. Dust says:

    Watch for dirty Wiltshire

  9. Guy says:

    Spurs in their Quins strips again. Have to go with them today. :-)

  10. Dust says:

    Huddle stone just wandering around no mans land in midfield….uugghhh

  11. Dust says:

    Ooooohhhhh Lennon

  12. Dust says:

    Huddlestone wtf! turned like pig on a spit by dirty Wiltshire

  13. Dust says:

    That is a red

  14. Dust says:

    Over aelous

  15. Guy says:

    Looks like Hugo’s going to get a workout today.

  16. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Did Loris freeze there? Bet Brad would have got that ;-).

    Shows why Liverpool ought to snap up that deal for Walcott if it’s true.

  17. Dust says:

    Oh we’ll, there goes the game, we went from bossing the, game to 10 men….lucky arsenal

  18. The Gaffer says:

    Emmanuel Adebayor = Liability.

    Thanks to Adebayor getting sent off, there’s little chance of Clint Dempsey coming on as a sub today.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  19. Dust says:

    Great save, would have been a goal if freezer was in there

    • Clampdown says:

      It really is amazing the amount of disrespect you have for one of the great keepers to ever grace the Premier League. And he’s one of your own.

      • Dust says:

        Freezal has been a great professional but to say he was one of the best ever in the premier league is quite a statement, and unfortunately one I do not subscribe to, he lost his national team position just over 2 years ago. During his time at Blackburn he was good, but not now, and hasn’t been for a while. Certainly isn’t as good as Lloris.

        I understand that Americans have a soft spot for hm and that’s great, I have no attachment to him whatsoever.

  20. Dust says:

    Tom huddlestone

  21. Guy says:

    Credit to Carzola for continuing the play instead of hitting the ground.

  22. Dan Lott says:

    Thank you Adeboyore. Your challenge has given Arsenal mega confidence with the man up. Spurs still a threat on the break. Game is not over.

  23. Dust says:

    Tom huddlestone directly responsible for 2 of arsenals goals

  24. Dust says:

    I can see huddlestone off, and Defoe for Dempsey, Defoe work rate is never going to be what’s needed

  25. jtm371 says:

    Dust
    looks to be a long 2nd half ade screwed the match with his stupid tackle.4 loses in 5 not good for avb lots of pressure.Spurs were looking good.

    • Dust says:

      Yeah, I don’t think avb should receive the blame, but the media will be all over him… It could be a long half or it could be the greatest half of football by a 10 man team and end up 4-3 to spurs.

      Defoe missed a chance when we had 10 men to go 2-1 up,off of a TH free kick if he had just continued toward the back post.

  26. The Gaffer says:

    Unfortunately AVB will be the one under a lot of pressure after this match and will receive a lot of the criticism. But up until the point where Adebayor got sent off, Spurs looked fantastic. Maintained the lion share of the possession, were leading 1-0 and looked more likely to win this match.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • Dan Lott says:

      But that challenge wasn’t AVB’s fault. His team was setup to terrorize.

    • Dust says:

      If only everyone would see those facts, a real shame, we will see what happens in the second half.

      Injuries have made is very difficult for avb to make meaningful defensive changes, gallas time has also run out, unfortunately he is still much better than Dawson.

  27. Dust says:

    Scratch that huddlestone responsible for all 3, just saw replay of the mertisaker goal and huddlestone didn’t even try and jump with him.

  28. Andre says:

    Red was a huge bummer, this started off looking like a great match. Spurs have completely lost it down a man. Not just the shape or the posture, but almost to a man they seem to have forgotten what they are supposed to do. The play that resulted in the third goal should have been dealt with routinely and Naughton almost coughed up the fourth.

    It looks like Dempsey is coming on.

  29. The Gaffer says:

    Looks like Clint Dempsey will have a chance to play after all. Let’s see what Dempsey can do to steal the headlines. Many Tottenham supporters are not high on him so far this season due to some mediocre performances.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  30. Dan Lott says:

    Oh Gawd. Why is Santos coming on!

  31. jtm371 says:

    can Spurs get someone else to take a corner TH sucks.those were awful back to back corners.

  32. Dust says:

    If caulker was not injured during the pointless friendly Dawson wouldn’t need to be on and we could make 2 midfield substitutions for tired legs around 70

  33. Dust says:

    So….not the greatest 2nd half performance of all time then?

    Oh well.

  34. jtm371 says:

    all 3 new pickups for AFC score.not bad.

  35. Marc L says:

    Hey, there you go! Got a goal back and Huddle Stone off. Maybe not all is lost after all.

    • Dust says:

      Tc should have played instead of huddlestone, well, as it stands it is a better result than the 5-2 loss last year as we have 10 men and a 2 goal difference, last 15 mins we have had good possession and 2 clear goal scoring opportunities that Defoe couldn’t finish

  36. Guy says:

    Oddly enough, after the match, I think both managers will be right back where they started in terms of pressure. Because of the sending off Arsene won’t get much credit and AVB won’t get much blame…..or shouldn’t.

    • Dan Lott says:

      Yes the phrase “paper over the cracks” will be heard. I hope the win restores AFC players confidence, even if it doesn’t restore mine. Giroud’s steady progress is impressive. A replacement for Song in Jan is top of my wish list.

  37. jtm371 says:

    Guy
    how about a West Brom upset of Chelski? i say 3/1 to Albion.

  38. Dust says:

    A silly mistake by vert but another great example of Dawson not being good enough.

    Everyone except Defoe left it all on the field.

  39. Dust says:

    C’mon west brom

  40. jtm371 says:

    Dust
    your boys need to dig deep and get a result and not a draw against the Hammers things are starting to slip away.

    • Andrei says:

      They need to look at the calendar. It is not March yet. Too early to implode.

    • Dust says:

      I think we will beat west ham, these injuries need to clear up, I hope TH has played his last game for spurs in the Bol at least. Adebyor’s red card won’t take effect for 2 weeks so he will play against whfc and lfc. We are 3 points behind, I’m not concerned whatsoever after Xmas we will se where we are.

    • Guy says:

      Speaking of the Hammers, I’m thinking for the Monday match v Stoke a pair of NFL goal posts might be useful….or maybe the gaelic ones. :-)

      • IanCransonsKnees says:

        There’s a rumour going around Stoke that Robert Huth is having trials to lay for the Baa Baas next summer ;-) (he’d probably be vey good, I can imagine him getted cited though).

  41. jtm371 says:

    Luiz would like to hit reset on the gameboy.

  42. jtm371 says:

    that was cheap shot from Hazard at some point he is going to get payback.

  43. Sammy says:

    My, what a thriller! So happy now.

  44. jtm371 says:

    Mark Hughes nightmare continues Saints up 2/nil at Loftus might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

  45. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Looks like Hughes will be on his way at the end of ‘El Sackio’. I wonder if they’ll tell him at half time again.

    I fancy the Boing Boings today to beat Chelsea. 1-1 against Chelsea at half time. Shame Lukaku can’t play, he’d have shown Torres up no doubt.

  46. jtm371 says:

    Guy
    your on the number just 38 mins to play out.

    Wallabies up on England with 10 mins to play 20/14

  47. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Swans fans will be hoping to hold on, that’s a long journey back and 3pts will make it seem a lot shorter.

    Steve Clarke will be on the big boys radars now I’m sure. He seems to have bided his time and learnt from the old masters.

    I’m not looking forward to playing them this season.

  48. Guy says:

    What’s up with Liverpool? 3 goals??!

  49. Dust says:

    Sturridge looks good

  50. jtm371 says:

    Myhill playing huge keeping WBA ahead.

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      His old boss is losing 0-5 in his first game for Hartlepool against Coventry.

      ‘Harry come & save us’ banner at QPR, he probably would. He’d blow some money in January I’m sure.

  51. jtm371 says:

    Reading working on a upset 2/1 over Everton

  52. IanCransonsKnees says:

    ‘Jordan Henderson is dominant in midfield’ says the commentator on the Talksport score update. Wigan must be shit. At least it’s not going to happen again for Hughes at QPR.

  53. Guy says:

    I hate the prevent defense in all forms of football.

  54. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Swans 2 up now. Beaten by two teams have had to travel long distances to take them on.

    Cracking 3 points for them there.

  55. Guy says:

    I sure hope ICK got my bet down! :-)

    • jtm371 says:

      nice call on the score first pint is on me.

      • IanCransonsKnees says:

        I fancied West Brom to win myself but didn’t have anything on anyone today.

        How does betting work over there then? You can’t just walk into a bookmakers or bet online?

        Over here you have a fixed odds coupon so you can go for umpteen permutations and accumulators. Passes the time picking out your results.

  56. Dust says:

    Can’t hear that annoying champions of Europe songs from Chelsea now.

    RDM completely disrespected west brom by not starting their strongest 11 & they paid for it.

    • Steve M says:

      Big match at Juve on Tuesday. Chelsea need a draw. I’m sure RDM was thinking ahead to that by keeping some players somewhat rested.

  57. RBP says:

    Disgusting officiating in the Everton match today, two sure-fire penalties not called. We played pretty poorly in the second half though so I’m not too aggrieved by the end result, but Atkinson was very very inconsistent.

  58. Marc L says:

    All kinds of nice results going on up high on the table today. Does Norwich have it in them to add another one?

    Nah, I think I’ll just assume a bad outcome there and go ride the mountain bike I think.

  59. Dust says:

    With all that money spent on players and quality in the chelsea side how did they loose? The manager perhaps?

    • Sacto Blues says:

      West Brom deserved the match and who knows the Baggies could be this years ” Newcastle ” surprise team. Disappointing but we are still in it while up in North London AVB probably has to beat the Spammers or go back on death watch.

      • Dust says:

        Winning 1-0 @ arsenal and bossing the game, then the red card, and that is with no dembele or caulker. I think we will beat the hammers, we are 3 points behind 4th, it’s aft 12 games. RDM has a better squad thanavb now and when he was at chelsea and still couldn’t beat west brom,

        • Sacto Blues says:

          Yes our record the last two years at the Hawthorns has been poor but we have a good chance to challenge for the league title as well as the European title. If Spurs are ( a If ) booed off the pitch again at WHL against West Ham don’t you think the AVB out crowd is going to get louder and louder ?

          • Dust says:

            I don’t think we will get booed at halftime against west ham, I think as much as avb gets no credit for managing players, I think the players will galvanize together, they see themselves the improvements he has made, they will come out against west ham all guns blazing irrespective of lazio. I hope caulker and dembele are back.

            The boo boys are just sad ‘arry relics that don’t understand for us to break the 52 year no title win we need to develop the system and stick with avb.

            ‘arry got the same result with 11 men, levy realizes that ‘arry had taken spurs as far as he could, the fact TH and gallas are in the starting 11 still is because of injuries, when jan comes around I would expect some movement.

            People who hate on levy and avb are just to blind to see what is needed to turn Spursinto genuine challengers.

            I’m sure Chelsea will continue to spend spend spend. The thing is RDM is NOT the right guy roman knows this, its why he took somlong to appoint him inspite of the european and fa cup wins. the magic ride of last season was just that, magic, unexplainable, written in the stars and a great experience for all Chelsea fans, and not RDM genius.

            I think levy will give him the time he needs, it would help if the boo boys shut up instead of continuing their unbroken string of uneducated critique and blind harry man crush, but there is not a lot I can do about it from the states.

        • Sammy says:

          3 points behind 4th? Are you sure? I thought you are now 6 points behind West Brom, the team who is in 4th?

  60. Dust says:

    If Harry gets the job at qpr, January 14 will be pretty spicy. I still think qpr will go down with Harry at the helm, and dispose the myth.

  61. Guy says:

    Good day of football for some underdogs. :-)

  62. IanCransonsKnees says:

    The only time I appear to be perceptive picking results is when I make my predictions on here!

    Sounded a cracking match on Talksport, Ruddy had a good match as did Turner (who looked awful at the start of the season). Bassong seems to be finding form again.

    • Guy says:

      Bassong almost scored for United there at the end. That would have been tragic.

      • Guy says:

        He was trying to head the ball over, but made Ruddy make a save. Ruddy MOTM for me.

        • IanCransonsKnees says:

          Ruddy got MOTM on Talksport. Woy was there watching him, it’ll be interesting to see if he gets a start. he obviously gets more of a work out than Hart playing behind Norwich’s back four.

          Rumour’s on twitter apparently that Hughes has gone.

  63. Matthew says:

    Another great defeat by the great AVB and his overlord Levy. When will Levy learn he knows nothing about the game and go find himself a nice bank job and take AVB as his janitor. If we stick with these clowns down the drain we go.

  64. James says:

    With both Swansea and Liverpool winning today it sets up a very good encounter next Sunday when Swansea host Liverpool. Swansea are one point better than Liverpool in the table. Add to it the return of Brendan Rodgers and Joe Allen and you have an intriguing matchup. Swansea already beat Liverpool at Anfield in the Carling Cup so they will be full of confidence that they can beat Liverpool again.

  65. Scrumper says:

    Boas says Spurs controlled the game from start to finish. Not sure what game he was watching but he’s beginning to sound desperate. Not a good sign as they head into the Christmas period. He has an unsettled midfield and his already slim striking options are about to become slimmer.

  66. Steven says:

    Spurs miss Dembele. When he returns they will begin to improve.

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