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.

124 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 12: Open Thread”

  1. 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!

      1. Why would Liverpool want to ship out their most promising player for another whose wages would be higher and has shown over the course of three Premier League seasons to be a source of frustration?

        No thanks.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Emmanuel Adebayor = Liability.

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

    The Gaffer

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

    The Gaffer

    1. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    The Gaffer

  11. 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

    1. 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

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

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

    Everyone except Defoe left it all on the field.

    1. 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.

    2. 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. :-)

      1. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. ‘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.

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

    Cracking 3 points for them there.

      1. 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.

        1. No, our government doesn’t want to corrupt our morals by allowing betting. Although you can go to Nevada and bet and can gamble yourself into the poorhouse at many casinos as well as state lotteries. Makes no sense.

  18. 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.

    1. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

      1. How far did you ride? Missed a cracking match.

        I’m just waiting for Stoke to get the same result one day. I think my head would explode.

    1. 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.

      1. 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,

        1. 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 ?

          1. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

        1. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

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