Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 17: Open Thread

Today’s Premier League action kicks off with a match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St. James’s Park. Unfortunately, very few people are giving United much of a hope in this match. And understandably so, given Newcastle’s injury crisis (Hatem Ben Arfa is now injured as well) in addition to the team’s poor form of late. This should be a perfect test for Manchester City to see if they can get a comfortable away win in the north east.

After the early kick-off, there are six 10am ET/3pm UK time matches kicking off at the same time. Many will be watching Manchester United against Sunderland, but there are other intriguing matches in store such as QPR versus Fulham (can Redknapp finally get a win for the R’s?), Liverpool against Aston Villa (a good test for both sides), Norwich versus Wigan (in what could be the match of the weekend according to EPL Talk pundit Morgan Green) and Stoke versus Everton.

There are no late kick-offs today, so enjoy the matches you do have before tomorrow’s three games.

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

Have a wonderful Saturday!

71 thoughts on “Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 17: Open Thread”

  1. Overcast in Stoke today, still nippy but a lot better than yesterday when the ‘beast from the east’ was blowing.

    Pretty much everyone I’ve talked to would take the draw today. It’d keep us moving up the table and maintain the unbeaten home record. Everton are the only other team to match this now and I reckon they’ll be well up for it to make sure they’re out there on their own. That said Everton sit 4th having only won 2 in the past 9 matches so you never know.

    I can’t see Owen even making the bench despite declaring himself fit.

    Elsewhere I can see QPR winning and Sunderland and Newcastle getting spanked.

    Liverpool Villa is intriguing, both are steadying themselves so neither of them will want to lose, could turn it into a case of who dares wins.

    Norwich should do Wigan but every now and again Wigan seem to cause an upset. I’m a big Chris Hughton fan and think he’s done fantastically after a poor start to the season. It’s interesting to see Bassong lauded again, I’d like to hear Dust’s POV on this by comparison to his time at Spurs. Did Harry ruin him for you?

    1. QPR winning? I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Yes, Fulham may be poor on the road but don’t be so quick to underestimate them. Just look at their recent results against QPR and that should say something.

      1. I’ve seen that but then there’s 2 wins in 41 London derbies too. QPR have 7 matches out of the next 10 at home, they need to use them to build up some form.

  2. A poor performance from Newcastle so far. Manchester City could have had a few more goals by half-time if it wasn’t for being offside so often.

    Link-up play between Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse is poor so far. They need to work better together.

    This is going to be a tough winter for Alan Pardew.

    The Gaffer

        1. Just Tiote then. Toure might not be such a loss for Citeh given he hasn’t met last season’s standards. That said he’s still awesome.

          1. Toure would resume being awesome if he were to play higher on the pitch. Mancini seems to be squandering him at the moment.

  3. Good lord, the French Army circa May 1940 thinks Newcastle’s back line is a bit porous. Nevertheless, good squad selection up front against this bunch.

    Funny I should congratulate Mancini for “good squad selection.” Shouldn’t need to. That falling roughly into “part of manager job description.”

    It is just that Aguero and Tevez work so well in tandem up front that I don’t at all understand why this isn’t the preferred alignment. Because it isn’t. I don’t have an exact breakdown but guarantee those two have not played together up front to a greater extent than any of the other messings-about with Dzeko or Balotelli in the XI. I watch every game and it mystifies me.

    Okay, Dzeko, you want to start? we’ll find you a good side to play against where it is conducive to run out some sort of “throwing it into the box” plan with Kolarov/Maicon. Keeps everyone involved and happy.

    Yes I am still bitter from last week and still playing too much “Football Manager.” Back to the match!

  4. Manchester City clearly the better side so far, they’ve been a constant attacking threat and we can’t say their goals haven’t been coming on the basis of that performance. Newcastle have also attacked several times though, it’s just that they haven’t been able to keep the ball well enough.

    Overall, it’s been quite an entertaining game and let’s hope for more excitement in the second half. Pretty sure Man City have won the game and might even score a few more.

      1. Actually I hope he stays in Newcastle, don’t really like the idea players at average clubs who do well always transferring to bigger clubs. If he stays, at least he’ll get to flourish consistently.

  5. Some decent work here by Francois, the World’s Most Disreputable Car Salesman. And Garcia, who more or less disappeared after a very nice first match back in September.

    Dzeko, on the other hand, did not exactly cover himself in glory starting at about the 84′

    Right then, back to within 3 points after Sunderland puts 5 through at the OT in a little bit. Ha ha, of course that is a joke. I think Sunderland puts 5 through each month. If not less. But one can always hope.

    1. United truly seem to lack a certain ruthless killer instinct. I thought that pretty much after they scored their third, they lollygagged their way to full time.

  6. Anyone watching Liverpool against Aston Villa live on FUEL? What’s the deal with FUEL’s awful black frame around the whole picture? It looks awful.

    The Gaffer

  7. What the hell are stoke playing at! C’mon you have to beat or draw with Everton at home!

    So pleased for villa, will Rodgers experience the “make a stupid statement about finishing 2nd and loose your next game to villa” curse? I hope so.

    Qpr have been playing well but their finishing or lack there of will finish them off before any opponents…just horrid. I expect Fulham will come out with more purpose in the second half.

    Again, least a draw..please

  8. Go Villa! Keep that up and ensure a repeat if what happened in that United match dosen’t occur! Or that’ll be just silly.

    No hope for Sunderland now, Man U are just too good for them.

    Finally, go Norwich!

  9. I know Martinez gets all this praise from his time at Swansea and for keeping up an apparently poor Wigan.. But you have to ask yourself at some point, how did Swansea and Norwich who don’t have the resources of Wigan and its stadium do better than them?

    Norwich consecutive promotions and know a change of manager and they seem to be doing very well, same with Swansea, who share a practice facility with a rugby team, Laudrup doing a great job with minimal resources…perhaps Martinez has hit his ceiling.

  10. Qpr 1 up after a deselected shot, I’m sure Fulham will score 1 to equalize…
    And thank you stoke…Everton should. Be down to 10 men right now but hey…now just stay at 1-1

  11. one thing I’ve always found strangely missing from epltalk…. the league table….why not, just place it on the left underneath recent comments

  12. Just got back. Halsey and both his linesmen were poor. Felliani should get a long ban if Wilkinson’s ban earlier in the season is anything to go by.

    All in all its a fair result, we had chances, hit the post etc and so did Everton. Distin is still superb despite his advancing years.

    That result against Villa last week doesn’t look so drab now after their games this week. Rather a 0-0 bore draw than a dicking. I’ll take the same again at the lane next week. If only to see Dust stamping his feet 😉

    Did well with my predictions this week!

    Happy with progress Guy?

    1. It was gutting just watching it loop in, I think Begovic might have palmed it over.

      That’s the goal I sit behind so it was one of those slo-mo style goals that you get scored against you.

      Heard that Fergie wants Begovic AND Shawcross. Our Chairman will sell but only if the price is right.

      I’d take Lindegard in exchange but I don’t think there’s any defenders I’d want unless they were similar to Shawcross as a good youngster coming through.

  13. Brendan Rodgers is showing how inept he is with his mouthing off about 2nd place when his team couldn’t beat an Aston Villa side that has struggled not only for wins but had scored the fewest goals in the league.
    Losing at home makes it even worse. Liverpool pass the ball a lot but with no end product. Other teams figured that out about Swansea last season and that is why they had a poor last 10 games there. Managers have figured out how to beat a Rodgers side. Liverpool are remain a midtable team for the foreseeable future.

    Swansea are fortunate they have a better manager in Laudrup there now.

    1. If Defoe doesn’t get me 2 goals tomorrow I’m going to be forced to resign from my fantasy team before they get relegated.

        1. It will be a difficult game tomorrow, I’m hoping 3 or 2 nil to us tho, a clean sheet is important.
          3 points see us in joint 3rd on points with the team that shoo be sponsored by eastenders. Drama drama drama!

  14. Fair play to David Moyes. Just seen his post match interview about the headbutt. He says that Felliani deserves whatever ban he gets.

    Refreshing to hear this instead of ‘errrr I deed not zeee it’ like the myopic wanker would trot out.

    1. Ian
      i think DM is as honest as the day is long. i still think he would be great at UTD or any team that has money look what he has done at Everton with no money.

  15. What the hell do people see in joe Allan that they rate him so highly. If it wasn’t for Henderson and downing he would look like a right donkey.

    1. Last year Allen had just 4 goals (double his previous best) and 2 assists. His role really doesn’t lend itself to either. I think The Gaffer has described him as the “engine room” when he played for Swansea…. regaining/maintaining possession, redirecting the attack. Hard stuff to put a value on.

  16. Hi, sorry this is going to be off topic but I’m trying to get support from soccer fans. Comcast in my area announced that as of mid-Jan 2013 they will stop carrying Goltv. Goltv has the exclusive US right to German Bundesliga soccer. I watch EPL but my primary league to watch is Bundesliga. For those of you that have comcast I’m asking if you can support my efforts to get comcast to keep Goltv on the sports entertainment package by e-mailing comcast. It’s not about one league being more popular or better than another but that we soccer fans have the chance to watch as many leagues as possible. I love German Bundesliga and have since the mid 1970’s. Goltv was the only opportunity to watch it. Thanks in advance for your support. Ralph.

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