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Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 20: Open Thread

number 20 Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 20: Open Thread

Fresh after beating Manchester City at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland opens today’s Premier League football with another opportunity to see if they can knock one of the big EPL clubs off their perch — Tottenham Hotspur. The match kicks off at 7:45am ET/12:45pm UK time.

Six 10am ET/3pm UK time matches follow, which include Manchester United at home to West Brom, Norwich at home against Manchester City, Fulham against Swansea, Reading versus West Ham, Stoke against Southampton and Aston Villa versus Wigan.

The final match of the day is the late kickoff between Arsenal and Newcastle United. With the Gunners having Boxing Day off, this should be a walk in the park for the Gunners against a tired Newcastle side. But worryingly for the Toon, a defeat at the Emirates Stadium will drop them deeper near the relegation zone.

Follow along with all of the conversation before, during or after today’s matches in the comments section below.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

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 →

89 Responses to Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 20: Open Thread

  1. Guy says:

    Well, jtm, all I can say is I hope you got Rangers’ AMc and not Villa’s. I have my doubts, but will happily eat my words come May.

  2. Guy says:

    Dust, Bale is going, going…… ;-)

    The rumors won’t quit till the window closes. No way it happens, but that won’t stop the “experts” from informing us to the contrary.

  3. Guy says:

    Stoke have an “easy” one today…..which gives me some concern. Big win last week. So easy to then lose the edge against someone you should beat.

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      Bang on with that observation it always happens, and we’re without Shawcross and Cameron today so there’ll be some positional juggling today.

      I’m not sure what to expect to be honest. It was winday as anything last night and has been raining heavily all day so hopefully the weather will suit our style rather than Southampton’s, who by the ound of Nigel Adkins is another exponent of ‘playing football the right way’ (prick). Temperature wise it’s pretty mild at 10c. I’m sure some show pony will be on the pitch with gloves or a snood though.

      If it means keeping the unbeaten run going until Tuesday I’ll take a draw, just to be able to have a go at breaking our games unbeaten record against Man City.

      That said 3 points today would put us 9 points away from safety, all before we hit 2013 which I’d have snapped your hand off for before the start of the season.

      There’s a good story breaking at Sheffield Wednesday v Huddersfield, where a player has been booked twice but is still playing for some reason.

      There’s a pitch inspection at Old Trafford at 1.30 today.

      I’d like to see Arsenal lose today just for their non-effort at getting the Boxing Day fixture on. It’ll be interesting to see Whinger start moaning about fixture pile ups once the FA Cup and Champions League kick in.

    • jtm371 says:

      Guy
      i think your side will be without Shawcross and another starter not sure who it is.

      • Guy says:

        As ICK noted, also without Stoke-on-Trent’s favorite American. No chants of “USA, USA” at the Brit today, :-(

        • IanCransonsKnees says:

          It’s quite a contentious
          chant that one. Can’t say as it bothers me. He’s been a bargain of a signing and I’d hope we’re looking in MLS for more like him this summer.

          • Guy says:

            Read about that in The Oatcake. Apparently Geoff likes it, so I certainly don’t have a problem with it.

  4. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Mulumbu And Ollson out for WBA today, changes my mind a little about them giving Man Utd a game.

  5. jtm371 says:

    Spurs have wasted their chances should be up by at least 2 goals to nil.

  6. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Brad would have got that.

  7. jtm371 says:

    Dust
    Dawson strikes again let O’Shea slip away.bad goal to give up when commanding the run of play.

  8. Marc L says:

    Oh you have to be freaking kidding me. SAFC with their usual one-shot-on-target-per-half act and they convert.

    What is it about this club that makes you utterly foul up last ball every single time? Second week in a row I’ve watched this.

  9. jtm371 says:

    Ian
    any update about the two bookings of the player and he is still playing?

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      It’s been replayed apparently in the press box at half time and it’s definitely the same player that’s been booked twice. The commentator says they think he may have confused the players and thought he’d booked someone else first. It’ll be interesting to see if he comes out in the second half. On the BBC text commentary there is a booking for a dive in the 9th minute and a foul mentioned in the 26th, but no card noted.

  10. jtm371 says:

    should have been a yellow for diving on Defoe needs better acting lessons.

  11. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Spurs back in it.

  12. jtm371 says:

    Spurs are running wild Dust you have to break your silence let the joy out.your boys are in top form.

  13. jtm371 says:

    that miss by Defoe might comeback to bite the Spurs.

  14. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Right off out down to the ground. Belting down with rain and sounds like the wind has picked up. Saves having a bath I suppose.

    See you lot later.

  15. Mufc77 says:

    Looks like Bales previous flops are coming back to haunt him.

  16. The Gaffer says:

    That was a perfect example of how hard it is to be a referee. Only with four different camera angles and slo-mo replays were we able to see that the yellow card against Gareth Bale was incorrectly given.

    It should have been a penalty.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  17. jtm371 says:

    Dust
    well it was worth getting up at this ungodly hour your boys should have had 2 or 3 more goals.oh well always good to win away from home.

  18. Jack says:

    Is Clyne playing v stoke?
    I got grilled on the late Vertonghen out and also the Shawcross suspension :(
    Really need a big weekend from Suarez, Taarabt and Aguero!!!

    Currently ranked 40k overall :( fml

  19. The Gaffer says:

    Bloody hell. Lots of changes for Swansea today.

    In: Tremmel, Graham, Monk, Rangel, Agustien.

    Out: Vorm, Chico, Davies, Ki, Britton, Moore.

    I like the changes. Laudrup must not think much of Fulham to make that many changes in one game.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  20. Frill Artist says:

    $hitty up by two already. At least Utd is winning.

  21. Dust says:

    Ok it’s safe to break the silence

  22. Frill Artist says:

    WOW!! Nice free kick.

  23. Dust says:

    I was gonna post a rant at the start of the second half but we equalized so I employed the power of superstition and we ended up winning, if if posted before anyone had scored I would have continued to post…. Superstition is clearly a science!

  24. The Gaffer says:

    So much for Eric Wynalda’s pre-match criticism that it should be Tevez starting instead of Dzeko.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  25. Why? says:

    You wonder why these refs get stick, great tackle by Kompany ref gave a free kick they score! Even in full speed that was a clean tackle.

  26. Dust says:

    C’mon Norwich !!!

  27. Dust says:

    Impressive to come from behind at a place where they Barton down the hatches… Dawson shows again why he should play for QPR, ADE should be sold in the jan window. Sandro is the terminator and Démbèle is the silent assassin, bale and Lennon turning on tornado mode at will. Defoe just drives you nuts!

    • jtm371 says:

      pretty much spot on.

    • Sacto Blues says:

      After 10 minutes you’ll never got that feeling that Sunderland had much of a chance even though Sunderland took the lead as Spurs looked like they were going to play the entire match in Sunderland’s end. Bale will miss the match against Reading but I’m hoping that reading plays that match of the season game and take points from Spurs.

  28. jtm371 says:

    Guy
    could it be a early call to the pub Saints up 3/1 Stoke defense not showing up you called it on your earlier post.i think it is easy to say Ian is wet and not happy!

  29. Dust says:

    What the F is going on with stoke? 3-1 down to southampton.

  30. Guy says:

    Stoke in the pisser as I feared. Down 1-3. If they come back and get a point it will be a good result.

  31. Why? says:

    My god the ref is the worst I have ever seen!! He not only give free kick for good tackles he’s missed a 100% penalty and know just sent Nasri off for being launch 4 foot in the air! I bat Fergie would have a word or two for him!

    • The Gaffer says:

      Stupid reaction from Samir Nasri. Yes, he was fouled and Bassong deserved a yellow card, but to react the way that he did and to butt his head into Bassong was silly. The ref had to give him a red.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Clampdown says:

        Yep, let’s give them all skirts. If that is violent conduct then they might as well not allow the players to touch each other at all. Sure, it’s a dumb reaction from Nasri, but a red? No way. And Bassong did the same thing, so he should be gone too then.

      • Why? says:

        What reaction? Where? Bassong also put his head there it has to be violent conduct not touching each other! absolute shocker what about the raised arm stopping the goal?

        • The Gaffer says:

          Both players had their heads against each other. Nasri was pushing his head more forcefully. He should know better.

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

          • Why? says:

            you don’t get sent off for pushing your head more forcefully though do you? It’s simply not violent conduct.

          • The Gaffer says:

            Well Why, you do get sent off for that as witnessed today. Nasri should use his head for his brains not headbutting.

            Cheers,
            The Gaffer

          • Guy says:

            Gaffer, you are making the assumption that Nasri has brains to begin with. Naughty, naughty. ;-)

          • Scott says:

            Gaffer I am not sure why you bother to argue with why? According to him every call is always against Manchester City, and it is always Ferguson’s fault. Most people can occasionally take their teams blinders off but he never can.

    • Marc L says:

      With all due respect to Gaffer, was there a difference between anything Nasri did vis-a-vis Bassong? I didn’t see it. I’m pretty damned partisan of course, but I really didn’t see that Nasri should be going off and NOT Bassong as well. Particularly since Bassong has been thugging it up all half long.

  32. Dust says:

    Nasri off! Harry Kane on! C’mon Harry Kane!

  33. Marc L says:

    Oh what utter and complete rubbish that was. This so has the feel of “dropped points” now. And particularly after that crap foul called on VK earlier leading to Pilkington’s deflected goal.

    Sometimes it is just not your year. Actually it usually is not your year, but you will at some point come to this realization. “Dropped points” here and you can start to talk about making that call.

  34. The Gaffer says:

    Is it me or is Ian Darke suffering from an eye infection today?

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  35. Why? says:

    Every foul play on for city with no one up I mean city will win but this ref is absolutely terrible!! As Aguero just scores

  36. Why? says:

    I have never seen a ref hurrying a player of the pitch actually walking fast with him!! This ref is bent

  37. Why? says:

    what the betting he add an extra 2 min on the 5 he already gave!

  38. Marc L says:

    Great stuff there in East Anglia. Even if the result had been otherwise that was a great match. Much love to Aguero for playing like a DEMON and as well to Dzeko (who I normally pick on) for showing much better chemistry with everyone up front than he has all season. Well, and the two/three goals of course.

    Matches like this are why I love the game. Though I’d rather see a 3-0 win if City plays. Too stressful!

  39. The Gaffer says:

    Disappointed with West Brom’s performance today against Manchester United. WBA looked flaccid.

    I’m trying to remember which game a few weeks ago WBA failed to turn up for, too, against a big team where I was disappointed with them?

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • Todd says:

      United should have put them away in the first half, West Brom was especially poor in the first. They did better second half, but I would say that United’s defense finally stepped up when needed.

  40. Dust says:

    WOW… Stoke get the draw going down to 10 men and down 3-1… Impressive… Yes it was Southampton..but still.

  41. The Gaffer says:

    Ugh! I give up on Warren Barton’s lack of knowledge about any clubs outside of the top 6.

    In the highlights of Stoke-Southampton, he made a comment about how poor Robinson’s day was after he scored an own goal for Stoke. Trouble is it was Andy Wilkinson.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  42. IanCransonsKnees says:

    Awful defending today, gifted them every goal. Fair play to the Saints, they bullied us. Great comeback though and fantastic equalizer from Jerome. Southampton should have gone 4-1 up.

    Apparently Nzonzi didn’t touch the player who he challenged in the sending off, hopefully we get a chance to appeal it unlike Shotton’s against Villa.

    Clattenberg missed 2 hand balls in the Southampton penalty area. The response from the Stoke fans was merciless:

    ‘Chelsea were right you’re f*%&ing sh!t’ and ‘You sent him off, because he’s black.’

    On the face of it a good comeback but not enjoyable because of the stupid mistakes. I did like Walters, Crouch, Jones and Jerome all up front on the wings for 20 minutes, very potent and I’d like to see the same if we’re chasing a game away from home.

    Finally for anybody who whinges about Stoke timewasting, take a look at Southampton and explain to me how they are any different.

    10 goals in 2 games at The Britannia, are you not entertained?!

  43. Dust says:

    Surprised the players @ scumeraites aren’t in space suits. #noatmosphere

    • Todd says:

      What little atmosphere there was got sucked out completely after the Ba goal. Had to double check that something even happened, it was so quiet.

  44. Matt says:

    I leave to go get an oil change 5 minutes before half, and now all the fun begins. 3-3 with 2inutes to go.

    It seems like Newcastle should keep Ba at all costs and go out and spend on some better defenders. 6 goals in 2 games at top for sides should get you something

  45. Brn442 says:

    Obertan losses the ball and decides not to track back. Arsenal scores. One of the reasons he’s no longer at Old Trafford.

  46. Dust says:

    Hey stoke.. You’d better beat Farcenal on New Year’s Day

  47. jtm371 says:

    let me be the first to say GO TOFFEES beat chelski!

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