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Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 31: Open Thread

number 31 Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 31: Open Thread

Hallelujah! After a two week international break, Premier League football returns today with several must-watch matches.

Kicking things off with the early kick-off is Sunderland against Manchester United (8:45am ET). While United has the Premier League title pretty much sewn up, they’ll want to exorcise the ghosts of last season by walloping Sunderland instead of the 1-0 victory on the final day of last season that wasn’t enough to win the title. Sunderland, meanwhile, are staring relegation in the face and will want to give their fans some hope with a good performance today even if they don’t win the match. Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole are out injured for the rest of the season, so Sunderland are suffering.

In the other matches today, Nigel Adkins takes charge of his first match as Reading manager against Arsenal, Tottenham travel to Wales to play Swansea City, Southampton are at home against Chelsea, Manchester City hosts Newcastle United, West Ham faces West Brom, while Wigan plays Norwich.

The final match of the day today is Everton versus Stoke City.

Before, during or after today’s matches, join the conversation with soccer fans from around the world in the comments section below.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

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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.
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45 Responses to Premier League Saturday, Gameweek 31: Open Thread

  1. jtm371 says:

    thank GOD the break from hell is over!

    Question if UTD sets the points record will it be because they are a super team or is the EPL weak this year?

    • The Gaffer says:

      It’s a bit of both, but I’d say it’s the Premier League being weaker at the top this year that has given United the edge. Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City aren’t as strong this year as last year. But having said that, United haven’t taken their foot off the pedal all season.

      The Gaffer

      • Wongo1 says:

        I would also argue that last year thy were also a decent team but just too inexperienced to know when to back off and just defend. That Everton 4-4 draw will forever haunt me.

        This year they can play out games like today and get the win.

  2. jtm371 says:

    seeing Sunderland’s fixture list i think Wigan will escape regulation and Sunderland will go down.they have no offensive punch.

  3. The Gaffer says:

    Sunderland look so slow and predictable.

    I’m surprised Sebastian Larsson isn’t starting. He’s one of the few players who can add some energy into this lethargic Sunderland team.

    The Gaffer

  4. Sammy says:

    Club football is back, and all the matches involving the top teams are played today… that’s great!

    Unsurprising to see United ahead at the moment.

  5. Terry says:

    Sunderland are awful. They should get relegated based on their recent results ad performances.

  6. Sammy says:

    Well, so United have 77 points now…nice number. The title race is over anyway, so this result isn’t significant and has no impact on anything else.

  7. San Franciscan says:

    3 Points, 10 points more and United win it.

    Anyone just seen the Suarez interview on ESPN2 just now, he did acknowledge that he dived against stoke, now that is just crazy, this guy should be banned.

  8. Sammy says:

    Go Arsenal!

  9. Philswin08 says:

    Anyone having trouble with Foxsoccer2go app? Spurs game been off line about 10 min on my iPhone and iPad.. both on 3G and wifi

  10. The Gaffer says:

    Tottenham looks explosive so far today against Swansea. If they keep on playing like this, they could end up in third place. Forget about fourth.

    The Gaffer

    • Jason says:

      Tottenham still exposed at the back and on set pieces.

      • The Gaffer says:

        True, but Swansea are awful at capitalizing on set pieces, so Tottenham should be alright.

        I’m surprised at how Swansea are playing such a high defensive line against a speedy Spurs.

        The Gaffer

  11. Mufc77 says:

    Is anyone else hearing another commentator in the background in the city v Newcastle.

  12. Marc L says:

    Hey, who is this guy in the Nasri shirt? He looks pretty decent out there.

    Hey, Nasri impersonator! Whoever you are, and whatever you’ve done with Nasri, please do keep this up.

  13. The Gaffer says:

    Great headed goal by Michu. come on Swansea. Let’s get a second goal!

    The Gaffer

    • The Gaffer says:

      Swansea supporters chanting “Cheat, cheat” at Tottenham players. Dirty play by Vertonghen.

      Swansea is getting little to no protection from the ref.

      The Gaffer

      • The Gaffer says:

        More time wasting by Spurs, holding on to the ball in the dugout. Tottenham hanging on for their dear lives.

        The Gaffer

        • The Gaffer says:

          I could have watched a couple more hours of Swansea-Spurs. Excellent entertaining match. Good win for THFC, but they had to fight for it.

          Excellent second half performance by Swansea. They deserved a draw.

          The Gaffer

  14. Jack Tomczuk says:

    Reading were horrible today . . . so, so sloppy. We could have scored 10.

    And how about Gervinho? A goal and two assists today. I said it before the break, and I’ll say it again: He will be a good player for Arsenal.

  15. Terry says:

    Southampton were better than Chelsea and deserved their win. Pocchettino has made a difference and is showing why he was brought in to replace Adkins. In such a short time he has made Southampton one of the teams to watch and they should avoid relegation with these performances.

    Chelsea were playing like they didn’t care. If they lose to United on Monday in the FA Cup it could get very ugly for Rafa.

    Wigan didn’t play particularly well but got that all-important win. Once again they might make that great escape and avoid relegation.

  16. Marc L says:

    So interesting fights for 17th and 4th at least down the stretch. That So’ton-Chelsea result really makes both of those fights a lot more interesting.

  17. Dust says:

    What a game… Superstition kept me from posting, if I don’t post before kick of I wait…. It clearlt had nothing to do with the result, but if there is a whole weekend dedicated to a fairy tale then surely my superstition is just as valid?

    Should have been 3 or 4 up in the 1st half, we slowed it down and defended well at time and luckily at others.

    I thought the 2 Michu simulations in 20 seconds warranted a yellow if we are to be consistent with the rules… But the ref gave them a break.

    Swansea as always played well, a great game of football that had all elements, great passing, finishing and bite, a great advert for the game.

    Previous years would have seen us capitulate, infant the last capitulation came against Everton dec 9 I think.

    Defoe was horrid, freezal made an incredible save on the free kick but him and Dawson gave me palpitations more akin to a physical state when slipping on a climb.

    Walkers speed saves him all the time from poor decisions, Dawson throwing himself at shots is his way. Naughton was shakey, and out of positions a lot, but Jan Vertonghen is just a beast… Serious beast, as is mr Bale.

    Very happy we got the 3 points happy with JV, GB, GS, AL, MD, SP and Ade”s 1stbhalf minus the miss. When Defoe came on we didn’t hold up tubal,at all, we need to spend on at least 1 new striker and a left back.

    I have faith in Tom Carroll, Adam Smith and Coulybaye coming good from the youth ranks.

  18. Guy says:

    Don’t know what Tony’s going to do now. Can’t play for the 0-0 “win” anymore.

  19. Dust says:

    What the F was that from whelan?

    LoL omg

  20. Terry says:

    Stoke look terrible. They need a shakeup and maybe it’s time for Pulis to leave. Hoofing the ball with no one anywhere close in sight is just ugly. Everton are without Pienaar and Fellaini yet look comfortable. Shows you how bad Stoke have become.

    • Guy says:

      No argument. As they stated earlier, if you took the standings from Christmas on, Stoke would be in last place 4 points below 19th. We are being drug into the relegation discussion and there is just no excuse for that…..unless you ask Tony.

  21. Dust says:

    Martinez at Everton could be a good move for both if Moyes leaves, given everyone’s resources and spend compared to Wigan, Martinez could do a great job and win silverware for them.

  22. De Selby says:

    Martin O’Neill’s gone. Sunderland is in deep doo-doo.

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