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EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, Gameweek 14

04271287 date 08 02 2009 Copyright imago BPI Samir Nasri Arsenal left against Luka Modric Tottenham Hotspur Hotspur Spurs Vdig horizontal Duel premiumd Highlight English Premier League 2008 2009 1 English League Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal FC London 0 0 London Dynamics Football men Team England Group photo Action shot Highlight Human Beings Photo via Newscom

The first match is the must-see match this week: the North London derby. It includes the team most hungry for a trophy against the best player in the world right now, Gareth Bale. Yes, I said it. Week in, week out, he’s matching Messi and Cristiano for that spot!

And a word about ESPN’s production values for their Saturday game of the week. They are getting better and better. Not only do we get Ian Darke and co-commentator on location, but we get pregame on-the-pitch interviews with both managers, Disney up-close-and-personal stories with American players or others of great interest, and extraordinary sound and picture quality. My only two quibbles with ESPN right now are:  (1) keep Ekoku off the airwaves, and (2) I pray for the 7:45 am matches, because then the annoying other match goal updates are irrelevant!  As a friend said to me last week, when ESPN has a 10 am match (or when they had the Manchester derby), you have to record and watch that match last, lest it spoils all of the other games!

We’ve now settled down to the standard television pattern for the 10 matches, with  live Man Utd and Chelsea matches at 10, the tea-time 12:30 match live on FSC, and the other 3 matches shown Saturday afternoon on tape (nothing delayed til Sunday this week).  On Sunday morning, we get the FS+ match at 8:30, and then Mark Hughes hosts his old side on FSC at 11.  The pretty entertaining Sunderland v Everton “Monday Night Football” match is again shut out from ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, with only internet access on

****:  Must-see.  Cancel all other activities.  Do not even DVR as even in America you might hear the score!
***:  Strong match; worth watching live; DVR a must if you can’t see live
**:   Flip through quickly to see the goals, red cards, injuries, and perhaps watch the last 5 minutes + injury time if close
*:    Only if you’re a die-hard

Matches shown in chronological order:

Saturday, November 20
(all times EST)

**** Arsenal Tottenham, 7:45 am, ESPN2/ESPND &
Spurs were totally destroyed in this fixture last year, 3-nil, but came back to win the return fixture 2-1 on Broadway Danny Rose’s famous goal.  This is a scintillating fixture given their respective league standings, and some great matchups on the pitch as well.  Spurs’ woeful record away against the “Big 4” continues, now up to 68 matches without a victory at Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, or Man Utd.  One of the can’t miss matches of the season!

** Birmingham Chelsea, 10 am, FS+ &
A goalless draw last year, and Birmingham will probably put 10 men behind the ball.   It’s been a while since Chelsea won a game in the league.

** Man Utd Wigan, 10 am, FSC/FD
The race has tightened up at the top.  This should be an easy win for the Red Devils.  It was 5-nil last year.  Some chance we might see a Rooney appearance as he has returned from Dubai and Oregon.

** West Brom Stoke, 10 am, & 4 pm (delayed) FS+
Tony Pulis must be the greatest half-time talk manager ever.  Stoke have scored 87% of their goals in the second half this year.  Now what can he do about the first half?

*** Bolton Newcastle, 10 am, & 5 pm (delayed) FSC
It’s tight in the middle of the league, so these sides could go either way, but both have played pretty attractive football so far.  I hope to see more moves from Johan Elmander like last week’s amazing goal!  Here’s a bar trivia question that will be very easy for you to win:  which EPL player has made the most tackles this season (74)?  The American Stuart Holden!

* Blackpool Wolverhampton, 10 am, & 6 pm (delayed) FS+
Wolves keep beating Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, winning 5 and drawing 4 in their last 9 visits!  But they’ve never met in the Premier League.

** Liverpool West Ham, 12:30 pm, FSC/FD
This will probably be the Torres show.  First hat trick of the season for him?  The Hammers simply cannot win at Anfield — they haven’t won in 38 visits, last winning in front of the Kop in 1963, before I was born!

Sunday, November 21

** Blackburn Aston Villa, 8:30 am, FS+ &
Blackburn beat Villa twice last season, but Villa looked strong against United on Saturday.  With so many midfielders injured for Villa, though, Robert Pires is talking about going straight into the starting lineup Sunday.

*** Fulham Man City, 11 am, FSC/FD
Hughes will want to win this one.  Shay Given probably is back in goal for City.  Neither team has played their best recently.

Monday, November 22

*** Sunderland Everton, 3 pm, only
The Black Cats are on fire, keeping clean sheets, and getting Gyan and his chicken dance untracked.  Bent may be back as well.  Everton remain the yo-yo team.  Perhaps they can re-sign Landon Donovan on loan to kick-start their season, like he did last year.

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  1. HBK

    November 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    Is there a predetermined amount of time is allowed to keep up the EPL games? It’s now 6pm PST in California and the Sundlerand/Everton has already been taken down. I noticed the same thing last week but thought it was just a mistake. I don’t even have time to get home from work to watch the game. Very disappointing.

    • ScottG

      November 23, 2010 at 10:28 am

      Everton vs Sunderland was never up on Replay. If you didn’t watch it Live, you couldn’t watch it period (I too was at work and couldn’t watch live). I tried calling ESPN support but they didn’t know anything about it and refused to pass it along to someone who could answer the question.

      After searching on the internet, I found one guy who got a response back via email and it said that “due to contractual reasons, select Premier League games could not be shown on Replay”. It also said that they couldn’t tell us beforehand which games those are.

      So, basically, don’t count on ESPN3’s Replay to watch any Premier League games. You’ll have to watch it Live.

      • ScottG

        November 23, 2010 at 11:14 am

        I just got the exact same email that the other guy got. It looks like they designed this email to give the least amount of information while somewhat answering the question.


        Thank you for contacting us.

        Due to contractual restrictions, will not offer replays of select live English Premier League matches. I apologize for the inconvenience.

        If an EPL replay is posted for viewing on, it should remain available for no longer than 7 days.

        In the future, we hope to provide advance notice of which matches will be available for replay.

        For live assistance with this or any other issue, please call Customer Care at 1-888-549-3776 (ESPN) between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. EST.


        Eric Customer Care

  2. selorm Badjaben

    November 20, 2010 at 5:21 am

    I’m very disappointed that Stevie G’s got an injury. Nevertheless, i believe we’ve got the materials to beat a West Ham side that’s struggling to get off the bottom of the table. The likes of Nando and Kuyt will be strong enough to get the maximum points at our famous Anfield. Go REDS Go, You’ll Never Walk Alone.

  3. dlink09

    November 19, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    oh stop complaining about ESPN. it’s 1000 times better than medieval FSC

    come on Arsenal

  4. Carolyn

    November 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    The surprise result of the weekend will be West Ham winning or at the least drawing at Liverpool. Nobody is giving West Ham a chance but they’re forgetting how bad Liverpool are at the moment and to add to Liverpool’s woeful performances they will be without Gerard.

    I’m glad the Arsenal vs Spurs game is on ESPN2 as I like ESPN’s coverage to FSC’s and this game should be a cracker. And it’s a London derby. I hope I’m not disappointed. If Spurs play their best team and not look forward to the midweek CL game I can see them getting a draw. Otherwise, Arsenal will definitely win it. I just hope it’s an entertaining game.

  5. EvertonfanKY

    November 19, 2010 at 7:32 am

    This is one of yout better articles. I appreciate the fact that you have written someting about each game. I shall be watching Everton on my XBOX live in stunnnig HD from ESPN3.

    So well done David.

    • Charles

      November 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

      How is the quality of ESPN3 on your HDTV? I ask because any time I’ve streamed video on my computer I never get full quality. The highest I’ve ever seen is four of five bars and it while it’s OK to watch on a computer it’s certainly not HD quality. I wonder if they stream higher quality to the Xbox than they do to computer users.

      • EvertonfanKY

        November 20, 2010 at 11:01 am

        The pic quality of ESPN3 on the Xbox live is very good. Its better then the FSC+ signal quality I get. The pic quality also depends on how fast your internet connection is and the feed that ESPN3 is showing.

  6. Duke

    November 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    In the case of this weeks game the ESPN3 thing is largely due to a previous contractual agreement. They have a basketball tournament game on ESPN2 which they have owned the rights to since before they aired their first MLS game nevermind EPL. And can we just stop the bitching about the scores thing. ESPN does it because FSC has about ten percent penetration and they have 95 percent. They don’t care about FSC they think if you are watching their game religiously than that is the one you care about. If you watch Espn live they assume you want to really all tv does it.

  7. AJ

    November 18, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I continue to sratch my head why ESPN can’t show the Monday afternoon game on ESPN2. As much as I like 1 of my 5 million college football live shows and Sportsnation, we can give those guys a day off for a long weekend. Actually they’d get a 4 day weekend with the NASCAR Friday. ESPN, can you spare us?

  8. Chelsea In MPLS

    November 18, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I noticed alot of people on here don’t have FSC HD cause of Comcast. Any chance you guys can switch to Direct TV? I live in a apartment building and I get Direct TV.

  9. Dudeman

    November 18, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    cant wait to hear the most deadly phrase in football “1-nil to The Arsenal”

  10. Jleau

    November 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Great preview as always!!

    Gareth Bale giving Ronaldo and Messi a run for best player?????? You’re watching too much Bale not enough Messi. It’s not close and that’s not a knock on Bale.

    The guy that finished second to Bolt in the Olympics is a world class runner, he still didn’t give him much of a race.

  11. William

    November 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    So glad I live in the US, Everton match shown only on espn3, and lucky I get the service on my xbox 🙂

    Should be a great weekend of premier footy

  12. Mike

    November 18, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    the complaining about spoilers is getting annoying. By now, everyone knows that ESPN displays other matches scores.

    If the ESPN match is the one you’re watching, then obviously it’s the most important match to you, and you shouldn’t be too distraught that ESPN spoiled other matches. If other matches are more important, then why are you watching ESPN’s match?

  13. Up the Chels!

    November 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Chelsea last won a league game on 11/10 when we beat Fulham at home. Only been a single game since then.

  14. tony

    November 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Add me to the keep Ekoku off the airwaves ticket 🙂 His inaccurate and useless commentary during the world cup was painful.

  15. SeeingBlue

    November 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    JMTate: My roommate and I do the same thing! “Brought to you in stunning high definition”….except its not. I pray for the day FSC HD comes to Comcast in my area.

  16. epl

    November 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Ian Darke will not be doing this weeks EPL match on ESPN. He mentioned that Adrian Healey will be doing it at the end of last weeks broadcast, which makes sense since Ian Darke will be in Toronto doing the MLS Cup the next day.

    • epl

      November 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      It seems like Adrian Healey and Efan Ekoku will be doing the call for Aresnal v. Tottenham on ESPN.

  17. JMTate

    November 18, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Comcast (or maybe FSC/ESPN) Rant: As an American fan with multiple teams I like to follow, I’d love to see an Everton game – I think it’s been 4-5 weeks since they’ve been shown on FSC or ESPN. I guess I’ll have to wait until they play Man U, Liverpool or Chelsea…

    And does it irk anyone else when the FSC game comes on and they have their nice, pretty “IN HD” graphic? I always talk back to the tv, “no, it’s not!”

    • Troy

      November 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

      haha, I actually do the same thing at least once a match when watching FSC. I’ve been really spoiled to see so many real high def MUFC matches thus far on ESPN.

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