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Leagues: EPL

EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, Gameweek 16


Fox & ESPN made the right choices this week, though you could argue that ESPN might have gone for the potentially more exciting Man City v Bolton match, or the London derby, but they went with the champions, home to Everton. Remember, record that match and watch it last if you are watching more than one 10 am Saturday match. ESPN2 will show both Chelsea (Saturday) and Liverpool (Monday) this week, and we’re back to all 10 matches televised again, using the Sunday morning delayed spot for Wigan v Stoke. No 4-star must-sees this week, but a few good 3-star matches.

****: 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, December 4 (all times EST)

*** Chelsea v Everton, 10 am, ESPN2/ESPND &
Two teams at different ends of the tables, but both needing to improve their performances.  This fixture last year was extremely exciting; finished 3-3 at the Bridge.

** Arsenal v Fulham, 10 am, FSC/FD & 2 am Sunday (delayed) FD
Arsenal might be able to go top of the table Saturday afternoon, even if for a couple of hours.  Fulham didn’t score a goal against Arsenal last year.

*** Man City v Bolton, 10 am, FS+ & & 10 pm (delayed) FS+
Can you believe the team that looked the most like Barcelona in a couple of goals they scored last week was Bolton, and not Arsenal or Man City or Chelsea?  No more hoof it up to Davies.  City may be locked in another duel with Spurs for 4th; Bolton is trying to crash that party.  I list the delayed times for Arsenal & Man City as for those without and with DVR’s that can only record 2 simultaneous matches, that’s your way to see all 3 of the 10 am games if you’re away from your television.

* Blackburn v Wolverhampton, 10 am, & 2 pm (delayed) FS+

** Birmingham v Tottenham, 10 am, & 5 pm (delayed) FSC
A terrific mid-week derby Carling Cup win was marred by the pitch invasion.  Spurs will need to win games like this away if they want to compete for the title.

* Wigan v Stoke, 10 am, & Sunday 10:30 am (delayed) FS+

*** Blackpool v Man Utd, 12:30 pm, FSC/FD
This is usually about the time that the bloom comes off the rose for the newly promoted sides; let’s see if Holloway has something up his sleeve to prevent a thrashing by a probably angry United side (see below) that know Arsenal and Chelsea are right behind them.

Sunday, December 5

** West Brom v Newcastle, 8:30 am, FS+ &

** Sunderland v West Ham, 11 am, FSC/FD
Well, where did that come from?  A 4-nil drubbing of Manchester United to advance to the Carling Cup semi-final and a home win last weekend against Wigan have the East End faithful believing maybe they can escape the bottom of the table after all.  The Hammers managed a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light last season.

Monday, December 6

*** Liverpool v Aston Villa, 3 pm, ESPN2/ESPND &
Because it’s Liverpool, ESPN2 makes room on the deuce.  Torres needs to start converting his (many) chances.

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  1. Jamie

    December 2, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    The game to watch is Monday’s Liverpool vs Aston Villa game. The return of Gerard Houllier who once managed liverpool and is now the manager of Villa and who has his side playing some decent soccer. The youngsters he has been playing have done very well just like when he was at Liverpool and played the likes of Owen, Steven Gerard, Carragher and company who were youngsters then. Even if Villa have not been winning much lately, mostly due to several inhuries, they are still playing better than Liverpool and I can see them getting soemthing out of the game on Monday. If Ashley Young was not suspended for this fixture I would have picked Villa to win. Liverpool under Hodgson are still underperforming and with Hodgson at the helm of Liverpool you know they won’t score many goals and therefore teams will always have a chance against them. It should be a good homecoming for Houllier and McCaan.

    Everton are a Jeckyl and Hyde team this season and when they are at their best can cause problems to any team, even Chelsea. Everton usually play well against the big boys and I can see them getting soemthing out of this game. Chelsea are struggling a bit at the moment and this could be another draw for Chelsea.

    Poor Blackpool. They play some decent soccer and if only they weren’t playing Manchester United now they could have made a game of it especially since they are at home. United’s loss midweek, by four goals, in the Carling Cup will mean they will come out blazing to score and I can see this one going United’s way by a big margin. Look for Rooney to grab a couple to kickstart his season.

  2. upper90magazine

    December 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Blackpool v Man U is certainly an interesting game! Your right this is about the time the new boys start to struglle…also up against a Man U side that put 5 past Blackburn…could be a high scoring game! What will Holloway do?

    Have a read of ‘Ian Holloway no longer the managerial class clown’

  3. Jason

    December 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Looking forward to the Liverpool vs Aston Villa game with the return of Houllier now with Villa. Houllier began his tenure at Liverpool quite well and was responsible for playing the then youngsters like Owen, Gerard, Carragher, etc. which is exactly what he is doing with youngsters like Bannan and Hogg at Villa. I think Liverpool are there for the taking and wouldn’t be surprised that Villa get the win on Monday. I would rate their chances higher if they didn’t have as many injuries and the suspension of Ashley Young for the game. Liverpool are still struggling to find their form and with Hodgson at the helm you know they won’t score much so most team playing them know they have a chance.

    Chelsea vs Everton could be a tricky fixture for Chelsea who have lost their way a bit. Everton are a jeckyl and Hyde team but seem to play well on the big stage. I can see Everton getting a draw here.

    Manchester City vs Bolton looks like a game that could feature a few goals. This is the type of game City must win to be considered a top-4 team. They have the talent but don’t always deliver. Bolton will play their usual attractive-style of soccer and not sit back even though ther will be playing away. This will mean an open game which will suit the neutrals. Manchester City to pip it at the end for me.

    Had Manchester united not lost midweek in the Carling Cup and by 4-0 at that I would have given Blackpool a chance to get a draw. Unfortunately for them they are playing United after a hude loss and that means one thing only and that is a fired up United side to run up the score at Blackpool. Big win for United here.

  4. Brian

    December 2, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Newcastle actually garnered 5 points in November, not 2.

    Win vs. Arsenal, ties vs. Fulham and Chelsea.

  5. Joe

    December 2, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Just read an article about it. My biggest question is why in this day and age are they allowing people to enter a stadium with a flare? That’s completely idiotic. Do bag checks and pat downs outside the gates just like we’ve been doing at US stadiums for years.

    I’m sure this doesn’t look good for England’s World Cup bid. If these people are too incompetent to control a Carling Cup crowd, they have no chance of taming World Cup fury.

  6. Joe

    December 2, 2010 at 7:39 am

    How was the Birmingham win “marred” by the pitch invasion? Did something happen that I don’t know about?

    • M

      December 2, 2010 at 11:27 am

      There was a game. At the end there was a pitch invasion and some violence. The Birmingham win was thus marred.

      That seems self-explanatory unless I’m missing something.

      • Joey

        December 2, 2010 at 11:31 am

        M you could try answering the question without being a snarky asshole. My question was pretty self-explanatory – what happened DURING the pitch invasion that was problematic? People being on the field after a big win happens all the time without major incident.

        • M

          December 2, 2010 at 12:40 pm

          I apologize if my response came across as snarky. As Americans, we don’t tend to view pitch invasions they way the English do. We see it as just overzealous, happy fans celebrating, but given the history of football violence in England, they view it very very differently.

          Pitch invasions are IN AND OF THEMSELVES considered dangerous and are not allowed under any circumstances – regardless of whether or not there is actual violence or someone actually gets hurt. Thus, they mar any match when they occur. And a lot of effort is put into preventing them. That’s why you see an army of police officers in yellow jackets come out and sit along the edge of the pitch at the end of the games.

          I assumed that was common knowledge to most people reading a blog about English football. My bad.

          That being said, I believe there was actually violence (flairs shot into the stands and seats ripped up and thrown, etc) at last night’s game.

  7. Earl Reed

    December 2, 2010 at 7:34 am

    I’d like to throw out there that Fox Soccer Channel should really be working towards airing every Premier League game throughout the week. They may think holding back a game or two helps subscribe people to their online vehicle,, but in reality the games they tend to leave out are the low-table matchups, which in and of themselves won’t convince anyone to subscribe. They obviously have the rights to distribute all of the games besides the 1-2 per week they sell to ESPN. I’d have to think that a delayed first-time airing of a low table match would gain more viewership than a third repeat of a game that originally aired on Saturday morning.

  8. Patrick

    December 2, 2010 at 7:30 am

    thought I’d help out with the three matches you left blank…

    Blackburn V Wolves

    Wolves Sat at the bottom of the table for 10 mins, last Saturday, But managed two late goals to take the full three from Sunderland. Blackburn where mauled 7-1 by Man U. A Win for Wolves could lift their spirits that they can stay up. A Loss by Blackburn and they are in the thick of the drop battle.

    Wigan v Stoke

    Wigan will have to deal with the loss of wonderkid Victor Moses. They looked lifeless against West Ham, and mid week v Arsenal. Stoke have been in good form, pulling a point out of a hat with a Matty Etherington strike in injury time. (Who would have bet on that?) Can Wigan come alive or roll over?

    West Brom v Newcastle

    WBA missed a great opportunity to reach the Carling Cup Semi, but lost out to tractor boys of Ipswich Town. The same team that rolled over Everton the week before. Even with last weekend’s draw v Chelsea, November was not kind to Newcastle snatching only 2 pts in five matches. Both teams have 19 points. Taking a full three will put the winner in a much more comfortable place in a very crowding midtable.

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