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EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, Gameweeks 25 & 26

The Black Cats try to win the double on Chelsea...

Well, I think I got the *s about right last week.  Some of you were wondering why United v Birmingham only got 2 * whereas Blackpool v United got 4, but I think you saw which was the match worth watching!!  Remember, these ratings are for neutrals.  With the FA Cup on the weekend, we have two fixtures apiece this week.  I’ve written my customary notes about the first (mid-week) set of matches, and may have time (we’ll see) to do a regular viewing guide for the weekend, but at least you have the times and channels listed below.

For the mid-week matches, as best I can tell, for Tuesday, we get all of the matches, with FSC, FS+ & ESPN2 all going head to head in the 3 pm time slot, with Arsenal, Chelsea, and United all in action.  For Wednesday, however, it seems ESPN gives Fox 2 matches, and then takes all the rest for itself, with most shown on espn3.com only.  So you’ll need that internet connection to get all 10 from Gameweek 25.

I’m going to go out on a limb and call the Sunderland v Chelsea match the pick of the mid-week games.  Ordinarily that would be United-Villa or Arsenal-Everton, but let’s see what the Black Cats have up their sleeve for this one.

****:  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:

Tuesday, February 1 (all times EST)

*** Arsenal v Everton, 2:45 pm, FSC/FD [Mason]
They’re pretty much all must-win if Wenger has any hope of landing that trophy.  The Cup ties have certainly not been easy for the Gunners, but they are finding a way to advance.  Everton has disappointed this year but can still climb into the top 10.  Arsenal won the prior match 1-2.

**** Sunderland v Chelsea, 2:45 pm, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv [Halsey]
Chelsea was absolutely walloped at Stamford Bridge by the Cats, nil-3.  They are playing better now.

*** Man Utd v Aston Villa, 3 pm, ESPN2/ESPND & espn3.com [Foy]
The first match was a terrific 2-2 affair.

* West Brom v Wigan, 3 pm, foxsoccer.tv & 5 pm (delayed), FS+ [Dowd]
Too early to call these 6-pointers?

Wednesday, February 2

** Birmingham v Man City, 2:45 pm, ESPN2/ESPND & espn3.com [Friend]
This one could be another ugly nil-nil, though Birmingham have made a habit of scoring goals late and often, though not against sides as defensive as City.

*** Liverpool v Stoke, 3 pm, FSC/FD [Taylor]
Did the Reds bite off more than they can chew with their recent signings?  Who will be assigned to handle Suarez?  Kenny will fight to get them a spot in Europe, and maybe even Champions League.

*** Bolton v Wolverhampton, 3 pm, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv [Walton]
Bolton’s strong start has faded, but this match was a terrific one the last time out, won 2-3 by the Wanderers, so let’s hope that we get another good one.

*** Blackburn v Tottenham, 3 pm, espn3.com only [Marriner]
6 goals in the reverse match at White Hart Lane.  Spurs need to keep going (and improve from Sunday’s disaster in the Cup) to hold the Champions League spot.

** Blackpool v West Ham, 3 pm, espn3.com only [Attwell]
For teams that pride themselves on playing attacking football, this reverse fixture was exciting, but no one could score.  The finishing was brutal.  Have the Hammers improved at all?

** Fulham v Newcastle, 3 pm, espn3.com only [Jones]
Fulham has been one of the big disappointments this season, and they need to start showing the kind of soccer they played Sunday against Spurs.  While they are probably going to be safe, 3 points here would go a long way in not seeing them dragged into the relegation battle.

Saturday, February 5

** Stoke v Sunderland, 7:45 am, ESPN3.com
** Man City v West Brom, 10 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
*** Newcastle v Arsenal, 10 am, FSC/FD
*** Everton v Blackpool, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 4 pm (delayed), FS+
*** Tottenham v Bolton, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 5 pm (delayed), FSC/FD
** Aston Villa v Fulham, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv & 6 pm (delayed), FS+
* Wigan v Blackburn, 10 am, foxsoccer.tv only
*** Wolverhampton v Man Utd, 12:30 pm, FSC/FD

Sunday, February 6

** West Ham v Birmingham, 8:30 am, FS+ & foxsoccer.tv
**** Chelsea v Liverpool, 11 am, FSC/FD

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Stacy Richardson

    February 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    “* West Brom v Wigan, 3 pm, foxsoccer.tv & 5 pm (delayed), FS+ [Dowd]
    Too early to call these 6-pointers?”

    How about NEVER calling them “6-pointers”? The concept of the “relegation six-pointer” is totally false. For a match to be a “six-pointer,” the winning team would receive three points, and the losing team would have three points deducted.

    I never thought much about it until I saw a clip of Kevin Keegan gathered his mental energies, such as they are, to explain why a match between teams in or near the relegation zone is called a “six-pointer.”

    I figured if a total moron like Keegan accepted the validity of the concept, something must be wrong with it. And something is wrong with it, indeed.

    • David the Yank

      February 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      Hi, Stacy. I certainly didn’t coin the phrase, and ignore it if you wish, or just ignore the point total and think of it as a synonym for “hugely important match between two sides in the relegation zone”.

      BUT if I must.

      It’s the penultimate week of the season. The table looks like:
      …….Wigan 32
      …….West Ham 29
      …….West Brom 26
      …….Wolves 25
      The Hammers visit Wigan. If the Hammers win, they are 32 even with Wigan. If Wigan wins, they are 35 to West Ham’s 29, so either even or 6 behind/ahead. Hence a “six point swing”. Make sense?

  2. jmansor

    February 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    FoxSoccer.tv is delaying the Wolves v Bolton game to midnight even though it is on FS+ and not FSC. Have they done that before? I recently cancelled FS+ to go with FoxSoccer.tv.

    Also annoying that the 745 game on Sat is only scheduled for ESPN3.

    • The Gaffer

      February 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm

      John, let me check why FoxSoccer.tv isn’t scheduled to show the game (according to their website), and I’ll post the reply here.

      According to the ESPN Soccernet website, the Saturday game will be on ESPN2 as well as ESPN3.com.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • jmansor

        February 1, 2011 at 7:55 pm

        Thanks, I appreciate it. Good news about ESPN2 for Saturday.

  3. Ganesh krishna

    February 1, 2011 at 4:07 am

    This match has lost interest as both the clubs are out of the title tace…. so the result would be very intresting since both the clubs are eager to come out on top because of the recent transfer news.

  4. Ben

    February 1, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Arsenal 3-1 Everton – I dont think Cahill is eligible for this if he was I’d have gone draw.

    Sunderland 0-2 Chelsea – The signing of David Luiz and Torres should give Chelsea the boost they can’t be any worse than they were in the reverse fixture.

    Manchester United 1-2 Aston Villa – I’m going for the upset here, Villa won at Old Trafford last season and Manchester United in recent times have ALWAYS struggle against the Villa and now Villa have been boosted by 4 big signings this month it looks good for them and United will be complacent.

    Blackburn 1-3 Spurs – Think my boys will do well here quite comfortably.

    Fulham 2-1 Newcastle – Newcastle have been weakened hard with Carroll’s departure, they have Leon Best who scored a hat trick on his debut, ok it was against West Ham but still the kid looks impressive but Fulham are starting to get their players back now.

  5. Abe

    February 1, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Predictions:
    Arsenal 2 – Everton 1
    Sunderland 2 – Chelsea 2
    Manchester United 3 – Aston Villa 1
    Birmingham 1 – Mancheter City 2
    Liverpool 1 – Stoke City 0
    Blackburn Rovers 1 – Spurs 2
    Fulham 2 – Newcastle 0

  6. Terry

    February 1, 2011 at 12:13 am

    Chelsea vs Liverpool will be very interesting now that Torres is with Chelsea and after his swipe at Liverpool that they were not a big club like Chelsea. I’d put a fiver on Carragher knocking down Torres at the first opportunity. This is a ten-star game. I think there could be at least one sending off, Torres or Carragher or Gerard. Bet on it. Cannot wait.

  7. BBC

    January 31, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    “though not against sides as defensive as City” was last month’s anti-city meme. This month is that they ship goals. Carry on!

  8. calamityjames

    January 31, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    My Fox Soccer Plus HD Channel seems to have disappeared from the DirecTV guide. Anyone else having that issue?

  9. Quinn

    January 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I love the sarcasm. Seriously, Chelsea-Liverpool deserves 6 stars. I hope all the big new signings are fit to play.

  10. Matt

    January 31, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I doubt there will be much interest in Sunday’s Liverpool/Chelsea match…

    • Rob

      January 31, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      Seriously, I don’t think I’ve heard a thing about either of those clubs in the last couple hours.

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