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EPL Weekend Viewing Guide, Gameweek 28

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With Europa league continuing, plus FA Cup delayed fixtures and the long-awaited Chelsea v. Man United midweek match, we get 15 matches this week involving EPL teams. Only Spurs sit back and relax this week as the Gunners’ visit to White Hart Lane, to have been the featured ESPN2 match, is postponed as Wenger tries to lift a trophy Sunday at Wembley.

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:

Thursday, February 24 (all times EST)

Liverpool v. Sparta

Prague (nil-nil), Europa League leg 2, 5 pm (delayed from 1pm) GolTV

Man City v. Aris

Salonika (nil-nil), Europa League leg 2, 3:05 pm, [can’t find any listings]
Not the most scintillating first legs, but the English sides should be favored to advance with home matches.

Saturday, February 26

Wigan v. Man Utd, 10 am, FSC/FD [Clattenburg]
Surely this is 3 points for the visitors, with their designated referee to boot.

Everton v. Sunderland, 10 am, FS+; [Attwell]
Only 7 points separate these teams, but Sunderland still have an eye towards Europe, while Everton are not yet out of the relegation battle.

Aston Villa v. Blackburn, 10am, & noon (delayed) FSC/FD [Atkinson]
There are certainly 4 worse sides than Villa, but they’ve been dragged down into the muck, and need to win matches like this one!

Wolverhampton v. Blackpool, 10 am, & noon (delayed) FS+ [Swarbrick]
2nd premier league start for Swarbrick who has yet to see a goal or call a penalty. This one should be entertaining!

Newcastle v. Bolton, 10 am, & 5 pm (delayed) FSC/FD [Foy]

Sunday, February 27

West Ham v. Liverpool, 8:30 am, FSC/FD [Halsey]
The Hammers thought they would be playing a couple of hours later at Wembley Sunday, but they blew a big lead at Birmingham.  Now they need points any way they can get them.  Ba & Hitz have looked good in their first matches.

Man City v. Fulham, 10 am, ESPN2/ESPND & [Walton]
After losing the Saturday 7:45 am North London derby to the Carling Cup final, ESPN2 gets a rare Sunday 10 am kickoff, and I expect a strong match. Fulham have not been particularly good this season but they have had entertaining matches and this will certainly be one Mark Hughes will want to win on his return to Eastlands.

Arsenal v. Birmingham, Carling Cup Final, 11 am, FSC [Dean]
There’s maybe only one side I would have wanted to see less than Birmingham City in a Wembley final, but I still give out all 4 stars for Wembley finals.  Will a hobbling Fabregas actually get to lift a trophy?  Arsenal feel they have a realistic shot at 4!

Monday, February 28

Stoke v. West Brom, 3 pm, FS+ & [Oliver]

If you must…

Tuesday, March 1

Everton v. Reading, FA Cup Round 5, 2:30 pm, FS+ &

Chelsea v. Man Utd, 2:45 pm, FSC/FD (and repeated at 8 pm) [Atkinson]
Notwithstanding the blues’ troubles, they are the holders, so this is still the one we’ve been waiting for. Martin let-em-play Atkinson on the whistle, and, like Sargent Schultz, he saw nothing that now rules Mr. Walcott out of small matches at Wembley (and perhaps Barcelona). For once, all of London will be rooting for Chelsea!

Wednesday, March 2

Man City v. Aston Villa, FA Cup Round 5, 2:45 pm (and repeated at 8 pm), FS+ &
Should be a fun cup tie.

Arsenal v. Leyton Orient, FA Cup Round 5 replay, 2:45 pm, FSC [not confirmed]
It’s been a strange run of constant matches for the Gunners, and the injuries are piling up. I guess we’ll know by Wednesday if the “Quad” is still a possibility, but I expect the reserves squad again, especially at home.

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  1. Drew

    February 25, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I sent an e-mail to EPL Talk a couple weeks ago suggesting the addition of Match Ratings, but never heard back. I’m sure everyone working at the site is very busy, so thought I’d try to get some feedback in the comments.

    The basic premise is to provide a useful tool for viewers like myself who DVR almost every match each weekend, but are overwhelmed by which ones to watch–and disappointed when they end up skipping a surprisingly good match and watch a 0-0 midfield struggle instead. Since looking up scores in advance would take the thrill out of it, I suggested a dedicated page on EPL Talk where users who have already viewed the matches can give them ratings from 1-10. This is obviously highly subjective, but I am guessing that Newcastle’s 4-4 draw with Arsenal would have generally received high marks while most 0-0 matches would receive low marks. And since it is up to the readers to vote, the only work required by EPL Talk would be to post the fixtures on the site each week. Users could bookmark the dedicated page so as to eliminate any risk of catching scorelines inadvertently.

    What do you guys think?

    • The Gaffer

      February 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Drew, sorry for not getting back to you. I have your e-mail in my in-box and I’ve been meaning to get to it.

      I think the idea is fantastic and it’s something that we here at EPL Talk have considered. The tricky part is that fixtures and results are licensed information so we/you would have to pay the Football DataCo Limited an extravagant license fee each season to comply with the usage of that data.

      The Gaffer

      • Drew

        February 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm

        Thanks a lot for getting back to me, Gaffer. I realized after submitting that the forum may have been a more appropriate venue, so I put essentially the same posting there.

        One question though: what exactly is prohibited to show on the website regarding the fixtures? The reason I’m asking is because I’m confused as to why you would be able to show “Wigan v Man Utd, 10 am” on the Weekend Viewing Guide, but not on a potential Match Ratings page since in neither case would there be a scoreline.

        I know you’re much more familiar with this licensing information than I am, but now I’m curious! Thanks.

        • The Gaffer

          February 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm

          Drew, good question. The viewing guide lists TV schedules. But if we listed fixtures, we would have to pay a license fee. Those license fees can be thousands of dollars for even a blog.

          The Gaffer

          • Drew

            February 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

            Interesting–so it’s not considered a “fixture” if you’re just discussing when it will be available to watch, but it is once the match has been played? I would have assumed stating “Wigan v Man Utd” would constitute a fixture on a Viewing Guide just as much as it would stating it on a Ratings Guide.

            I wonder if a workaround for a Match Ratings page would be to say something like “Roberto Martinez’s side v Sir Alex Ferguson’s side” or some other descriptor that would make the teams obvious–similar to what PES used to do (and maybe still does) for EPL teams.

            If you think it’s a non-starter, let me know and I’ll look into the logistics of hosting something myself. Thanks again.

          • David the Yank

            February 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

            Have journalists challenged this in court? I don’t know English law, but seems absurd to me that a list of fixtures is not more or less in the public domain. Moreover, you would think it would be in the interest of the league to let anyone and everyone promote their matches! The fact that EPLtalk helps people figure out where to watch, to teach people about the beauty of this game and league, absolutely increases viewership, advertising value, and the overall value of the league, even if it doesn’t pay exorbitant fixture list fees.

            • The Gaffer

              February 28, 2011 at 7:04 pm

              David, from Wikipedia:

              Football DataCo has been racked by controversy in the UK media, after a 2004 European Court of Justice ruling that the Premier League and Football League cannot use the European Database Directive to demand payment from media and pools companies for the publication of fixture lists. Football DataCo refute the ruling, arguing that a legal precedent was set in the UK back in 1959, when the Football League won a landmark copyright victory against Littlewoods, claiming income from the pools company for their use of the fixtures list.

              Staunch opponents of Football DataCo argue that the ruling is long out of date, and needs to be brought more inline with the advances in information collection and delivery that we are seeing with the World Wide Web.

              Small, independently owned football fan sites have been badly hit by Football DataCo, who even charge non-profit making enterprises the standard fee for use of single club fixture data unless adopted by a club as a “Nominated Fanzine” in which case the charge is £1.00 plus VAT. This has meant that many fanzines have been threatened with removal of the fixtures by Football DataCo[1].

              The Gaffer

              The company has also challenged many not-for-profit websites over their use of football club badges on their websites.

  2. MNUfan1991

    February 24, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    “For once, all of London will be rooting for Chelsea!”

    Spur fans may beg to differ.

  3. David

    February 24, 2011 at 11:34 am

    The Manchester City Europa League game is being shown on DirectTV Channel 481-1 (HD) and 481 (SD) at approximately 3:00pm EST today. So if you don’t get DirectTV, most of the pubs and bars do and carry this channel.

  4. Earl Reed

    February 24, 2011 at 10:52 am

    West Ham United vs Liverpool should be of some interest. The Reds have been one of the top form teams recently, but they have some fixture congestion caused by Europa League. West Ham have been showing signs of life recently. In November this was an easy victory for Liverpool. It all depends if West Ham have regained some confidence through their recent acquisitions, they might be able to surprise the visitors.

    • David the Yank

      February 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      nice call!

      • Earl Reed

        February 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        You know, I taped this game while I was at church. Suffice it to say, my pride swelled as I watched the Hammers dump a bucket of ice-water over the red-hot Reds. Expert for a day, perhaps. 🙂

  5. David Gu

    February 24, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I don’t think all of London will be rooting for Chelsea against Man U considering Spurs need Chelsea to lose to stay in 4th.

  6. Major Whiting

    February 24, 2011 at 8:50 am

    My pick’s Newcastle and Bolton. Only one point between the two teams and Newcastle’s pulled some amazing things since the departure of Andy Carroll.

    And I believe it was actually Walton, not Atkinson who saw nothing wrong with that tackle on Walcott. Atkinson has to be the most card happy referee in the league.

  7. Karl Sears

    February 24, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Wolves vs Blackpool has to be the pick of Saturday matches. Must win for the Wanderers, and with Adam suspended for the Tangerines a chance to get off of the bottom?

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