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EPL Weekly Viewing Guide, Gameweek 35

Well, we were waiting all year for this weekend, only for Arsene’s men to melt quickly over their last 10 matches.  The only sides the Gunners beat in these last 10 were Blackpool and Leyton Orient!  Now they can hold out some hope for 2nd and play the role of spoiler so that next week’s showdown becomes the match of the season at Old Trafford.  Meanwhile, Spurs still have a chance to return to the Champions League, but will have to beat Chelsea at the Bridge, something they haven’t done in decades, to have a realistic hope.  In the Black & White world of the relegation zone, it’s likely 3 from 6, with the B’s in better position than the W’s.  There are only 4 showdown matches remaining involving the B’s and W’s, with the first this weekend a must-see cracker of a West Midlands derby at St. Andrew’s.

****:  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, April 30 (all times EDT)

Sunderland Fulham, 10 am, ESPN2/ESPND & [Atkinson]
Atrocious choice by ESPN.  You have to question their judgment given Blackpool v Stoke was available.  Remember, ESPN will spoil all the other scores too, so I’m not sure who will be watching this live.
*** WiganEverton, 10 am, FS+ & [Mason]
The Latics have the ‘easiest’ run-in, wiith Villa, West Ham & Stoke to come, but they’re going to have to win 1 or 2, probably 2, to stay up.
** West Brom Aston Villa, 10 am, FSC/FD [Dowd]
Upgraded to 2 stars only because it’s a derby.  I think Fox got this one wrong and should have shown Blackpool or Blackburn live.
*** Blackpool Stoke, 10 am, & 2 pm (delayed) FS+ [Clattenburg]
Stoke are safe but still have a part to play in the remaining races.  They thrashed Wolves, and still have Wigan after this one.  They also play City.  The Tangerines have not been shut out at home.  It’s looking dire with 2 of their last 3 against Spurs & United, though they may get bailed out by the United match on May 22 having no meaning for the soon-to-be-crowned.  But 3 points here would be absolutely vital.

*** Blackburn Bolton, 10 am, & Sunday 1 pm (delayed) FS+ [Dean]

Bolton can play splendidly or they can wilt, as they’ve done recently against Fulham & Stoke.  This one means more to Blackburn but they have really struggled.

**** Chelsea Tottenham, 12:30 pm, FSC & 4 pm (delayed) FD [Marriner]

This one still has everything:  a derby, the chance for Chelsea to catch United and repeat, Spurs desperate to avoid joining the Thursday-Sunday crowd next year, and some terrific players.  They finished 1-1 at White Hart Lane in December.
Sunday, May 1

**** Birmingham Wolverhampton, 7 am, FS+ & [Friend]
Get up early, make a fresh pot of coffee, and get ready for 6 terrific hours of football, starting with perhaps the most meaningful match of the week.  At least it will almost certainly be the hardest fought.  The Blues should ensure safety with a home win, though Wolves won the match down the road in December on Stephen Hunt’s goal.  Mick’s boys simply did not show up for their mid-week match @ the Brittania, and he has got to get them absolutely flying out of the gate for this one.
** Liverpool Newcastle, 7 am, FSC [Walton]
If there weren’t three other strong matches on today, I’d recommend this one.  But record and check the highlights during the various halftimes.
**** Arsenal Man Utd, 9:05 am, FSC/FD [Foy]
With Wednesday probably a formality, Ferguson shouldn’t need to worry about resting anyone.  A draw would allow Chelsea to believe they have some hope as United’s final two matches are against relegation sides Blackburn & Blackpool.  So United should not be parking the bus.  What a horrendous finish to this season for the Gunners; let’s hope they regain some form and make this a contest.
*** Man City West Ham, 11:10 am, FSC/FD [Webb]
City is just barely doing enough to hang on to their coveted 4th.  And they can add some silverware in 2 weeks as well.  West Ham have reverted (and reverted badly) to their form through most of the year.  They desperately need Parker back, and must defend better if they want to stay in the league.  Grant appears to have few ideas and remains resolutely optimistic even after conceding 12 goals in their four April matches.
Tuesday, May 3

*** Barcelona (2) v Real Madrid (nil), Champions League semifinal leg 2, 2:45 pm, FSC/FD
No Pepe, no Ramos, and no Jose maybe means 2-stars, but any chance to watch Messi is probably worth 4, so I’ll compromise on 3.  There’s nothing I love more than second-leg away-goal-rule Champions League soccer, but I’m not holding my breath this year in either match.
Wednesday, May 4

** Man Utd (2) v Schalke 04 (nil), Champions League semifinal leg 2, 2:45 pm, FX &
Hard to imagine this is going to be worth watching after Schalke’s display on Tuesday in Germany.  Remember, it’s on FX.
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  1. Hargreaves

    April 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Blackpool will benefit from Stoke being weary of injuries before their FA Cup final in a couple of weeks. Blackpool have an excellent chance of winning this game.

    I think Bolton will bounce back from their midweek defeat to Fulham and get a result at Ewood Park which is bad news for Blackburn who need a victory badly. A Blackburn loss and they will be in very serious trouble and I think they will then be relegated.

    Wigan has to beat Everton if they want to have a chance of remaining in the EPL. Everton will be hard to beat. Very big game for Wigan and their season might just hinge on this result. This is the game I’ll be watching.

    I think Wolves will be relegated and will find it tough to beat Birmingham away.

  2. Harry

    April 29, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Chelsea vs Spurs is going to be the best game of the weekend. Chelsea will want to get to within 3 points of United who play on Sunday. Spurs need to close the gap on City to have any hope of getting 4th. I’m expecting a very open game with a few goals in it. It depends on which Spurs team shows up. They can play with the best but have been very inconsistent recently. Tough game to call.

    Arsenal vs United was going to be a very big game until Arsenal dropped out of the title race (I know they are still mathematically alive but realistically they’re out) so this one is more important for United. How United approach this game will depend on Chelsea’s result on Saturday. If Chelsea draw or lose I can see Fergie resting some players and with the way Arsenal have played recently United will feel confident of getting a result even without their strongest side. If Chelsea win United will field their strongest side and win easily. Arsenal are just too wounded to get a decent result in this one. They also have a terrible defence which United will feel confident of exploiting. Either way United will have just about wrapped up the title by the end of this game on Sunday. We can all then look forward to following the trials and tribulatuions of the relegation-bound teams.

  3. JC

    April 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Knowing WHY they picked the game doesn’t make the pick any less foolish. Since when is Dempsey draw a big television audience? Since never.

    • JC

      April 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      err, since when DOES…..

  4. dkptiger

    April 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    for someone who goes by the moniker david the yank, you really cant fathom why espn picked this game? you dont watch much espn do you? literally every show on espn this week (including espn2) has had a commercial for this game. they even use a mumford and sons song in the background and feature dempsey prominently. i couldnt believe they were playing up a seemingly underwhelming match, but then i noticed multiple shows with highlights of dempseys goal vs bolton. an american angle they feel is a much bigger deal than quality on the pitch. but only the most blinkered miopic premierleagueophile would think they should forgo a chance to show a household name in dempsey for a relegation battle with blackpool and stoke? i know im echoing others, and not trying to be too harsh, but you got that one dead wrong my friend.

  5. Norfolk Enchants

    April 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I Will be also be watching Fulham.

  6. Malcolm

    April 28, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Sunderland 1 – Fulham 1 (ESPN2 chose this because of Dempsey).
    West Brom 2 – Aston Villa 1 (FSC chose this because of Friedel).
    Blackpool 1 – Stoke 1 (not enough for Blackpool to stay up).
    Wigan 2 – Everton 1 (Wigan will help their chances of staying up).
    Blackburn 1 – Bolton 1 (Blackburn still in trouble).
    Chelsea 3 – Spurs 2
    Birmingham 2 – Wolves 0 (Wolves will go down).
    Liverpool 2 – Newcastle 0
    Arsenal 1 – Manchester United 3 (Man U in total control of title).
    Manchester City 2 – West Ham 2 (not good enough to save West Ham).

    Barcelona 1 – Real Madrid 1
    Manchester United 3 – Schalke 0

  7. Ian

    April 28, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    On the ManU-Arsenal game “A draw would allow Chelsea to believe they have some hope as United’s final two matches are against relegation sides Blackburn & Blackpool. So United should not be parking the bus.”

    I think a draw would suit ManU, actually. They’ll just need to beat Chelsea at home the next weekend to be crowned Champions. In fact, beating Chelsea and then a draw in any other game would see Utd as champions.

  8. James

    April 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Though not the most favorable matchup I’ll still tune in to what ESPN has to offer.

  9. olivert

    April 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    EPL this weekend:

    1 massive game (Arsenal vs Man Utd), 1 “good” game (Chelsea vs Tottenham), and 8 average to crap games

    La Liga for the rest of the season:

    all average to crap games

    Serie A for the rest of the season:

    all average to crap games

    Bundesliga for the rest of the season:

    all average to crap games


    This season in particular is limping to the finish line with a thud. EPL might be decided by May 8.

    La Liga, Serie A, and Bundesliga are unwatchable barring major collapses by the leader.

    • Sev

      April 28, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      If you support a club, it does not matter.

    • Tuttle

      April 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      I don’t agree.

      Dortmund v. Nuremberg is a huge match as Dortmund has to keep ahead of Leverkusen and Nuremberg is trying to catch Bayern for the last CL spot. And Schalke v. Bayern is always a blast.

      Serie A has Lazio v. Juventus on Monday, both fighting for European spots, and a HUGE match coming up in a couple of weeks between Inter and Napoli.

      In Spain… ugh, yea, Villareal v. Getafe is the biggest thing they’ve got. Villa v. Mallorca next week might be decent as well.

  10. Sev

    April 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    America needs a channel, or various channels. For example; FFC (Fox Football Channel) 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. They should air every EPL/La Liga/Serie A/Bundesliga match. They could even make like Fox Football: EPL, Fox Football: La Liga, Fox Football: Serie A, Fox Football: Bundesliga. I’d watch football everyday for the rest of my life.

    • Matt

      April 28, 2011 at 9:26 pm

      I agree that would be a great thing, but it’s not financially feasible.

  11. spark

    April 28, 2011 at 11:38 am

    I agree with Ryan that ESPN probably selected the Fulham match because of Dempsey. But for ESPN, if Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Man City aren’t playing I think they just pick a game out of a hat.

  12. Ryan

    April 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I think the Fulham match was chosen because of Dempsey’s presence on the squad.

    Sunday’s going to be an exciting day of football. ESPECIALLY for Liverpool fans if Tottenham loses. And DOUBLE ESPECIALLY if West Ham can find a way to beat Manchester City.

    I still think Barca and Madrid is a 4 star match, I just hope the play football and let up on the diving and stupid defensive fouls.

  13. Jason Gatties

    April 28, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Hi, my name is Jason. Since I’m a Fulham supporter, I will be watching. Just wanted to introduce myself and debunk your theory that nobody will be watching this match live.

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