Saturday, January 17, 2009

EPL Open Thread: League Position Madness

Love is all around them, it's everywhere they go...


By the end of today, Manchester United will likely be in first, and Spurs could easily be in last. I love this league! (except for the Man U part)

Almost a full slate today, and plenty of traps out there. Can Chelsea be as inept against the Potters as Liverpool were last weekend? I reckon so, especially since the moody Ivorian is left out once again. The Gooners will look to get some revenge at Hull, and Citeh will probably fail at home to Wigan. Oh, and Norwich host Barnsley while they still look for a full-time manager.

Lineups, predictions and fixture list after the jump. We haven't forgotten about you, Hatters fans -- you're on the road at promotion-chasing Darlington today.

10am:
Blackburn v Newcastle
Bolton v Man Utd
Chelsea v Stoke
Man City v Wigan
Sunderland v Aston Villa
West Brom v Middlesbrough

12.30pm:
Hull City v Arsenal
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SUNDERLAND v. ASTON VILLA:
Sunderland: Fulop, Chimbonda, Nosworthy, Ferdinand, Collins, Edwards, Tainio, Whitehead, Diouf, Cisse, Jones.
Subs: Colgan, Bardsley, Chopra, Leadbitter, Reid, Healy, McShane.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Reo-Coker, Davies, Cuellar, Luke Young, Milner, Sidwell, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Guzan, Harewood, Delfouneso, Knight, Salifou, Shorey, Gardner.

PREDICTION: I'm feeling a draw in this one, probably 1-1. Sunderland are difficult at home, and you figure O'Neill's late own-goal fortunes have to run out sometime.
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BLACKBURN v. NEWCASTLE:
Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Emerton, Andrews, Kerimoglu, Pedersen, Roberts, McCarthy.
Subs: Bunn, Dunn, Roque Santa Cruz, Grella, Mokoena, Treacy, Derbyshire.

Newcastle: Given, Edgar, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Duff, Guthrie, Butt, N'Zogbia, Carroll, Owen.
Subs: Harper, Barton, Gutierrez, Xisco, Taylor, Kadar, LuaLua.

PREDICTION: Home win. Mark it! The Magpies are dire on the road, and I like what Big Sam's been able to do at Ewood thus far (although they're still in the thick of a relegation battle). Santa Cruz is on the bench; is he coming back from injury, or are they keeping him fresh for an imminent transfer?
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BOLTON v. MANCHESTER UNITED:
Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Andrew O'Brien, Samuel, Davies, Basham, Muamba, Gardner, Taylor, Makukula.
Subs: Bogdan, Smolarek, Riga, Puygrenier, Shittu, Sinclair, Obadeyi.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, Vidic, Evans, O'Shea, Fletcher, Carrick, Anderson, Ronaldo, Tevez, Berbatov.
Subs: Kuszczak, Giggs, Park, Nani, Scholes, Welbeck, Chester.

PREDICTION: Away win. 2-0, although not having Rooney in the lineup means that Berbatov will actually have to do something today other than score late goals in games they're already winning with ease.
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SPARTAK LONDON v. STOKE:
Spartak London: Cech, Bosingwa, Carvalho, Terry, Ashley Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Ballack, Malouda, Anelka, Kalou.
Subs: Cudicini, Di Santo, Ivanovic, Alex, Belletti, Mancienne, Stoch.

Stoke: Sorensen, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Abdoulaye Faye, Higginbotham, Delap, Whelan, Amdy Faye, Etherington, Beattie, Cresswell.
Subs: Simonsen, Griffin, Olofinjana, Lawrence, Kitson, Pugh, Sonko.

PREDICTION: A squeaky 1-0 home win. Look Phil, starting Malouda and Kalou all the time isn't a good thing. You'll realize that some day.
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WEST BROM v. MIDDLESBROUGH:
West Brom: Carson, Hoefkens, Barnett, Donk, Robinson, Borja Valero, Greening, Brunt, Koren, Simpson, Fortune.
Subs: Kiely, Cech, Beattie, Kim, Moore, Pele, Filipe Teixeira.

Middlesbrough: Turnbull, McMahon, Wheater, Riggott, Taylor, O'Neil, Digard, Shawky, Downing, Sanli, Alves.
Subs: Jones, Mido, Emnes, Huth, Bates, Adam Johnson, Bennett.

PREDICTION: Home win. Mowbray's got his side playing well recently, and they did knock off Citeh, although that's not such an impressive feat these days.
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MANCHESTER CITEH v. WIGAN:
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Onuoha, Dunne, Richards, Bridge, Wright-Phillips, Kompany, Elano, Robinho, Sturridge.
Subs: Schmeichel, Vassell, Jo, Garrido, Fernandes, Caicedo, Weiss.

Wigan: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa, Valencia, Palacios, Cattermole, Taylor, Heskey, Zaki.
Subs: Kingson, Edman, Brown, Boyce, De Ridder, Kapo, Camara.

PREDICTION: This is your high-scoring game of the day, as Citeh can't defend to save their lives. This reputation won't be changed with the inclusion of Nedum Onuoha, a guy who makes Micah Richards look like an All-Star. 3-2 home win, simply because Robinho is healthy again.
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NORWICH v. BARNSLEY:
Norwich: Marshall, Otsemobor, Doherty, Grounds, Bertrand, Croft, Clingan, Fotheringham, Hoolahan, Cureton, Russell.
Subs: Nelson, Bell, Lupoli, Pattison, Cort.
Barnsley: Muller, Van Homoet, Moore, Guedes, Kozluk, De Silva, Hassell, Leon, Campbell-Ryce, Macken, Rigters.
Subs: Steele, Odejayi, El Haimour, Butterfield, Potter.

PREDICTION: No idea. All depends on which Canaries show up... the desperately unlucky ones, or the determine 1-0 winners?
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DARLINGTON v. LUTON:
Darlington: Gerken, Austin, White, Foster, Ryan, Purdie, Ravenhill, Kennedy, Burgmeier, Hatch, Abbott.
Subs: Kazimierczak, Blundell, Valentine, Main, Carole.

Luton: Logan, Asafu-Adjaye, Roper, Spillane, Beavan, Keane, Jarvis, Henderson, Gallen, Martin, Craddock.
Subs: Brill, Howells, McVeigh, Hall, Wasiu.

PREDICTION: Err, Luton to lose?
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Enjoy the day, and get the comments in.

98 comments:

The NY Kid said...

Stoke with better early pressure, but Spartak are coming back in waves and get a cheap free-kick at the top of the box.

Precious Roy said...

Why are Stoke even taking it in toward goal? When they are in the Blues' third they should kick it off a defender out of bounds so they can have the 'throw-in' set piece.

Please, can I really out-strategerize a Prem League manager?

JT said...

PR: yes you can

JT said...

West Brom up 1-0, Sunderland up 1-0

JT said...

PR: you'd certainly out-manager poor Sparky. He's got right-backs playing center mid today. Moron.

Precious Roy said...

Right, well my strategery depends on Stoke getting the ball into the Chelsea half of the pitch, which I'd wager is under 3 minutes worth in this first half.

Precious Roy said...

Looking at 2 goals from 6 matches total heading into halftime(s).

Spectator said...

Our favorite League Two team Luton are losing 4-1 at the half. They managed to give up 3 goals in 4 minutes... We should all be following the lower leagues instead!

ü75 said...

Ballack ballsed that up.

Not that much scoring north of the border either.

Precious Roy said...

Zabaleta scored then Dunne sent off. Wigan down a goal but up a man v. Citeh.

Andrew said...

Just got up, so general questions: any reason for the lack of scoring? Weather?

And Milner just pulled a very bad impression of the Hand of God. And again the not a single ref sees it. Fackin' awful.

The NY Kid said...

DELAP!

Spectator said...

Stoke! Get in!

ü75 said...

Jim Halpert FTW

Andrew said...

Stoke! Why not?!?

ü75 said...

What percentage chance does Scolari have of "quitting" because of this?

Precious Roy said...

So if the Stoke goal holds up is Scolari gone tomorrow? Or does Roman have too much money tied up in him to cut him loose?

ü75 said...

I doubt that Abramovich could have too much money tied up in Scolari. Even with Roman having lost a good bit of value lately, it's not like he will owe Phil a couple of billion on his contract.

Spectator said...

Chelsea really do miss Drogba

Spectator said...

West Brom and Blackburn both winning, meaning that Spurs are temporarily at the bottom of the table!

Andrew said...

On replay, the Milner goal was a result of Milner somehow falling, sliding, and having his extended left arm direct the ball into the back of the net. Milner knew it. Arsenal support knew it. The whole stadium knew it. Except for the ref and his linesmen.

Ashley Young just sent off on a straight red for a hard tackle, nowhere near the ball.

Precious Roy said...

ü75: Thought it was like £6M a year. Which is the value of a marginal middie thesee days, but they had already said they weren't spending in January, so, no, it's not a ton, but it's not nothing (or a relative nothing depending on the hit Abromavich has taken to his wealth).

Precious Roy said...

Benny McCarhty... best 5 points I've spent in fantasy this year.

Andrew said...

Villa penalty on an awkward challenge . . . Barry converts, 2-1 Villa.

Sbragia long-faced.

Precious Roy said...

Jesus, and hand ball goal, down a man, yet they get the lead.

Jesus is clearly a Villa fan.

Andrew said...

Chelsea: 34 shots. Stoke: 3 shots. How's that return on investment, Roman?

Spectator said...

Villa now up 2-1

jjf3 said...

Jeez, less than a minute left, and Berbs heads it in...

jjf3 said...

Tevez made it possible, and Bolton's keeper didn't look good missing it...(probably not his fault, just one of those things)

ü75 said...

Boooo. 1-1, Belletti

The NY Kid said...

ah fuck. Chelsea equalize, and Aston Villa winning.

The NY Kid said...

good Lord that was a horrendous tackle.

jjf3 said...

NYK -
know anything about the defender Rovers signed? Apparently he hasn't played at all for OM this season?

Thanks.

Spectator said...

Well, I guess that was inevitable.

ü75 said...

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK

Precious Roy said...

Fuck.

jjf3 said...

Fuck me. I finally get a final score right. I fucking hate Chelski...

The NY Kid said...

@jjf3 - Givet? Decent player - not much run out with Les Bleus (maybe 10-12 matches?). He didn't play at Marseille due entirely to his poor relationship with the manager - he should definitely have been starting for that defense. He'll provide an excellent complement to Ooijer and Samba

Andrew said...

If Gunners will, my Saturday will be salvaged. As for now, it's pretty damn bleak. I pray for a meteor last week, get nothing. Both teams about to drop points this week, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster intervenes and here we are. Those fucks.

I wish I could be more witty.

Precious Roy said...

And United get a goal in the 90th. Wow, that never happens.

Andrew said...

Or more comprehensible, for that matter. Off to the bar. Up the Arsenal!

The NY Kid said...

have to feel badly for Sorensen - he had an absolutely brilliant match

Precious Roy said...

The stars, they do unalign quickly.

Just want to have it on record that I have a bad feeling about this match.

The NY Kid said...

I have a bad feeling too, but it could just be the Whopper I had for dinner yesterday

Mike Georger said...

Well this season is over.

Spectator said...

Oh, and your Luton update... they lost 5-1.

Spectator said...

Arsenal have had about 15 seconds worth of possession so far.

Matt said...

On the ball City!!! City!!! City!!! City!!! Norwich demolish Barnsley 4-0, and Curo's back!! Get in City.

The NY Kid said...

outstanding save by Mayhew on RvP

Spectator said...

How many times can Arsenal hit the crossbar this season???

Spectator said...

Rvp and Ade link up!! Hurrah!

The NY Kid said...

ADE ADE ADE ADE ADE ADE ADE

Spectator said...

Hmmmmm... the wind keeps knocking out the satellite of the game, which is back on, but no commentators.

Spectator said...

So far so good.

Adam said...

More invisible today, Diaby or Denilson?

Spectator said...

I thought Diaby was having a nice game. He's playing back (the Flamini role) but using his muscle to push Hull around.

Eboue, on the other hand.....

The NY Kid said...

absolutely a PK

Spectator said...

That challenge by Djourou sure left a mark

The NY Kid said...

well thats no good

Spectator said...

Fucking Arsenal

Adam said...

True I should have thrown Eboue in there, but then the choice would have been obvious. Now that I've paid attention to Diaby hes doing pretty good, it was just that I forgot he was even out there for a good 30 min.


FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Goat said...

Fuck

Goat said...

Deflection or not, he was completely unmarked.

Goat said...

Why no Vela?

Spectator said...

Sigh... maybe we can win the UEFA Cup next season.

Goat said...

Phil Brown looks like he just got back from six months at sea.

Goat said...

Arsenal look like shit.

Adam said...

Vela's not on because we need the pink booted lesbian to score so his price goes up.

Goat said...

Maybe he's just more use to the weather.

Adam said...

I'd still rather have Vela on.

The NY Kid said...

Phil Brown looks like he just got back from six months at sea.

is that why hes trying to bugger us?

Spectator said...

YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!

The NY Kid said...

NASRI!

Adam said...

SAMIIIIIRRRRR!!!!!

Goat said...

I love that little Frenchman (not you NYK).

The NY Kid said...

yeah, I'm not that little

The NY Kid said...

SELL! SELL!

Spectator said...

FUCK YEAH! That's the way it's done. Great recovery by Arsenal to get those two goals.

Adam said...

Thank you Bendtner, now enjoy your time somewhere else.

The NY Kid said...

absolute pants defending all match from the Arse

Adam said...

...and another ball off the post, thats gotta be the 20th this season.

Precious Roy said...

I heart Nasri.

Sweet finish knocking it past Myhill and inside the far post. But yes, defense was shaky. Is Aresene jacking it too much and going blind. The Gunners don't need Arshavin, they need Arteta or his non-union Mexican equivalent.

jjf3 said...

@NYK -
Thanks! I went to the bar, but I'm glad you think he probably deserved playing time...Gracias!

John Dakar said...

heya- can i get some live scores via text tomo? georger- if you're on here you owe me from last wknd. #573-639-1053. i'm on a brewery tour in KC MO. thnx!

ü75 said...

Yuck.
No sooner do Aberdeen go up 1-0 on Celtic, than the Bhoys equalize. 1-1 in the 25th.

In other news, I'm pretty happy because my pretty simple hack put Setanta on my TV.

ü75 said...

2-1 in the 31st.

Mon the Dons!

ü75 said...

Still 2-1. Motherwell go up on Dundee United in the 10 o clock kick off match. If things hold (and they won't), Aberdeen go third.

ü75 said...

Jinxed.

2-2.

ü75 said...

Unjinxed.

3-2. Motherwell up 2-0. McGeady yellow for a petulant tackle from behind/side.

4-2!
4-2!
4-2!
4-2!
4-2!
4-2!
4-2!

There was another score! Zander Diamond beats the backup Celtic keeper to the backpost ball.

ü75 said...

And, unbelievably, Motherwell go up 3-0 shortly after the half hour.

ü75 said...

Whew. Aberdeen put home 4 of their 5 on target shots, while Celtic waste most of their 16 total attempts on goal. JVoH, who usually torments Aberdeen, held in check. Nice start to the day for me.

The NY Kid said...

I think that a match featuring Gomes and Calamity James in goal is the 1st sign of the apocalypse

Precious Roy said...

Wow... West Ham demolished Fulham, and without its best player.

Z-O-L-A, Zola.

Andrew said...

Spurs equalize. Defore for his former club against his former club.

ü75 said...

Ha Ha Darren Bent.

Andrew said...

And Darren Bent will still be cack . . .

jjf3 said...

umlaut,

looking forward to recording Aberdeen's win over the Bhoys on Wed. to watch that night. Needless to say, now that I'm "accepted" among the CSC'ers at the bar, showing up for that game on Sunday wasn't an option...
which was magnified by the result...it'll be nice to actually see the players I've mostly been reading about - I'm sure you enjoyed it!

Thanks for the original tip!

Joe

ü75 said...

You are welcome Joe. Sorry for nay spoilers I threw up here. I have to check before I do a SPL wrap tomorrow (promise), but I think that's 6 in a row at home for the Dons.

101 Great Goals has some highlights of the match up, if you want to see the goals now.