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Premier League Preview: Week 30. Top games analysed before they happen

Premier League Preview: Week 30

By Arun

A lot of things have changed since last weekend in the race for the remaining CL spots.  One of the ‘title challengers’ is trying to save their berth for the CL spot and the Untold analysis of referees suggests that one team in particular is getting a lot of help from the referees.

Arsenal had a magnificent midweek as we finally moved to the third place and with Chelsea losing we are 6 points clear of 5th place. Liverpool’s disastrous run continued as they threw away a 2-goal advantage to a battling QPR side ending any hope of champions’ league football, if there was any left.  Perhaps, they are still busy celebrating the victory over Cardiff.

So, after an eventful mid-week, the league continues as we enter into the 30s. So, what’s in the store this weekend, let’s find out.

1.     Chelsea (5) v Tottenham Hotspur (4) [ Saturday – 12:45]

It’s got to be the match of the weekend and stakes have been raised a lot due to recent performances by both of the teams. Wednesday saw the end of ‘the invincible’ streak of Chelsea under RDM as they lost to the returning hero of City Tevez.  Their opponents who surrendered Europa league to focus on the premier league are yet to recover from their excitement of ‘magical 39 minutes at the Emirates’ (have they released the DVD yet???) but finally gained a point last week as they stopped their run of 3 straight defeats. Their last win in the league came back nearly one and a half months before.

Spurs are yet to win away from home this year in 4 away games losing 3 and 1 ending in a draw and they will not enjoy the prospect of meeting Chelsea during this slump considering that their 4 of last 5 visits to the Bridge have ended in a defeat.

A defeat for Chelsea might prove deadly for their hopes of Champions League football as they may find themselves 8 points off that elusive fourth place. Both teams will be keen on winning the FA Cup this season and might be their main aim if one falls too much behind in the race for the CL spots. Both teams also have to play in the mid-week as Chelsea visit Benfica and Spurs play their rescheduled cup tie against Bolton.

It’s going to be a difficult game to predict but I think Chelsea has the edge in it being the home team and their recent home performances against spurs. A draw will suit us the most though.

2.     Arsenal (3) v Aston Villa (15) [Saturday – 15:00]

Arsenal finally won a game without going behind and we failed to produce a comeback victory.  Well, ignoring comebacks we have won 6 games in a row and Villa have lost 2 of their last 3 games on the road. But they won here last year thanks to a ruled out perfectly valid Chamakh header and a non-awarded penalty to Arsenal.

But their hero on that day Bent is not gonna be here and Arsenal are yet to lose a non-televised game lasting a stretch of 18 months.

Villa are currently 15th in the table but their fans must worry about their remaining fixtures as they include the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man U and Tottenham.  But they are 10 points clear of the drop zone and should have no problems in the battle to stay up.

Villa haven’t got much to play for in the rest of the season but they must produce something special to get anything at Arsenal this weekend as they have won only one of their last 6 games in the league and 3 victories on the road in 14 games do not sound impressive either.

But they are the king of draws having played 12 already with 8 draws in away games. Overall, they have lost only 1 game more than Arsenal but Arsenal have won 10 more games than they have done during this season.

We won the reverse fixture thanks to a last gasp header from Yossi Benayoun but this time looking forward to an easy victory.

This game will be shown live in India after some great efforts were put by Arsenal fans to make sure that we got to watch the Everton game live, well done lads and we showed them that there are a lot of Arsenal fans in India and our voices can’t be ignored.

3.     Stoke City (11) v Manchester City (2) [Saturday – 17:30]

City produced a good performance against Chelsea to avoid their 2nd defeat in a row while Stoke nearly extended Tottenham’s misery. Stoke has not been a good ground for Man City in the past with City yet to register a victory at the Britannia Stadium in the league since stoke were last promoted.

Stoke has failed to impress at home this season with only 6 wins out of 14 whereas Man City have lost 4 away from home all season long. Although Stoke have won their last 2 home games but these were their only victories in 9 games and before that they had not won at home since defeating Spurs. This fixture in the last season ended in a draw with Stoke city netting the equalizer in the 92nd minute.

Man City will be looking to go top, at least temporarily, with a win and they are the clear favourites to do so in the betting market and they have got their past messiah, Carlos Tevez back. It seems like he was bored of playing golf and wanted to play football again. Apparently, the same fans who threw their Tevez shirts in the trash container gave him a hero’s welcome in his return and hailed as been the man to give city the edge in the title race.

Another interesting thing to mention is the gap between the two matches against Chelsea and now Stoke with only 3 days whereas the rivals get a whopping 8 days to rest. I must say “Well done, Sky and FA”.

4.     Manchester United (1) v Fulham (12) [Monday – 19:00]

Man U always get rest when they want it and this year it’s continuing like ever before.  There really nothing to write in this preview as it is going to be a victory for Man U no matter how bad they play, no matter how good Fulham plays. Media will be just too busy praising them never mentioning the favour they receive from the referees.

But I will leave with the last stat that Fulham has only once managed to get all 3 points on the road in their last 9 games (against QPR) and  only thing that is going to change this weekend is the increase of 9 to 10 games.

Enjoy the weekend as Arsenal increases their stronghold over the third spot.

—————————–

Our last match – how the referee did.   Everton 0 Arsenal 1

Wrong calls by the refs.  We compare Arsenal,  Chelsea, Liverpool, Man C, Man U, Tottenham

The season so far: Liverpool or Arsenal – which club is in the better position today?

How well do you know your Arsenal History?  There are five quizzes about the 1971 Double on the Arsenal History Society site.

The Arsenal Way: the unique style of playing evolved under Mr Wenger

34 comments to Premier League Preview: Week 30. Top games analysed before they happen

  • Damien Luu

    Great to hear about our fans’ “victory” in India, Arun. We in Vietnam have to do the hell of the same 🙂

    Off topic: Mr. Wenger said that Podolski deal has not been done yet. But it sounds to me that it will be done, more certain than ever:

    “I don’t master the timing [of any announcement] because that does not just rely on us. It could happen soon, it could happen later, I don’t know.” [AW]

    So it will happen, sooner or later. Please tell me that I am right, Mr. Wenger! 🙂

  • Arvind

    Thanks Arun. This was an enjoyable read of statistics and your own thoughts. When I read your first line saying there was to be no telecast, I was like wtf… then I rad on and..yay : )

  • Mahdain

    im really worried about the villa match and im sure you all know why..its not mcleish or his stupid tactics rather than the man in the middle..really hoping the boys will be ready for his antics

  • Sammy The Snake

    Here in the Middle East, we pay thru the nose for our football, but we get to see every single game in the season.
    Arsenal 2 – 0 Villa.

  • Winning streaks don’t go on forever, and we are on a hell of a good run at the moment. Obviously I hope it is not v Villa that it ends, especially with Walter and the guys from the Benelux club coming over.

    But we need to keep looking at the clubs below us. fortunately this weekend it is 4th v 5th. A draw would suit, I guess, leaving both behind us and with their bad runs continuing.

  • Anne

    @Anyone from the UK (need help with UM research)

    Sorry to go off topic Arun but I’m trying to find someone who lives in the UK to help me with an Untold Media project.

    Basically, when I was in London recently, I was very surprised at how difficult it was to actually watch football on television. And I’m trying to figure out more about how that works.

    I know that it’s because Sky has the licensing, and you apparently need to subscribe separately to Sky. But you can still watch for free when the match is on ESPN, I think? Otherwise, if you don’t have Sky, you’re limited to MOTD later. Is that right?

    Is anyone interested in breaking down the football TV viewing experience in the UK for me? What I’m particularly interested in is the issue of censorship, and how much power MOTD has to shape the perceptions that people in England have of the PL.

    Would much appreciate some help with this. Thanks.

  • nicky

    Anne,
    Can’t recall what I pay but ESPN is a subscription channel similar to Sky.

  • dan

    @anne

    ESPN is a sub only channel, I’m not at liberties to say but you can get free sky channels if you really try.

  • none

    @ Anne. In effect there are five companies that have the rights to broadcast football matches within the UK. But I have highlighted the Premier league ones.

    SKY – Subscription based.
    Rights to show 115 live Premier League matches.

    ESPN – Subscription based.
    Rights to show 23 live Premier League matches.

    BBC – Free to air (paid for by British TV Licence fee)
    Rights to show delayed highlights of Premier League matches.

    A full description can be found here: http://www.live-footballontv.com/football-tv-rights-uk.html

    In case you werent aware it is not possible for any of the rights holders its not possible to show any of the 3pm Kick offs on a Saturday. See, http://www.premierleague.com/content/premierleague/en-gb/fans/faqs/why-3pm-saturday-matches-not-televised.html

    If you are really interested the breakdown on how the Premier League sells its rights can be found here http://www.premierleague.com/content/premierleague/en-gb/fans/faqs/how-does-the-premier-league-sell-its-tv-rights.html

  • none

    As the BBC is in effect only showing the highlights of the football matches that have occurred that day they have complete control over who/what is shown and when. I believe they take the top of the table/relegation clashes as having the highest importance and then go from there.

    There are some information on Match of The Day [MoTD] the BBC’s highlight show on the following links;

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/front_page/6183981.stm
    and
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/sporteditors/2006/09/better_late_than_never_we_hope.html (very old link).

  • Arun

    @ Anne, as far as I know you have to subscribe to sky to watch the live televised matches legally and they only show selected fixtures along with espn (there are a lot of websites where you can watch the game live from a different nation, say the united states for example). If you want to watch the highlights of all the teams, you have to watch it on MOTD (which can be and are easily manipulated to favor a particular team). I don’t know if sky or espn shows the complete reruns of the whole game or you have to watch it on the individual team network, say arsenal player for us.Plus I think there is a rule that forbids the telecast of saturday 3pm kickoff matches but I am not so sure about this one.
    In India, it’s a bit different. You have to subscribe to ESPN and Star Sports to watch the premier league live on tv (ten action and ten sports in case of champions league football). EsSPN along with star tries to show the maximum possible number of games live. So, if there are only 1 or 2 matches going on at the same point in time, the high priority game (read as the game to draw more viewers) will be on ESPN and the other one on star sports.
    The problem comes when there are more than 2 mathces played at the same time. If there is a Man U game, it will always be on the ESPN and the second slot generally goes to Arsenal or Liverpool or sometimes Chelsea(in worst cases, the above mentioned case of preferring Tottenham). All the game which were not shown live are then shown ‘as live’ which are their complete reruns just after the live televised matches are finished. Nearly, all the games are rerun at least 3 or 4 times during the week if there are no midweek matches.
    Earlier their was a problem of clash with cricket which is now sorted out as they now have a separate channel dedicated to Cricket called star cricket.
    I hope this sums up a good answer to your query.

  • Shard

    Just to add to Arun..For Indian viewers, they have at least once shown an Arsenal match live on their website. This was when they had a clash with cricket I think, because idiots that they are, despite having a dedicated cricket channel, they show the same cricket on one of ESPN or Star Sports with regional language commentary.

    Sorry anne.. That doesn’t really answer your question. But basically, in India, you can see virtually all the matches at some point, if not Live.. In the UK, not all games are televised. Part of the explanation for it might be the old fear that TV means people won’t turn up for the games and would rather watch at home or in the pubs. (Thus the 3 PM kickoff rule?) I know the NFL does something similar with the game not allowed to be shown on local TV stations until the tickets are sold out. So maybe that explains it. Partially at least.

  • Arun

    @ Shard, thanks for reminding me of the shit they do during cricket matches, the same match on three channels (including the doordarshan) in two different commentary languages, seriously man wtf ???
    As far as online streaming goes, Arsenal v Everton (our 125th anniversary game) was streamed because they had Liverpool and Man U (if I remember correctly) on TV. Plus I think they also had live streaming of a chelsea game when arsenal and liverpool were on TV.So, they do show streams when anyone of the old ‘famous four’ is not on tv but is it regualr, well I am not so sure about this one. But the chances that Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man U are all in action at the same time is very low. So they don’t need to worry about streaming that much.

  • Mahdain

    @Arun and shard i have never understood why ESPNStar see the need of showing cricket when they already have star cricket..baffles me tbh

  • Shard

    @Arun

    I don’t think its regular. In fact one comment asked them why they don’t do it every time, and the response was that they need to purchase online rights separately.

  • Shard

    @Mahdain

    It’s REALLY annoying!! It’s like self sustaining hysteria..Cricket is religion in India we are told.. So all they show is cricket. Everyone wants to watch it right? Everyone watches it because its all they show.. and so the vicious circle continues and these stupid corporations keep spending ridiculous amounts of money buying rights for cricket and then trying to recover the money by getting as many advertisements as they can. Screw the public and what they actually want to watch..

    The most annoying thing was the way they put up ads during football matches for the 20-20 world cup or the Champions League of Cricket..The ad covers virtually half the screen. SO not only do they show cricket when cricket is on. We are supposed to have half our screen covered with ads of cricket while something else is on. Idiots.

  • Arvind

    The best part is the FA Cup. On Sony Pix. I can’t remember what the last live game I saw on that was. Its a disaster; the whole thing.

    And really if Arsenal happen to lose, a large majority (me included) don’t feel like watching a replay..unless its for a purpose. I have an added problem of the local cable guy putting on ESPN or Star only if there is a live match. If its a replay he’ll rather show a 1996 Cricket World Cup match. And I have to beg him to put ESPN on. Terrible.

  • Patrick

    @arun,sharad
    how did u guys manage toget arsenal everton televised.
    i was forced to watch it on an illegal steam.actually i watch all the matches online since its luckier for arsenal!

  • Anne

    @none:

    Thank you. I was actually planning on tracking down all of the information that you just linked me to, but I was only a quarter of the way there. You just saved me a lot of time 🙂 Thanks again.

  • Anne

    @Arun, Shard, Mahdain, Arvind:

    And apparently, I also need to do a follow up article about the football viewing experience in India 🙂

    Actually, I’m thinking that it would probably be very interesting to look into how football broadcast rights operate on a global scale.

    Personally, I was shocked to find out that, as hard as it is to watch football in Atlanta, it’s still easier than it is to watch football in London.

    Fucking crazy, right? 🙂

  • Mahdain

    @shard the ads annoy me a lot..im trying to watch a football match then why should i put up with cricket ads all over my TV screen?
    @arvind the mysterious case of sony pix..i really dont understand why the got the FA cup rights while they keep showing movies when matches are played and show them when they have already been played

  • Gf60

    From the sounds of it we’re incredibly spoilt here in South Africa…provided you subscribe (about 50 quid a month)to DSTV. It has 10 permanently dedicated sports channels,shows every PL game, some delayed, as well as several from Spain, Germany, France,Portugal and Italy. Arsenal have been delayed only once in the past 12 months. Cup games, FA and League,/Friendlies aren’t as reliable and it’s a question of luck on what gets screened. Unfortunately Sunderland was live…mind you so was Villa.

  • Arvind

    @Anne: That is weird, indeed. And then you have Dave Richards … ‘We invented it….and they robbed it….’… oh the irony…

    Having said all that though, I think its fair to say that Arsenal is live for around 50% of the games at least. The rest are possibly replays..which very few watch IMO. That’s for the Premier league.

    The CL is on ten Sports/ten action and that’s a voting process, if I am not wrong. The viewers vote in on which match they want shown and that is shown. So out of say 6 group games, I’d say at least 4 are shown. The knockouts, since they moved half the games to the week after, are usually live.

    The FA Cup is a disaster. You’re lucky if you can watch a single game. Most of it are replays at 3:45am, which is a stupider time to be up than 1:15am. If its live then we’d still do it… but for a replay?

    The Carling Cup is again on Ten Sports and is a toss..depending on when we play. If its between a ManU game and us…we’ll be delayed. The order is probably ManU, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal…and recently to be reordered to ManU, ManCity, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal due to glory hunting ‘Man City fans’ … who will doubtlessly call for Mancini’s head after having been a fan for around a year if they dont win the league…

    Hopefully that helps. If you need any further info please ask and I (and I guess all Indian gunners here) will be happy to help : )

  • Ong Bing

    Spud will lost again this week, Arry lost his mind, no managers comment about their players like this:

  • Mahdain

    @gf60 i do have access to supersport channels but i choose not to subscribe to dstv as its bloody expensive..i chose another cable provider and they provide me with the games at a relative cheaper prices and in return i get 6-7 football channels showing EPL,La liga,carling cup,Ucl,serie a and not so much FA cup so i do get a high % of Arsenal games on my TV live and the remaining on delay

  • Pierre

    Ive given up on sky. I now subscribe to French canal plus because they show the 3pm game and only man u appears more often than the gunners. Plus the commentators are usually unbiased and if not they often like arsenal more than most teams.

  • Ong Bing

    Ah, Indonesia is EPL heaven.

    All is free to watch, we have 2 TV station that broadcast live, so we have 2 choice in 15:00 game.

    Sometimes if big team played, they also broadcast the game before and after 15:00.

    So we can watch max 3 game on Saturday (4 if you have 2 TV), and 2-3 games on Sunday.

    The problem for Arsenal fans is, MU more populair in here, so the first choice is MU, the second choice is Arsenal or Chelsea or Liverpool.

    The other problem is FA and Carling, they only broadcast a few, so is hard to watch Arsenal FA and Carling games.

    The CL games also OK in here, they broadcast 2 lives games in a week, but Arsenal is not first choice, sadly, is under Madrid, Barca, MU, AC Milan.

  • Ong Bing

    If my TV don’t broadcast Arsenal games, I used bet365 to listen live commentary, yeah, at least I know little bit whats going on in a game.

    I also member of Arsenal.com, so I also can listen live commentary on Arsenal Player, but bet365 stream more better, no delay with small bandwith.

    Sometimes, bet365 also has live streaming on FA and Carling game, but my internet is not to good to see that streaming.

  • Kentetsu

    Well done Chelsea!
    Well done Spurs!

    Congratulations both with one point.

    Come on Gunners!

  • Anne

    Thanks to everyone for this roundup on watching Arsenal around the world. It’s really interesting.

  • dan

    @Anne

    Purchase a motorized dish, many of the set top boxes (sat boxes) come with nic’s (network ready), you can ready about it on the modz sites.

  • Thanks to everyone for this roundup on watching Arsenal

  • Well, this makes me feel a bit better after reading the ref review of Spurs victory over WBA.