Saturday 10/3/15 (4:45 AM PT)
Crystal Palace vs. West Brom (2)
In the early Saturday matchup, an improving West Brom team visits a good Crystal Palace team at Selhurst Park after a short week of rest. West Brom showed more attacking prowess than they had all season Monday, but two goals weren’t enough to prevent a third loss of the season, at home to Everton. On the other hand, Palace didn’t exactly excite in a 1-0 win over Watford, but it was an
(7:00 AM PT)
Manchester City vs. Newcastle (1)
Just about the only reason to watch this one is to see how many goals City can score. Newcastle have been woeful for most of the campaign and haven’t earned a league point against City since October of 2008. The Citizens are coming off a difficult Champions League fixture, but one they won, against Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday. That tiredness factor could play into Newcastle’s hands, but with the game being played at the Etihad, anything other than a City romp would go down as a shock, and that fact means there are far better options at the same time.
Sunderland vs. West Ham (1)
It’s never easy getting full points on the road in the BPL, but for the Hammers, who are perched in third place right now, away wins against lackluster sides are crucial if they are serious about challenging in the upper echelon of the table. There’s no reason West Ham cannot come away with three this weekend, as the Black Cats have been the worst of the bottom feeders all year and, with just two points, need to get their engines turning if they don’t want to be buried by December. Given the gap in quality here, this one’s a tough watch, even if the others in the time slot aren’t that great either.
Norwich vs. Leicester (3)
Leicester’s early season tear seems to be waning after a smacking against Arsenal last week, while Norwich’s mediocre start seems to be turning around following a convincing win over Bournemouth and solid draws away to Liverpool and West Ham. A few weeks ago, this game would have been heavily tipped toward the Foxes, but the teams’s recent forms would suggest it might be a tight affair. With the middle of the table packed at the moment, fixtures like these go a long way to either cleaning up or completely cluttering the pack of challengers.
Bournemouth vs. Watford (2)
Two newly promoted teams meet up for the first time in the top flight at Dean Court in what both will see as a crucial game. Each is coming off something of a disappointment last weekend, as Bournemouth were defeated by Stoke and lost star striker Callum Wilson to a long-term knee injury, while Watford couldn’t find the finishing touch in a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace. If these sides want to stay in the Premier League, this is the kind of game both will expect and need to win, and that should make for at least a fair bit of drama come Saturday.
With just two combined wins between these sides in the early going, this one has all the makings of a Saturday snoozer. Stoke, who sit in 17th, have been the disappointment of the season so far, and their revamped squad has done little to give hope to Potters supporters. Villa have been equally as bad, as they are posted two points behind their visitors and have the third worst goal differential in the league. The saving grace in this matchup is both sides desperately need points to get away from the relegation zone, so that should give plenty of incentive for the sides as they do battle at Villa Park.
(9:30 AM PT)
Chelsea vs. Southampton (4)
When these teams met for the first time last season, fourth-place Southampton held the leaders to a 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s. This year, it’ll be 14th-place Chelsea looking for a result at home against the 10th-place Saints. Neither side has impressed in the early going, and Chelsea will be without the suspended Diego Costa, meaning a defensive battle could be on the cards. However, each of these teams possesses immensely talented individuals all over the pitch, and that — along with the late kickoff time — makes this a great watch.
Sunday 10/4/15 (5:30 AM PT)
Everton vs. Liverpool (5)
The Merseyside derby is one of England’s biggest rivalries, and Everton are looking for their first win over their nearby rivals (seriously nearby - the stadiums are less than a mile apart) since 2010. While the recent history of this matchup includes five draws in the last six contests, there always seems to be some sort of controversy or excitement that
(8:00 AM PT)
Swansea vs. Tottenham (3)
Tottenham are blazing up the table, unbeaten since an opening day loss at Old Trafford — including wins in their last three games — and another three points seem well within reach at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea have been good against the traditional “top six” this year, with a draw against Chelsea and a win over United, but they have earned just one point, from a draw against Everton, in their last three fixtures, losing to Watford and Southampton. Both of these sides struggle with inconsistency, so it could well come down to which comes to play and really goes after all three points in Wales.
Arsenal vs. Manchester United (5)
United top the table for the first time since winning the BPL in 2013, and they certainly won’t want to give that up immediately, but a tough challenge awaits the Red Devils in London. As of late, however, the Gunners have been struggling at the back, and giving up three goals in the mid-week to Olympiacos has only added fuel to the critics’ fire. But Arsenal tend to hang tough in big games, and with both teams potentially needing to make some changes after UCL fixtures, this match could very well be much more open and fiery than expected. Bottom line, both sides have plenty of talent, and it looks by far and away the best fixture of the weekend, so enjoy.
Bonus European Game of the Week: Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund, Sunday 10/4/15 (8:30 AM PT)
Germany’s two biggest clubs meet in Der Klassiker as red-hot Bayern meet second-place Dortmund at the Allianz Arena. Bayern haven’t lost a competitive game since falling to Wolfsburg in the German Super Cup on August 1, while Dortmund haven’t lost one since the DfB-Pokal final in May (also to Wolfsburg). This is also a matchup of two of the hottest strikers on the planet, as Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski (formerly of Dortmund) has scored 10 goals in his
Bonus bonus European Game of the Week: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid, Sunday 10/4/15 (11:30 AM PT)
It hasn’t been the clean start to the season that Diego Simeone needs to again challenge the traditional Spanish status quo, but a win over their crosstown rivals on Sunday would go a long way to saying that Atletico really is in the title race this year. For Real, the game is equally important, as Lionel Messi’s absence due to injury weakens the Barca side, making this stretch for Los Blancos one that could provide some critical separation from their Catalan rivals. Neither team looked particularly good in the UCL this week, although Real were victorious, so they will both be looking for a big performance to rebound. Just to add a bit more incentive for both sides, Atletico haven’t lost to Real in their last four meetings (three wins and a draw) in La Liga, so Los Blancos will be as eager to break the run in their rival's stadium as Atletico will be to continue it.