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Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary

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Chelsea will be looking to kick their season off with a second straight victory, as will Newcastle, when the two English Premier League forces square off at Stamford Bridge in today's marquee match-up.

The Blues opened the season with a victory against Reading, while the Magpies toppled Tottenham to get their new campaign off on the right foot. With the race for the Top Four in the Premier League expected to be a tight one yet again, this match will carry extra importance for both sides.

Elsewhere in England, Manchester United will be playing their home opener at Old Trafford against a confident Fulham side that opened the season with a resounding victory. At Villa Park, Aston Villa takes on an Everton side that will be looking to build on its season-opening upset of Manchester United.

If you will be watching today's action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today's TV schedule is after the jump):

TODAY'S SOCCER ON TV

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Manchester United vs. Fulham

10 a.m. - Fox Soccer Plus/FoxSoccer2Go - Tottenham vs. West Brom

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Aston Villa vs. Everton

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Norwich City vs. Queens Park Rangers

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Sunderland vs. Reading

10 a.m. - FoxSoccer2Go - Southampton vs. Wigan Athletic

10 a.m. - beIN Sport - Blackburn vs. Leicester City

12 p.m. - beIN Sport - Fiorentina vs. Udinese

12:30 p.m. - Fox Soccer Channel - Chelsea vs. Newcastle

12:30 p.m. - GOLTV - Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayer Leverkusen

2:40 p.m. - beIN Sport - Juventus vs. Parma

2:45 p.m. - GOLTV - Stuttgart vs. Wolfsburg

3 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Valenciennes vs. Ajaccio

4 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Montreal Impact vs. D.C. United

4:45 p.m. - GOLTV - Defensor Sporting vs. Nacional

5 p.m. - beIN Sport - Malaga vs. Mallorca

5:30 p.m. - Univision – America vs. Tijuana

5:30 p.m. - Telefutura - Pachuca vs. Santos Laguna

5:30 p.m. - Univision Deportes - Tigres UANL vs. Toluca

5:30 p.m. - ESPN3.com – Vasco de Gama vs. Fluminense

7 p.m. - ESPN3.com – North Carolina vs. Gardner-Webb

7:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution

8:30 p.m. – MLS Live/Direct Kick - Houston Dynamo vs. Toronto FC

10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick - San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids

10:30 p.m. – MLS Live/Direct Kick - Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

10:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – Chivas USA vs. Seattle Sounders


 

85 comments
  • beachbum

    Dembele…the guy is awesome, one of my favorites to watch every weekend for sure. pure class, amazing first touch every time

    Like

  • Mig22

    Agreeed, I don’t think there is any blame to lay (except to Liverpool of course). Just the club and the player playing their hands as best as possible.

    But again, it’s Liverpool’s fault.🙂

    Like

  • kjasjerjk

    Literally everybody in the professional world does this at one time or another. I really dont understand why so many people are getting worked up about this. At work if you want a raise one strategy is threatening to quit and not working until you are paid the salary you think you deserve. Everybody is any job ever has tried to make the most money from their talents and Clint is doing the same.

    Like

  • beachbum

    agreed. It’s the hatchet job by Jol as the company tool which is for shame tho, the public lies to discredit the player…tool

    Like

  • beachbum

    Rooney strtechered off with a gnarly gash above the knee, very ugly looking

    Vidic is not the same player, looks noticeably weaker physically, and skittish back there in general; not the enforcer we’ve come to know, not yet this year at least

    Kagawa has been the engine for MU, once he subbed off MUs calm and attack lost continuity. Van Persie’s goal was the top shelf, what a first time rip!

    Like

  • Mig22

    Torres is playing like a man possessed. With Mata and Hazard, he looks reborn instead of having to deal with Sturridge. Mata and Hazard WANT to pass the ball.

    Bad news for the other teams in the Prem if Torres finds his scoring touch.

    Like

  • Mig22

    RVP’s goal and Torres’ were both jewels today.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what City will do tomorrow to answer. This could be one hell of a race this year.

    Like

  • Citronomics

    So far (and yes it’s very early), Hazard looks the EPL buy of Summer 2012.

    Since, I don’t follow Chelsea regularly, is Di Matteo deploying a 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 with Hazard and Mata the wing forwards?

    Like

  • beachbum

    here’s to that! so far it’s been fun, so many goals. Kagawa and Hazard both looking like excellent buys

    Like

  • Mig22

    It is early, yeah…but he does look awesome.

    I have watched their 4 real games and the formation is like a 4-2-1-3 but in a way it’s more like a 4-2-3-1. Bertrand is the wide player on the left, Mata mostly on the right but he moves central a lot. Hazard in the middle (but all over the place) and Torres is really alone up top.

    Bertrand plays like a pure winger (he’s really a LB) and Mata plays the right like Donovan might, not a true winger.

    Long answer to a short question.

    Like

  • Jamie

    Glad to see you won’t ‘stand idly by’. Quite generous of you. We were all really hoping for someone to stand up to Jol, I see him quaking in fear as we speak.

    Moreover, your name calling in no way hurts you credibility and makes you the intellectual equivalent of who you are criticizing.

    Your argument seems to gloss over tons of relevant details, say how could Fulham ‘bully him’ as you put it when they have limited leverage (notwithstanding the ‘hatchet job’ as you put it, since you said they’ve been doing it all summer).

    Seriously, does your argument boil down to ‘Jol said something mean during heated transfer talks’? Really? You’ve never seen that happen before?

    You also failed to answer my question, if Fulham said they want to have him play for half a year and want to test the market in the winter, is that bullying? IF you think that is, you’re off your rocker. Clint has no god-given right to a transfer, he signed a contract, Fulham have every right to hold out for the deal THAT THEY THINK IS BEST, even biff the soccernomic wizard thinks they’re hurting their product.

    Let’s say that you’re right, that Jol is a lying SOB, that he has received multiple offers that are ‘firm’ and in your opinion worth CLint’s valuation-guess what, them turning those down is not bullying even if it might be not strategic.

    Moreover, as a self-professed Clint Dempsey fan, don’t you want him to leave as a free agent? Let’s see….Liverpool on a transfer, or any number of clubs who would love to have the 4th leading scorer in the EPL but won’t pay 10 mil for a dude who is 30 like Dortmund, Arsenal, Valencia, Roma, etc.

    If you are so right that Clint will ‘punish them’, why didn’t he say ‘look, I will not be a member of Fulham at the end of this year, whether you transfer me sooner or not. I will play, because I signed a contract, but I hold the power and even at age 29 a year is not that valuable to me with a team that can’t be in the CL til next year anyway. Do as you wish, but that is my decision and it will not change.” That would have been the right thing to do, and would have accomplished exactly what he wants as well.

    Oh, and somehow I doubt any American player will ever turn down Fulham because of this, that whole ‘EPL team in London with a Brian McBride bar’ thing is kind of attractive…but then again I’m sure Sean Johnson will make sure to read your post before he signs there and will realize his foolishness.

    Like

  • Mig22

    Newcastle have stabilized nicely. Getting more of the ball. I’d like to see an early sub from Chelsea. Get Oscar in there maybe for Miereles or even for Mata.

    Like

  • chris

    Fiorentina v Udinese match was fantastic (Fio coming from behind in the 2nd half to win 2-1, the last goal scored in the 91’s min). Fio look fun to watch this season.

    Like

  • Mig22

    Did you watch it on BeIn? (one of the 8-12 folks in the US with access to it) or via an internet feed?

    I’m so disgusted about not having Serie A to watch this year.

    Like

  • Mig22

    What may go unnoticed about Chelsea’s performance today is how well the team played defense as a whole. That chance by Ba was the about the only real opportunity of the game. Cahill and Luiz were solid but the real defensive stars were Miereles and Mikel who just owned the center today.

    Like

  • Citronomics

    I really regret that Liverpool sold Miereles. He was IMOba great compliment to Gerrard in their system. He could do some mop up work and spray sharp passes forward and get forward to assist build up, allowing Gerrard more freedom (which I think he thrives on).

    Psyched for and anxious about tomorrow’s tilt with Man City.

    Like

  • Mig22

    I never understood why so many Liverpool (and Chelsea) fans don’t rate him at all. He is quick, physical, and as you noted, is a very, very good passer.

    Good news for the Blues though so I’m happy.

    But I tell you want, if I was the Chelsea GM, I’d sell you Sturridge to make up for it.😉

    Like

  • Ben

    Yeah, that was ugly. Reminded me of Holden’s injury, and had it been a few inches lower, it might have been a repeat. It’s sort of amazing that injury isn’t more common with the blades on the cleats.

    Like

  • argh dude

    Glad to see EDU make the move to Stoke. It’ll be tough but he will get his chances to start and make it.

    Lichaj and Guzan will both have chances to start soon. Patience my children

    Like

  • biff

    The point is, Jamie, that Clint told Fulham last spring he wanted to leave and he declined to sign the contract extension. At the point, Jol and Fulham could have acknowledged Clint’s more than five years of loyalty to the club and helped facilitate a transfer for a fair fee, along the lines of announcing that they will let him go, but the price has to be right. Most clubs do this when players want to go, but not Fulham and most certainly not with Clint. Fulham put up roadblocks around Clint to discourage interest and kept bullying him to try to force him to sign the contract extension like they have done with other players in the past. Jol repeatedly has said since last spring that he hopes Clint changes his mind and stays and he is still repeating that mantra today. It’s a sorry situation and it didn’t have to be that way and Clint is not to blame and he is paying a heavy, heavy price. All that said, if Fulham does not let Clint go by August 31 for a nice 5-8 million transfer fee, then Clint will no doubt rejoin the team and fulfill his contractual obligations and leave as a free agent.

    As for Jol telling the truth, why does he keep changing his story. Jol looked pretty nervous today at Old Trafford. I mean more than just match nervousness. Maybe he knows that there are two sides to every story. And that the truth will come out.

    Like

  • chris

    Actually watched a stream of BeIn that I was pointed towards on a msg board. Yeah, not happy to see Serie A once again on a channel that my carrier hasn’t picked up. Not the clearest pic on the stream, but better than just hearing about the results.

    Like

  • southeast ronniet

    how do we know that clint didn’t show up for preseason sir….it was said that Jol kept clint away from the preseason affairs because he asked for the transfer and intimated that “clint’s head is not into it”…we won’t know the real truth behind this saga but assuming is not a good look for you!

    Like

  • The Imperative Voice

    Salcedo from Tijuana (a rumored potential USA pool keeper) is getting from post to post making nice saves to keep Xolos ahead of America 1-0. I’d take this guy ahead of Guzan or Rimando…

    Like

  • The Imperative Voice

    Two sides to every story? They got him to a European final and helped make him the player he is. He has a contract which Fayed has paid for years. They have no official offer and don’t seem to want to sell. They have reported Liverpool to the FA for their tactics. Are they not entitled to their contract and the right to say, “No?”

    Like

  • The Imperative Voice

    Season’s already started, what about fulfilling that? All those of you giddy at the loss don’t acknowledge they’re playing short someone.

    Like

  • The Imperative Voice

    But FFC’s position is no offer and they don’t sound interested in which case he can’t take the season off to be injury-free leaving on a free. All due respect but players get rested because the selling team doesn’t want to kill the sale playing the player and hurting him, not because it’s in the player’s sole best interest. They’re protecting their asset.

    Maybe something will happen in 6 days but if FFC is disinterested in selling then you can’t just pretend you’re trying to stay healthy for a transfer they don’t want to make. It’s a holdout.

    Like

  • Kevin_amold

    Since we’re fixing things here, if you’re referring to the Juventus goal, Clint got Fulham to the final 8 of a European final. He didn’t score, I don’t believe, against either Wolfsburg or Hamburg or Atletico.

    Dempsey was mostly a sub during those later rounds of Europa league. He scored a memorable goal, but Gera, Zamora, Davies, and Etuhu played far bigger roles.

    Like

  • Leo

    By that rationale, if Deuce didn’t score, would they have been in the final?

    Don’t think too hard, I’m getting smoke signals over here.

    Like

  • Kevin_amold

    I suppose. Point is, he didn’t play THAT big a role in the tournament. He scored a memorable goal to push the Whites ahead in a game that was headed for extra time with Juve down to 10.

    I love Dempsey, but his role in that European run was pretty limited.

    Like

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