Saturday, 18 August 2012

EPL Super Saturday LIVE Commentary:

93 days of waiting: The 2012-13 EPL season will begin today.


Hello and welcome to my LIVE Commentary and Analysis from all the matches today in the EPL.

There will be 6 3oclock matches on show for you all today, with Newcastle vs Tottenham being the evening fixture.

First, before the live coverage starts, I will give you all the latest EPL transfer news and rumours (paper talk)  

Transfer Talk and EPL News:

Chelsea are set to complete the £7.9million signing of Marseille right-back Cesar Azpilicueta early next week.

Almost a done deal: Right-back and Spainish international Cesar Azpilicueta is almost a Chelsea player (right)


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is having talks with winger Theo Walcott over a contract extension.

Stoke City and Everton are both interested in signing Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam for around £5million. He will struggle to get a starting 11 place every week, and both teams want a midfielder who can be a tough tackler at times. 

Olympiakos striker Kevin Mirallas is set to undergo a medical this weekend at Everton, after a fee of around £5.5million has been agreed by the two clubs.

Toulouse defender Cheikh M'Bengue has revealed that Arsenal have shown a lot of interest in signing him.

Tottenham have entered the race with Sunderland and Everton to sign Manchester City winger Adam Johnson.

Johnson has admitted that he needs more first-team action at City, and if he does not get it, then he may leave.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has said that City have made an approach for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez.

Tough competition: Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez is wanted by Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Wigan have said to Chelsea that winger Victor Moses will not leave the club 'on the cheap'. 

Uncertainty: Wigan forward Victor Moses will play against Chelsea tomorrow - his apparent club?

Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg are very interested in signing Manchester United winger Nani, and have admitted that they may make a formal offer in the next few days.

Manchester City are ready to make Roma a £28million offer for midfielder Daniele De Rossi. 


£28million bid: Manchester City are interested in Roma and Italy regular Daniele De Rossi.


Spainish club Valencia have told Swansea that they want £5.5million for winger Pablo Hernandez.


Creative spark: Pablo Hernandez is almost a Swansea player. Valencia want £5.5million for him though.


Here are a quick recap of the fixtures being played today:

Arsenal vs Sunderland

Teams:

Arsenal:
Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Diaby, Arteta, Cazorla, Walcott, Gervinho, Podolski.

Subs: Mannone, Andre Santos, Giroud, Ramsey, Djourou, Coquelin, Arshavin.

Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski both start for The Gunners.

Major news is that Alex Song is out of the squad due to transfer speculation linking him to Barcelona.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Richardson, Larsson, Colback, Cattermole, McClean, Sessegnon, Campbell.
Subs: Westwood, Wickham, Kilgallon, Meyler, Bramble, Saha, Elmohamady.

Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha will not start, on the bench.
Stephane Sessegnon and Fraizer Campbell will be the front two.

QPR vs Swansea City:

Teams: 

QPR: Green, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Da Silva, Taarabt, Park, Diakite, Hoilett, Mackie, Cisse.

Subs: Murphy, Derry, Johnson, Wright-Phillips, Nelsen, Dyer, Zamora.

Manchester United full-back Fabio Da Silva (on-loan), Ji-Sung Park, Junior Holiett and Samba Diakite all start on the debuts for QPR. 

New captain is Ji-Sung Park for QPR, after Joey Barton was stripped of the captaincy after what happened on the last day of the season against Manchester City.

Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Chico, Taylor, de Guzman, Michu, Britton, Dyer, Graham, Routledge.
Subs: Cornell, Tate, Moore, Agustien, Gower, Richards, Tremmel.

Michu starts for Swansea today, can he make an impression for The Swans.

Reading vs Stoke City

Teams:
 
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Gorkss, Harte, Leigertwood, Robson-Kanu, Guthrie, McAnuff, Le Fondre, Pogrebnyak.

Subs: McCarthy, Mariappa, Hunt, McCleary, Tabb, Church, Cummings.

Stoke: Begovic, Huth, Wilkinson, Whelan, Wilson, Shawcross, Kightly, Whitehead, Etherington, Walters, Crouch.
Subs: Sorensen, Jones, Ness, Delap, Shotton, Jerome, Palacios.


West Brom vs Liverpool 

Teams:
 
West Brom:
Foster, Reid, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Odemwingie, Long, Gera.

Subs: Myhill, El Ghanassy, Brunt, Jara Reyes, Lukaku, Dawson, Fortune.

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku starts from the bench today, while Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long lead the attack for West Brom.

Liverpool: Reina, Kelly, Skrtel, Agger, Johnson, Lucas, Allen, Gerrard, Downing, Suarez, Borini.
Subs: Jones, Carroll, Cole, Henderson, Carragher, Adam, Shelvey.

Strong Liverpool side today, with striker Fabio Borini making his debut along with midfielder Joe Allen.

Fulham vs Norwich

Teams:

Fulham:
Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Duff, Diarra, Dembele, Kacaniklic, Ruiz, Petric.

Subs: Stockdale, Kelly, Baird, Sidwell, Kasami, Rodallega, Halliche.

Norwich: Ruddy, Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Turner, Tierney, Pilkington, Howson, Johnson, Surman, Snodgrass, Holt.
Subs: Rudd, Hoolahan, Morison, Elliott Bennett, Vaughan, Barnett, Lappin.

West Ham United vs Aston Villa

Teams:

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid, Collins, McCartney, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Vaz Te, Cole, Taylor.
Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Maynard, Maiga, O'Brien, Diarra, O'Neil.

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Holman, El Ahmadi, Delph, N'Zogbia, Ireland, Bent.
Subs: Guzan, Bannan, Weimann, Lichaj, Herd, Burke, Gardner.


Newcastle United vs Tottenham Hotspur: Team line-ups from 17:00pm



15:00: The 6 matches have all started on the hottest day of the year in England. 

15:05:

Arsenal vs Sunderland:

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has had a long shot from 25 yards out, but it was parried away by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

15:08: GOAL

QPR vs Swansea:

The visitors have scored against QPR! New signing Miguel Michu has broken the deadlock for Swansea on his debut for The Swans.

That's why they signed me: New Swansea signing Miguel Michu celebreats scoring against QPR on his debut.

Poor goalkeeping by Robert Green though, and you will here about it for a few days to come, especially on Match of the Day tonight!

15:15: 

Arsenal vs Sunderland:

Sunderland have had two chances, but Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been equal to them. Arsenal dominating the play though with precise passing.

15:18:

Reading vs Stoke: 

Stoke City midfielder Dean Whitehead has been given the first yellow card of the EPL season. He has to be careful for the rest of the match, because he can get sent off.

Tough tussle: Striker Peter Crouch tries to keep the ball away from a Reading defender.


15:23:

Reading vs Stoke:

Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has gone down on the floor. He looks like he has been knocked down here and some cream is being rubbed into his face.

Interesting as all of the players have gone to take a drink of water. So hot today.


15:25:

Arsenal vs Sunderland:

Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla have been given Sunderland a lot of pressure so far... and Arsenal are pressing for the opening goal.

15:27:

GOAL

Fulham vs Norwich:
 
Midfielder Damien Duff has broken the deadlock at Craven Cottage!
He beats the offside trap before tucking the ball past goalkeeper John Ruddy. Unlucky on Ruddy's part but Fulham deserve the goal, and have played well so far in the match.

80th career goal: Fulham midfielder Damien Duff breaks the deadlock at Craven Cottage against Norwich.


15:29:

Arsenal vs Sunderland:

Midfielder Abou Diaby has had a shot well saved by goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Close and Arsenal are giving Sunderland the shakes.

15:30:

West Brom vs Liverpool:

I have just heard word that striker Luis Suarez has missed a sitter from 3 yards out. Still 0-0. 

15:35:

Reading vs Stoke:

GOAL

Stoke's new midfield signing Michael Kightly opens the scoring for the away side at The Madejski Stadium.

New signing: Stoke City midfielder Michael Kightly breaks the deadlock against Reading in the 35th minute.


Poor goalkeeping again, this time from Adam Federci as the ball trickles underneath him, 1-0 to Stoke and it may be hard for Reading to get back into the match.

15:42:

West Brom vs Liverpool:

Midfielder Zoltan Gera volleys the ball from a long way out past goalkeeper Pepe Reina who did not move whatsoever.

1-0 to West Brom at The Hawthorns, and Liverpool are shocked.

What a clean volley, you have to watch that on MOTD tonight!


West Ham vs Aston Villa:

GOAL

Midfielder Kevin Nolan has scored for West Ham to give them the lead against Aston Villa.   

Controversy: West Ham midfielder Kevin Nolan celebretaes scoring against Aston Villa - but was it a goal?

Fulham 2 Norwich 0
New signing Mladen Petric has scored to double Fulham's lead.

Heads we win: Mladen Petric heads the ball past the defenders to score on his debut for Fulham against Norwich.



Team talk: EPL teams will be going into half-time, with their manager talking to them with 45 minutes left to play.
 
HALF-TIME SCORES:

Fulham 2 Norwich City 0

Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0

West Ham 1 Aston Villa 0

QPR 0 Swansea 1

West Brom 1 Liverpool 0

Reading 0 Stoke City 1 

FACT: Fulham are currently top of the table on goal difference. 

16:04:
The 3oclock matches have all restarted!

FACT: 6 yellow cards already today, and 6 goals also.

16:12:

Fulham vs Norwich:

GOAL

New signing Mladen Petric runs on to the ball, before taken a left-footed strike towards goal.
The ball took a deflection but goalkeeper John Ruddy was nowhere near the ball.

3-0 to Fulham, and surely there is no way back for Norwich today.

16:13:

QPR vs Swansea:

GOAL:

A goal from nothing by Swansea.
Midfielder Wayne Routldege ran into space before crossing the ball from the wing into the box for Miguel Michu who cooly slots the ball into the top corner..

2-0 to Swansea and two goals for new signing Michu.


16:15:

West Brom vs Liverpool:

PENALTY

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has taken down West Brom striker Shane Long inside the box. The referee points to the spot, and now Agger has been given a red card!

Liverpool are making a substitution:

Jamie Carragher ON
Stewart Downing OFF

Shane Long steps up to take the penalty.... MISS!
Poor penalty by Long, and Liverpool are given a lifeline.


16:21:

West Brom vs Liverpool:

Another penalty for West Brom!! Defender Martin Skrtel has fouled Long, and West Brom have another chance to close the match.

Long has moved far away from the penalty spot, with Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie stepping up to take the penalty.

He shoots, GOAL!!!!! West Brom have doubled their lead, and Liverpool are surely out of this match now.


16:24:

QPR vs Swansea: 

Winger Nathan Dyer has scored here for Swansea. Game wrapped up.

Game wrapped up: Winger Nathan Dyer slots the ball past goalkeeper Robert Green to make it 3-0 against QPR.


3-0 to the away side, and QPR are in shock with a loss at home on the cards here. 


16:26: 

GOAL

Fulham vs Norwich:

Alex Kacaniklic gives Fulham their 4th goal at home against Norwich. If there was not any doubt, the game is over now.

16:31: 

GOAL

QPR vs Swansea:

First it was Michu who scored twice, and now Nathan Dyer has scored two for Swansea. 4-0 to The Swans and QPR are remembering last season when they lost 4-0 to Bolton on the first day.

16:37:

West Brom vs Liverpool:

Three points in the bag for West Brom now. On-loan striker Romelu Lukaku scores on his debut, and heads West Brom into a comfortable 3-0 lead against 10-men Liverpool.

Deadly header: Striker Romelu Lukaku heads West Brom into a 3-0 lead against Liverpool at The Hawthorns.
Lukaku wheels away to celebrate his goal on his West Brom debut on-loan from Chelsea.

16:39:

GOAL

QPR vs Swansea:

New signing Michu cuts out a poor pass by QPR before looking up and finding Scott Sinclair on the run, who easily puts the ball at the back of the net.
5-0 to the away side, and Sinclair who wants to leave the club, has just come on and scored.


16:45:

Fulham vs Norwich:

Have you ever heard of damage limitation? Because Norwich are not doing a great job of it at Craven Cottage. 

Fulham have been awarded with a penalty, and midfielder Steve Sidwell has scored. 5-0 to Fulham.

16:49:

Reading vs Stoke City:

Penalty given to Reading with Stoke midfielder Dean Whitehead being given a second yellow card before being shown the red card in the 89th minute.

Adam Le Fondre steps up to take it... GOAL!!!

Lucky goal or what: Adam Le Fondre scores for Reading in the 89th minute to make the score 1-1 against Stoke.


Reading are given a 'get out of jail free card' here against a Stoke side who have been playing well throughout but could not put them to the sword. 

FULL-TIME SCORES: 

Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0

Reading 1 Stoke City 1

West Brom 3 Liverpool 0

Fulham 5 Norwich City 0

West Ham 1 Aston Villa 0

QPR 0 Swansea City 5 

Tottenham vs Newcastle: LIVE at 17:30pm

Team Line-ups: 

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Sandro, Lennon, Sigurdsson, Bale, Defoe. 
Subs: Cudicini, Naughton, Vertonghen, Jenas, Townsend, Van der Vaart and Kane.

New signing Gylfi Sigurdsson starts, alongisde Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe in attack.
New defender Jan Vertonghen is on the bench, along with winger Rafael Van Der Vaart.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, S Taylor, Perch, Santon, Ben Arfa, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Ba, Cisse.
Subs: Harper, R Taylor, Williamson, Anita, Gosling, Obertan, S Ameobi.

Strong Newcastle squad, but they will be missing their captain Fabricio Coloccini after being ruled out with a thigh strain.

New signing Vurnon Anita on the bench for the home side.

17:20: Ten minutes left until kick-off here. 

FACT: There have been 16 goals so far today, in 6 matches.

17:23: BREAKING NEWS:

Arsenal have confirmed that they have agreed terms with Spainish club Barcelona over the transfer of defensive midfielder Alex Song.  

This is disappointing news for Arsenal fans, including me.

First Robin Van Persie, now Song. Arsenal have lost two of their best players at the club, and they wonder why they have not won anything for 7 years.

They will struggle without these two, and will struggle to fight for a top 4 place.

After their performance today, struggling to beat SUNDERLAND!

Expect a Arsenal fuelled rant from me again in the next few weeks.

17:35:
I am off. 
I will speak to you all tomorrow in the EPL Super Sunday LIVE Commentary, where Wigan face Chelsea and Manchester City host Southampton. 

I will recap the Newcastle vs Tottenham match tomorrow also.
Thank you for following me and reading my EPL Blog.