Saturday, 12 January 2013

EPL Super Saturday LIVE Coverage:

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post, where I cover the 8 EPL matches being played today including Stoke City vs Chelsea and Everton vs Swansea.

Tomorrow, there will be a Super Sunday with two very interesting matches to be played; Liverpool vs Manchester United and Arsenal vs Manchester City.

But let me start today with the 12.45 kick-off match;

The early afternoon match:

QPR 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0 FT

The reunion ends in a 0-0 draw at Loftus Road, as manager Harry Redknapp draws with the side that sacked him at the end of last season at home today.

QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar had to made some good saves to deny the Tottenham attack from scoring, and the QPR defence held strong to win a point at home against Spurs. 

Denied: QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar played well to deny Tottenham from scoring today.
Return: Cesar has returned from injury, and kept a clean sheet in his first match back. 

Tottenham have failed to move 2 points clear of Chelsea with a win today, who beat Stoke 4-0 at The Britannia today and AVB could go into the transfer market and sign some players to bolster his top 4 hopes. 

Ineffective: Adebayor failed to get on the scoresheet today, amid reports he is leaving to play for Togo in the African Cup of Nations.
So to should Harry Redknapp, if he wants QPR to stay in the EPL next season. 

QPR manager Harry Redknapp shakes his successor Andre Villas Boas' hand before the match after he was sacked by Tottenham
Team Line-ups for the 3pm matches:

Sunderland vs West Ham:

Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Colback, Johnson, Vaughan, Larsson, McClean, Fletcher, Sessegnon.
Subs: Westwood, Bardsley, N'Diaye, Campbell, Wickham, McFadden, Kilgallon.

Strong side for the hosts with McClean, Fletcher and Sessegnon all starting. 
New £3million midfield signing Alfred N'Diaye starts from the bench. 

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Collins, Reid, Potts, Collison, Diarra, Joe Cole, Nolan, Jarvis, Carlton Cole. 
Subs: Spiegel, Tomkins, Vaz Te, Taylor, Diame, Chamakh, O'Neil. 

A strong first-team for The Hammers also, with wingers Joe Cole and Matthew Jarvis both starting. 

Stoke City vs Chelsea:

Stoke: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson, Walters, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Etherington, Adam, Jones. 
Subs: Sorensen, Whitehead, Upson, Kightly, Crouch, Shotton, Jerome. 

Crouch, Shotton and Jerome all on the bench for the hosts. Surprise?

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cole, Hazard, Lampard, Ramires, Bertrand, Mata, Ba. 
Subs: Turnbull, Torres, Oscar, Terry, Ake, Marin, Ferreira. 

Ba starts his first league match as a Chelsea player, while Mata and Hazard play behind him in a 4-2-1-2-1 formation. Interesting... 

Reading vs West Bromwich Albion:

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Mariappa, Pearce, Harte, Kebe, Karacan, Daniel Carrico, Guthrie, McAnuff, Pogrebnyak. 
Subs: Taylor, Le Fondre, Hunt, McCleary, Morrison, Cummings, Akpan.

Pogrebnyak leads the line for Reading in attack as the hosts look for their 3rd home win of the season. 

West Brom: Foster, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Jones, Thorne, Brunt, Dorrans, Morrison, Thomas, Lukaku.
Subs: Myhill, Popov, Rosenberg, El Ghanassy, Dawson, Tamas, Nabi. 

The in-form loanee striker Romelu Lukaku starts again today for West Brom. Can he score again today?

Aston Villa vs Southampton:

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Stevens, Holman, Westwood, Delph, N'Zogbia, Benteke, Weimann.
Subs: Marshall, Vlaar, Ireland, Agbonlahor, Bowery, Bannan, Lichaj. 

Brad Guzan returns to the first-team after being rested for Tuesday's Capital One Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match.
Should not have happened really.. 

Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld, Shaw, Cork, Schneiderlin, Rodriguez, Puncheon, Ramirez, Lambert.

Subs: Kelvin Davis, Steven Davis, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Lee, Seaborne, De Ridder. 

Everton vs Swansea:

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Neville, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic, Anichebe.
Subs: Mucha, Oviedo, Naismith, Hitzlsperger, Vellios, Kennedy, Duffy. 

Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Agustien, Ki, Rangel, Dyer, Hernandez, Michu.
Subs: Tremmel, Bartley, Britton, Graham, Routledge, Monk, de Guzman. 

Fulham vs Wigan Athletic:

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Richardson, Duff, Karagounis, Ruiz, Kacaniklic, Berbatov, Petric.
Subs: Stockdale, Riise, Senderos, Baird, Kasami, Roadllega, Dejagah.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Figueroa, Caldwell, Ramis, Beausejour, McArthur, Jones, Boyce, McCarthy, Maloney, Di Santo.
Subs: Politt, Henriquez, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam, Golobart. 

Norwich City vs Newcastle United:

Norwich: Bunn, Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Pilkington, Johnson, Tettey, Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Jackson.
SubsL Rudd, Holt, Fox, Elliot Bennett, Barnett, Ryan Bennett, Kane.

Grant Holt and loanee striker Harry Kane among the substitutes for the home side at Carrow Road. 
If their crowd get behind them like they did in the 4-3 loss to Manchester City a few weeks ago, then they could pull off a surprise victory today against Newcastle. 

Newcastle: Krul, Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Anita, Perch, Obertan, Marveaux, Gutierrez, Cisse.
Subs: Harper, Cabaye, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Ranger, Tavernier. 

New £5.5million signing Mathieu Debuchy starts his first match in the EPL after arriving last week. 

Cabaye and Bigirimana are among the substitutes on the bench as Pardew looks to win all 3 points away from home against a tough Norwich side. 

15:00: The 7 3pm kick-off's have all begun.

The Stadium Of Light,
Sunderland vs West Ham:

And the first goal of the 3pm kick-off's goes to the hosts!
Winger Sebastien Larsson broke the deadlock in the 13th minute with his 2nd goal this season after unleashing a 25-yard strike from a West Ham clearance. 

On the half-volley: Larsson scores a great strike to put Sunderland ahead against West Ham.

Sunderland winger Sebastien Larsson celebrates his 25-yard strike to put the hosts ahead.   

1-0 to Sunderland.  

12th - Norwich with 26 points 
13th - Fulham with 25 points
14th - Sunderland with 25 points

The Madejski Stadium,
Reading vs West Brom:

What did I say? Lukaku has put away his 8th goal of the season despite there being a hint of offside.
James Morrison's shot was put away nicely by the Belgium youngster.

8 for the season: Lukaku slots the ball home to give West Brom the lead away from home.
Who's Chelsea? Lukaku celebrates his 8th goal of the season with team-mate James Morrison. 

FACT: Lukaku has now scored in 6 of his last 8 EPL starts for West Brom. 

Craven Cottage,
Fulham vs Wigan:

Greek midfielder Giorgios Karagounis breaks the deadlock for the home side in the 25th minute after a powerful strike hit the woodwork and bounced into the net. 

Piledriver: Fulham midfielder Giorgios Karagounis scores a power shot to make it 1-0.
On-form: Karagounis celebrates his 2nd goal in 2 matches after a goal in the FA Cup last week. 
1-0 to The Cottagers. 

12th - Fulham with 27 points
13th - Norwich with 26 points
14th - Sunderland with 25 points

Villa Park,
Aston Villa vs Southampton:

The hosts are in trouble again! This time, Southampton have been awarded a penalty after striker Jay Rodriguez goes down inside the box.
Controversial decision, as replays show that there is hardly any contact on the player.

Lambert steps up to take the penalty.... GOAL! The hosts are behind! 

Ahead: Southampton striker Rickie Lambert scores from the penalty spot to make it 1-0. 
Clinical: Lambert has scored 9 goals this season, in his 1st season in the EPL. 

After losing 3-1 against Bradford on Tuesday, Villa trail by 1 goal to nil against Southampton. They have their work cut out for them now if they want to bounce back and get a result.

Goodison Park,
Everton vs Swansea:

Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque is in attendance today as you may know, and he almost witnessed a goal by one of the players he is here to see... Michu! 
Winger Nathan Dyer played in the Spainard, and his chip dipped over goalkeeper Tim Howard but hit the crossbar! Unlucky!

15:47 - The half-time whistles are starting to blow, with Goodison Park and Carrow Road both ending 0-0 in the first-half. 

The Britannia Stadium,
Stoke vs Chelsea:

GOAL! Stoke are behind at home! Striker Jonathan Walters scored a goal - at the wrong end.

Full-back Cesar Azpilicueta will take the plaudits for the goal, after his inviting cross whipped into the box hit the striker before beating Begovic into the net.

Wrong end: Jonathan Walters scored an own goal to give Chelsea the lead before half-time. 



Aston Villa 1 Southampton 0
Stoke City 0 Chelsea 1
Everton 0 Swansea 0
Norwich 0 Newcastle 0
Sunderland 1 West Ham 0
Fulham 1 Wigan 0
Reading 0 West Brom 1

16:03: The second halves are all starting.

The Stadium of Light,
Sunderland vs West Ham:

GOAL! Sunderland have doubled the lead within 5 minutes of the second half!

West Ham fail to clear the ball away to safety, and winger Adam Johnson scores to make it 2-0 in the 47th minute past goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen who does well to save the first shot, but the second shot flies past him.

Doubled the lead: Sunderland winger Adam Johnson celebrates his goal to make it 2-0.

The Britannia Stadium,
Stoke vs Chelsea:

Disappointing for the hosts.... Jonathan Walters scores again. And it is another own goal, which gifts Chelsea a 2-0 lead with 27 minutes to play. Surely they will not lose the lead from here?

FACT: If it stays like this, Stoke will lose their unbeaten home run throughout this season so far.

FACT: Jonathan Walters has been the 4th player to score 2 own goals in 1 match.

The Britannia Stadium,
Stoke vs Chelsea:

Damage limitation now for the hosts. 
This could get ugly.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard scores his 7th goal of the season from the penalty spot to put the away side 3 goals to the good. 

Straight from the spot: Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard gives The Blues a 3-0 lead.
Glory: Lampard is reportedly "not wanted" at Chelsea anymore, and he may be leaving soon.

The Madejski Stadium,
Reading vs West Brom:

Loanee striker Romelu Lukaku scores his 2nd goal of the day after hitting the post and scoring the rebound from 25 yards out to give the away side a 2-0 lead.

Unstoppable: Lukaku celebrates his 2nd goal of the day with team-mate George Thorne.

AS IT STANDS - West Brom leapfrog Arsenal into 6th place


The Britannia Stadium,
Stoke vs Chelsea:

Winger Eden Hazard has just made it ugly for the home supporters with a 30-yard bullet past Begovic.

Spectacular: Chelsea forward Eden Hazard scored from 30 yards out to make it 4-0.

4-0 to The Blues. 

Chelsea sub: Torres ON, Ba OFF



Fulham 1 Wigan 1

Striker Franco Di Santo used his pace and skill to get past the Fulham defenders before equalising for Wigan with a curled finish after cutting inside the wing which beat Schwarzer. 1-1 now.
Trickery: Wigan forward Franco Di Santo equalised for the away side to make it 1-1.
4th of the season: Di Santo goes over to celebrate with his team-mates on the touchline.
AS IT STANDS - Wigan move out of the relegation zone, and Aston Villa fall into 18th. 

Sunderland 3 West Ham United 0

Goal for midfielder James McClean, as he takes advantage of a poor shot by team-mate Sessegnon to guide the ball into the net. Comfortable victory for the hosts now.

Taking advantage: Sunderland midfielder James McClean wheels away to celebrate his goal. 

Goals are suddenly flying in now! 

The Britannia Stadium,
Stoke vs Chelsea:

Not another goal for Chelsea. A subsitution for Chelsea.
Juan Mata is replaced by defender John Terry who returns from injury to play the last 10 minutes of the match as they are winning 4-0 and cruising. 

Return: John Terry replaced Mata for the last 10 minutes of the match after returning from an injury.  

The Madejski Stadium,
Reading vs West Brom:

The hosts are suddenly back into the match! Jimmy Kebe makes it 2-1, and now The Royals are looking for a late equaliser with eight minutes to play. 

Back in it: Jimmy Kebe's header past Ben Foster gives Reading hope of an equaliser.

The Madejski Stadium,
Reading vs West Brom:

PENALTY for Reading! 
Jimmy Kebe is floored inside the box, and The Royals have a golden chance to salvage a draw at home from the penalty spot..

GOAL! Striker Adam Le Fondre cooly stepped up and slotted the ball past Ben Foster into the net. 2-2, and Reading have equalised after being 2-0 down thanks to a Lukaku double.

Keep calm and score: Adam Le Fondre equalises for Reading from the penalty spot. 
Comeback: Le Fondre points at the home crowd as he celebrates scoring the equaliser. 

The Madejski Stadium,
Reading vs West Brom:

Reading complete the comeback of comebacks! Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak scores the winner in the 90th minute, and they have come back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with less than 10 minutes to play. 

The Britannia Stadium,
Stoke vs Chelsea:

Contrast of fortunes. Stoke striker Jonathan Walters has had a bad day at the office, and it has just got worse.

He has just hit the crossbar with a penalty - his only chance to score at the RIGHT end.

Still 4-0 to Chelsea. 



Stoke 0 Chelsea 4

Two own goals from Jonathan Walters helped The Blues, as they become the first side to beat Stoke away from home this season. 
Eden Hazard scored a bullet shot from 30 yards out, while Lampard scored his 7th goal in the EPL this season from the penalty spot. 

Reading 3 West Brom 2

One of the best comebacks this season at The Madejski. 
Loanee striker Romelu Lukaku scored a brace for the visitors, and they were all set to move past Arsenal into 6th place, but with 8 minutes to go Reading created some magic and applied a "never say die attitude". 

Jimmy Kebe and Adam Le Fondre both scored within 6 minutes of each other, and it was 2-2. 

Pavel Pogrebnyak however scored his 5th goal of the season to win the hosts the match and complete the ultimate comeback.  

Aston Villa 0 Southampton 1

Striker Rickie Lambert scored the only goal of the game for the away side from the penalty spot, as Villa's poor run of form continued. 

There was some controversy following the penalty being given as replays showed that there was hardly any contact on Rodriguez (the player who went down) but Southampton made the most of their opportunity and Lambert finished his 9th of the season.

Everton 0 Swansea City 0

The story of Everton's season so far. A good side who play good football. Just somehow cannot stop drawing.
Another draw today makes that 10 for the season, while Michu and Chico perform well for Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque who was in the crowd watching them today. 

Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque looks on as he watches Michu and Chico Flores in action. 

Norwich City 0 Newcastle United 0

Another 0-0 draw today, saw Norwich draw with Newcastle. Both good sides who have played well this season but lack goals. And that is what this match lacked today. 

Newcastle need to replace Demba Ba, and quickly or else they will find themselves in a relegation battle.

Norwich stay in 12th place, while Newcastle drop 1 place into 16th. Slowly but surely... 

Sunderland 3 West Ham United 0 

This match was played at The Stadium Of Light, as Sunderland hosted a West Ham side who are un-predictable at the best of times. 

Midfielders Sebastien Larsson, Adam Johnson and James McClean all got the goals for Martin O'Neil's side as they move further away from the relegation battle but stay in 14th place.  

West Ham fail to move into 10th place, but despite their loss, they look comfortable and should stay in the EPL next season (remember, 40 points is the magic number). 

Fulham 1 Wigan Athletic 1

A point a-piece at Craven Cottage, as Wigan move out of the relegation zone into 17th place thanks to a skillful masterclass by striker Franco Di Santo who took 1 shot, and scored 1 goal.

The hosts stay in 13th place, but manager Martin Jol will be disappointed that they failed to hold on to their lead, and even score more goals.

LATEST Transfer Rumours - Part 4:

QPR are ready to make a £4million move for West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie, and are lining up a £7.5million move for Rennes defensive midfielder Yann M'Villa.

West Ham have told striker Carlton Cole that he can leave the club.

Sunderland are closing in on a move for £3.5million French midfielder Moussa Sissoko.

Sunderland bound? French midfielder Moussa Sissoko is on the verge of playing in England. 

Southampton and West Ham have both made enquiries to take Manchester City's young striker John Guidetti on loan for the rest of the season.

In demand: Manchester City striker John Guidetti is wanted by Southampton and West Ham. 

Swansea are ready to hijack Liverpool's move for Blackpool forward Tom Ince, by making a £7million bid for the youngster.

He is in fine form, having scored 12 goals in the Championship this season having left The Reds in 2011 after a lack of first-team action. 

Liverpool had a £5million bid rejected a few weeks ago, and they have not counter offered yet. 

Startlet: Blackpool forward Tom Ince is wanted by both Swansea and former club Liverpool.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that he "expects" forward Theo Walcott to sign his £90,000-a-week new contract at The Gunners in the next week.

Expectant: Wenger expects Theo Walcott to sign a new 90k-a-week contract deal before the end of January

Everton are interested in signing 6ft 5in South Korea striker Kim-Shin Wook.

Chelsea will reportedly make a £22million offer for Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric who is unsettled at Real after recent polls showed that he was the season's worst signing along with Barcelona's defensive midfielder Alex Song (from Arsenal)

Comeback? Modric (in white) has been voted "worst signing of the season" and is reportedly unsettled.

Tomorrow's EPL double bill action:

Liverpool vs Manchester United:

Arsenal vs Manchester City: 

Speak to you tomorrow for an interesting conclusion to the weekend's football action. Thank you for reading, and I will talk to you later! Have a nice night, and remember to watch Match of The Day if you can. 

Don't forget to vote! :D

Here is the EPL table: