Premier League Watchability Index, Week 2: An Odd Opening Fixture And Two Must-Watch Matches

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29: Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger looks on during the pre-season Asian Tour friendly match between Kitchee FC and Arsenal at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2012 in Hong Kong. (Photo by Victor Fraile/Getty Images)

The television slate of games for the second week of Premier League action is an excellent one.

Week two of the Premier League schedule is nice and spread out with quality fixtures, and five of the 10 matches are easily accessible on both American and British television. There are no matches between expected top-four teams this week, but a couple of excellent matches between likely top-seven teams, along with a tough test for Manchester United.

Swansea City vs. West Ham United

If anyone can come up with any discernible reason why this game should be showcased or played early, please let me know. This isn't a local derby and there's no reason to put these two teams in their own timeslot, on premium channels. Both teams produced good results last week and this should be a fairly even match, but there's a good chance that people on the opposite side of the Atlantic saw that this was the early game and decided to go out drinking on Friday.

TV: ESPN2 (U.S.), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.), TSN2 (Canada)

Worth your time?: If you live in Europe? I guess, if you're really jonesing for some football in the middle of the day. If you live in the Americas? Sleep in.

Manchester United vs. Fulham

This isn't usually a marquee match, but United just got outplayed by Everton a week ago, while Fulham beat Queens Park Rangers into a bloody pulp without Clint Dempsey. No one's expecting anything less than a United win at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils are working on one of their trademark slow starts.

TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), Setanta (U.K.), Sportsnet Regional (Canada)

Worth your time?: Yes, for the potential schadenfreude alone, but this isn't a lock to be interesting. It could very easily end up a comfortable and boring 1-0 win for United.

Chelsea vs. Newcastle United

While Chelsea were mailing in the league to win a couple of trophies last year, they got embarrassed by Papiss Cisse. Newcastle is coming off a win over Tottenham Hotspur, while Chelsea is coming off a very lucky, referee-aided midweek win over Reading.

TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), ESPN (U.K.), Sportsnet Regional (Canada)

Worth your time?: Absolutely. This should be a much better match than the round's so-called marquee fixture between two Sky Six teams. There's a very good chance that this will be the most entertaining match of the round, and it wouldn't be shocking to see Newcastle nick a point at Stamford Bridge.

Stoke City vs. Arsenal

Poor Arsene Wenger. What did he do to deserve Martin O'Neill and Tony Pulis on back-to-back weeks? Coming off of a draw against Sunderland, Arsenal have to go to the Britannia Stadium to face a team that represents everything that they dislike. They're fresh off the sale of Alex Song, and the elbows of Stoke's players are cocked at the ready to deliver vicious blows to Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.

TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet World (Canada)

Worth your time?: Full disclosure, I support Tottenham and I strongly dislike Stoke's style of play. I can't be objective here, because I dislike watching Stoke maul people, but like when Arsenal get frustrated because their opponent won't allow them to play their game. I'd love for both teams to lose. You probably have a different opinion about this match. I assume it'll be fun for everyone but me.

Liverpool vs. Manchester City

Liverpool are a much different team at Anfield than they are away at home, but it's hard to believe that they'll be able to hold off City's attack after what we saw last week. They were terrorized by West Bromwich Albion, and they'll be without the suspended Daniel Agger for this game. Things don't look good for the Reds, but surely the attacking trio of Luis Suarez, Fabio Borini and Steven Gerrard can't be worse than they were last week.

TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet World (Canada)

Worth your time?: If you like English football, you're pretty much obligated to watch this if you don't have anything better to do, even if it's not going to be any good. Like the United-Fulham game, the schadenfreude potential is high. Basically, a draw is a disaster. We want to either laugh at one of the biggest teams in world football history for being crap or laugh at the richest team in the world for being crap. A City win is probably on the cards, but who knows?

Other matches (available on FOX Soccer 2 Go in the United States)

Aston Villa vs. Everton
Norwich City vs. Queens Park Rangers
Southampton vs. Wigan Athletic
Sunderland vs. Reading
Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Bromwich Albion

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