Premier League Watchability, Week 8: Wake up early for two big derbies

Stu Forster

If you're an American, you should wake up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and Sunday to watch some great derbies. If you're in Europe, wake up at noon, then find an American to laugh at.

This week's Premier League slate isn't a truly elite set of matches, but there are two that enter the 'must-watch' category. None of the other four matches that are widely available on television are garbage. Even if you don't have any online streaming services, multiple monitors or time to watch replays, you should get a chance to watch at least five solid matches this weekend.

Absolutely must-watch

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea: 12:45 p.m. local, 7:45 a.m. ET, Saturday

ESPN2 and Watch ESPN (U.S.), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.), TSN (Canada)

And not just for Andre Villas-Boas facing off against his own team. There are a lot of very interesting tactical battles in this match, and both teams are very likely to have a specific plan they want to execute throughout the match. Tottenham's center of midfield matches up favorably against Chelsea's, but can they (and the Spurs defense) stop the Blues' attacking band of three from running wild? Is the upgrade in athleticism that Gary Cahill provides over John Terry going to make up for the loss in leadership, and then some? Will AVB play on the counter with Jermain Defoe or try to keep the ball and play Emmanuel Adebayor? This one is fascinating.

Sunderland vs. Newcastle United: 1:30 p.m. local, 8:30 a.m. ET, Sunday

FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet World

Newcastle and Sunderland have been a bit disappointing to start the season, but so what? This is always one of the most fiercely contested derbies in world football. It looks like players who just joined the club are compelled to elbow people in the face just because they put one of these two shirts on. And if either team grabs all three points, it could be their springboard into a comfortable top-half place.

Ouch, bad timing

Arsenal vs. Norwich City: 5:30 p.m. local, 12:30 p.m. ET, Saturday

FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes (U.S.), Sportsnet Regional (Canada)

U.K. television is not carrying this, but American and Canadian television is. What a world. Unfortunately, this match overlaps with Juventus-Napoli, Real Madrid-Celta Vigo, Werder Bremen-Borussia Mönchengladbach and Paris Saint-Germain-Stade de Reims. Even if football is the only sport you care about, it's tough to make this match your primary or even secondary viewing. I'll be watching Juve-Napoli, Madrid-Celta Vigo, and American college footbaw. Sorry, Gunners.

It's not like there's anything else on

Manchester United vs. Stoke City: 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET, Saturday

FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes (U.S.), Sportsnet Regional (Canada)

Of the three matches that fall into this category, this is the lamest, but it's not like United are good enough right now that a home match against Stoke isn't interesting. There's no reason to believe that Stoke can't score on a set piece or a good counter through the middle, and there's no reason to believe they can't hold the Red Devils to one goal. United will probably win, but it's no given.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City: 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET, Saturday

FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2 Go (U.S.), Sportsnet World (Canada)

West Brom are playing great football and they're very tough to beat at the Hawthornes. Stoke have a good chance to draw United, but WBA have a better chance to draw City. This is the best match during the midday Saturday slate. Watch it if you plan on watching football during that time.

Queens Park Rangers vs. Everton: 4 p.m. local, 11 a.m. ET, Sunday

FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet World (Canada)

Watch as David Moyes does Rangers fans the biggest favor ever by winning 2-0 at Loftus Road and getting Mark Hughes fired so his soon to be former bosses can ring up Harry Redknapp.

Other matches (FOX Soccer 2 Go in the U.S., Sportsnet World Plus in Canada)

Fulham vs. Aston Villa: 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET, Saturday

A whole lot of mediocrity. These teams are fairly evenly matched and both fairly derptastic, so this could end up as a hilarious error-filled 2-2 draw. If you're a card-carrying member of the Multiple Monitor Club, it's not a terrible option.

Liverpool vs. Reading: 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET, Saturday

Liverpool wins 1-0. Snore. Why would you watch this?

Swansea City vs. Wigan Athletic: 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET, Saturday

Well, at least these teams play pretty football. I guess you could watch this if you hate English football and you're just waiting for the good La Liga matches to start?

West Ham United vs. Southampton: 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET, Saturday

This is a great clash of styles and a potentially brilliant relegation six-pointer on paper. Except when you think about it, Big Sam is Big Samming it up at the moment and isn't going to be in a relegation fight at all. Southampton don't have much of a chance of winning this one on the road. Skip it.

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