Survival Sunday is upon us and nine games are live across the FOX family of networks. Every game begins with our pregame show at 9:30 a.m. ET in an unprecedented live showcase of the biggest day in English soccer. One game — Tim Howard’s Everton against rising Newcastle — will be made available for free right here on this website. Stay with FOXSoccer.com all day long as we bring you the latest developments in real time on our Survival Sunday homepage, and remember, real-time updates are available on @FOXSoccerTrax all morning long.
Norwich City vs. Aston Villa, Live on FOXSoccer2Go
Aston Villa are mathematically in danger of going down — but are actually effectively safe following their draw against Spurs. (There would need to be a goal difference swing that would invite betting inquiries the world round.) Norwich are already secure and complete their first season back up on a high note — expect this one to be a gritty slog. Also, expect Aston Villa’s faithful fan base to explode in fury at hated manager Alex McLeish. Boy, do they loathe him.
Wigan vs. Wolverhampton, Live on FOXSoccer2Go
Wigan are staying up thanks to their win at Blackburn on Monday. Wolves are down. This game acts as a victory lap for Roberto Martinez’ boys, and a wake for the Molineux bunch who simply stunk this season.
Everton vs. Newcastle, Live on FOXSoccer.com
Newcastle have all to play for here: a win and some help will ensure them of European play next season, though which competition they would play in is up in the air. Tim Howard’s Everton also wants to win this one; that would guarantee they finish above their arch-rivals across the city of Liverpool (guess who…) and finish off a solid season for the underfunded Toffees. Newcastle have the edge and a lot of class in Haten ben Arfa, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse… Everton have, well, Timmy.
Chelsea vs. Blackburn, Live on Speed
Rovers were relegated after losing Monday against Wigan in the Lancashire rain, and the only thing to see here is how many Chelsea starters are rested for the big match in a week’s time. The Blues cannot obtain a top-four position, so expect the backups to start again, meaning run outs for Oriol Romeu and Daniel Sturridge, and maybe another game for keeper Ross Turnbull in the net. Hopefully they will show better than at Liverpool midweek, and maybe the Blackburn chicken will show up again, too!
Swansea City vs. Liverpool, Live on FUEL
Liverpool are playing for some serious pride. They have never finished outside of the top eight in the modern era and not once since the mid-50s. Swansea have had a super season and will remain the only Welsh representative in the Prem after the collapse of Cardiff in the Championship playoffs. Arguably the team of the season, Swans has charmed many with their stylish play. Liverpool, by the way, have already ensured themselves of Thursday night football next season by winning the League Cup.
Stoke City vs. Bolton, Live on FOX Soccer Plus
A must-win game for Bolton who need to take all three points, and get some help, in order to stay in the top-flight next season. Don’t bet on it. Stoke is a notoriously difficult place to play and Bolton are missing a scorer, a midfield general, and most of all: confidence. If they fall here, they are relegated, no matter what happens elsewhere.
Tottenham vs. Fulham, Live on FOX Soccer
A critical game for Spurs: they must win, and hope that Chelsea stumble in Munich to guarantee a place in the Champions league next season. A loss means that Newcastle has the chance to pass them in the table, and Tottenham cannot afford that. They face red-hot American Clint Dempsey (23 goals this year, 17 in the BPL) and a Fulham side aching to play spoiler against a London rival. Spurs are hot themselves, so look for them to get the job done.
West Brom vs. Arsenal, Live on FOX Sports Net
This is a must-win for Arsenal, who need to take all three points to ensure they stay in third place, guaranteeing Champions league football next season. Don’t bet on them getting the job done: without Mikel Arteta and Bacary Sagna (both injured) and a ragged defense, the Gunners look like a team that is badly out of sorts. They face a West Brom side that is eager to give departing manager Roy Hodgson, England’s new boss, a big send-off. WBA is tough to play at any time, and the Gunners must take three points or their season is truly a bust.
Sunderland vs. Manchester United, Live on FX
A must-watch game, United can still collect the title should City stumble at home. But Martin O’Neill’s men will not be pushovers – the manager reacted angrily to suggestions his boys would lie down for United. While there isn’t much for the Black Cats to play for, save pride, they will give the Red Devils a game. Keys here for United are to collect three points and hope their rivals slip up at the Etihad. Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick need to have big games to lift what might be an otherwise demoralized team.
Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers
The big one from Etihad Stadium. City looks to close out the Loftus Road gang and collect their first piece of silverware in 44 years. If they can hold their ex-manager Mark Hughes and his boys at bay and take all three points, they will become just the fifth team in the Premier League era to raise the crown. The others? United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Blackburn (believe it or not). This is the ultimate test, and what Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and David Silva have played all year for. The X-Factor? Carlos Tevez, who has returned late after a strike and looks to be the man who can deliver the winning goal. Don’t count out QPR just yet, but this is a tough task for a very callow London side.