Ontheminute.com: Premier League preview - Week 24
Premier League preview - Week 24
Published: 03.02.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Arsenal v Blackburn
Key Battle: Arsenal are not in good form and Robin van Persie must get the better of Chris Samba to restore their fortunes
Player to Watch: Theo Walcott has been disappointing of late and will be needed to find his form and help van Persie score goals
Talking Point: Can Arsenal finally win their first league match of 2012?
Norwich v Bolton
Key Battle: Grant Holt will be up against Zat Knight and their duel could be key to which way this particular contest goes
Player to Watch: Steve Morison has been in fine form for much of the season and Norwich will hope he can continue in that vain.
Talking Point: Bolton are improving but Norwich are a tough team to play against
QPR v Wolves
Key Battle: The Emmanuel Frimpong v Joey Barton tussle could be fascinating as Frimpong’s club Arsenal have been victims of Barton’s over the top nature regularly in recent times
Player to Watch: Djibril Cisse was superb on his debut against Aston Villa and may continue in that way here
Talking Point: Wolves are in awful form and QPR look on the up
Stoke v Sunderland
Key Battle: Ryan Shawcross is the heart of Stoke’s aggressive defence and he will be charged with keeping out Nicklas Bendtner.
Player to Watch: Sebastien Sessegnon has been arguably Sunderland’s best player this season – how will he perform at Stoke?
Talking Point: Not the kind of game anyone will want to watch. A direct team who play long balls to wingers against a direct team who play long balls straight to their forwards.
West Brom v Swansea
Key Battle: Peter Odemwingie will look to get the goals for West Brom and Ashley Williams will have to keep him out
Player to Watch: Leon Britton, statistically one of Europe’s best passers of the ball, could dictate play for the visitors.
Talking Point: Swansea have a poor away record but WBA have an even worse home one – away win?
Wigan v Everton
Key Battle: Mohamed Diame is back from African Nations Cup duty and will be up against Marouane Fellaini in midfield
Player to Watch: Landon Donovan has been useful and setting up goals since his return to Merseyside
Talking Point: Donovan, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar’s return mean Everton have some of their creativity back, but Wigan are tough to beat
Man City v Fulham
Key Battle: Yaya Toure is still away so Gareth Barry will be tasked with keeping the ball up against Steven Sidwell.
Player to Watch: Clint Dempsey is the man in form but Bryan Ruiz’s creativity has been key to Fulham’s recent performances
Talking Point: Man City have not been good of late and will hope to get back on form against Fulham, but Martin Jol’s side are underrated.
Newcastle v Aston Villa
Key Battle: Fabricio Collocini will be tasked with keeping out Darren Bent for Aston Villa.
Player to Watch: Papiss Cisse could make his debut for Newcastle and his form could be key for them in their European charge
Talking Point: Newcastle are enjoying a fine season – can Villa disrupt their form?
Chelsea v Man Utd
Key Battle: Antonio Valencia has been superb of late and he will be up against a make shift left back in Ashley Cole’s absence – possibly David Luiz, Ryan Bertrand or Jose Bosingwa
Player to Watch: Juan Mata is Chelsea’s creative force and his ability to make chances will be pivotal
Talking Point: United are in decent form whilst Chelsea have been poor recently – away win?
Liverpool v Tottenham
Key Battle: Gareth Bale rampages down the left and he could expose Glen Johnson on that flank for Liverpool
Player to Watch: Craig Bellamy has been superb of late for Liverpool – can he keep up his good form?
Talking Point: Luis Suarez returns for Liverpool after an eight game ban – will he return with a bang?
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