Premier League preview - Week 38
Published: 12.05.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Chelsea v Blackburn
Key Battle: Little to play for in this game now, so it will be a chance for youngsters to shine. Blackburn’s Steven N’Zonzi will want to show his talents though and will fight for attention in midfield against Chelsea counterpart Oreul Romeu.
Player to Watch: Daniel Sturridge will be one of the understudies looking to win a place in the Champions League final line up next week
Talking Point: With little to play for, it is a chance for Blackburn to bow out of the Premier League with some pride salvaged. Or maybe not…
Everton v Newcastle
Key Battle: Two of the division’s in form forwards, Nikica Jelavic and Papiss Cisse, meet in an intriguing last day of the season clash
Player to Watch: Steven Pienaar has been terrific since his return to Everton and will be a difficult opponent for Newcastle here
Talking Point: Newcastle are battling for fourth but Everton still have hopes of securing a finish above Liverpool in the league.
Manchester City v QPR
Key Battle: Yaya Toure will be looking to continue his fine form but will come up against an old foe with a point to prove in Joey Barton
Player to Watch: Carlos Tevez has the stage set to score the winning goal that helps City lift the title.
Talking Point: QPR may only need a point this weekend and Mark Hughes will send his team out to defend, one would imagine. Will there be another final twist in this most fascinating of seasons?
Norwich v Aston Villa
Key Battle: Norwich will hope to impress here as they finish their season at home and Grant Holt will give James Collins a tough time.
Player to Watch: John Ruddy has more to prove than most, with a place in the England squad at stake.
Talking Point: Villa are finishing a miserable season and it is sure to be Alex McLeish’s last game in charge – expect another limp showing
Stoke v Bolton
Key Battle: Kevin Davies is the ideal man to stifle the defensive abilities of Stoke’s physical defenders and Ryan Shawcross in particular
Player to Watch: Ryo Myaichi is a star of the future and can leave Bolton a hero if he can save their Premiership status
Talking Point: Stoke have little to play for, and this seems a tricky, though winnable game for Owen Coyle’s side.
Sunderland v Man Utd
Key Battle: United will need to ensure the energy and physical play of Lee Cattermole does not stifle the creative talents of Paul Scholes
Player to Watch: Antonio Valencia will be key as United look to make and take chances here – he is their most prolific maker of chances
Talking Point: United need an extraordinary win or a favour from Mark Hughes, but will they live up to their side of the bargain?
Swansea v Liverpool
Key Battle: Jonjo Shelvey was impressive against Chelsea and will hope to show what he can do against the talented Swansea midfield, including Mark Allen
Player to Watch: Luis Suarez has been impressive of late for Liverpool and will hope to end a traumatic personal season on a high
Talking Point: Neither team has much to play for, though Liverpool want to finish above Everton still.
Tottenham v Fulham
Key Battle: Luka Modric will look to dictate play up against a tough Fulham midfield, and their own playmaker Danny Murphy
Player to Watch: Clint Dempsey is precisely the type of player who would innocently put an end to a team’s Champions League hopes
Talking Point: A must win game for Spurs, as they need to win and hope Arsenal slip up to finish third
West Brom v Arsenal
Key Battle: Yussuf Mulumbu will be key for West Brom as they hope to compete against the Arsenal midfield, for whom Tomas Rosicky will hope to dictate play
Player to Watch: Robin van Persie. With Mikel Arteta injured and Theo Walcott coming back, van Persie will need to pull out one more big performance
Talking Point: Tottenham are bearing down on Arsenal, who have not won a match Arteta has not played in this season. A huge game awaits.
Wigan v Wolves
Key Battle: Wigan’s Victor Moses has been impressive of late and will hope to finish on a high but will have to get the better of Jamie O’Hara
Player to Watch: Matt Jarvis has been Wolves’ best player and will hope to earn himself a move back to the Premier League for next season
Talking point: Wigan are now safe, so will they ease off with no pressure on for once?