Premier League preview - Week 3
Published: 01.09.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
West Ham v Fulham
Key Battle: West Ham are looking to bounce back from defeat last week and Ricardo Vaz Te’s trickery will be a handful for Aaron Hughes
Player to Watch: Mladen Petric has settled into English football quickly and will hope to grab another goal on Saturday.
Talking Point: A clash of styles again for West Ham as they look to bounce back from the Swansea humbling.
Swansea v Sunderland
Key Battle: Michu will hope to continue his scoring ways but the aggression of Lee Cattermole will restrict him.
Player to Watch: Nathan Dyer has looked superb already this season and will cause the Sunderland defence nightmares.
Talking Point: Sunderland can be expected to defend doggedly and sit back against a superior footballing team. It will be tough for Swansea to break them down.
Wigan v Stoke
Key Battle: Franco di Santo was in good shape last weekend, grabbing a goal, and will be up against Ryan Shawcross, whose aggression will be tough for him to handle.
Player to Watch: Shaun Maloney has been an unsung hero for Wigan for quite some time now and expect him to be a key man again as Wigan play with confidence and verve.
Talking Point: Two teams who have established themselves in the Premier League using different techniques. Expect Wigan to make most of the running, but who wins is another question.
Tottenham v Norwich
Key Battle: Grant Holt will be a test for Jan Vertonghen at the back for Tottenham, who want to get their first win of the season.
Player to Watch: Gareth Bale is Spurs’ best player and they will look to him for inspiration here.
Talking Point: Chris Hughton returns to Tottenham hoping to spring a shock, as Norwich did last time they came to North London.
West Brom v Everton
Key Battle: Peter Odemwingie will be looking to cause problems for the Everton defence and Phil Jagielka, who should have a busy afternoon.
Player to Watch: Steven Pienaar was superb against Aston Villa and scored a goal of real beauty. West Brom have a battle on to contain him.
Talking Point: Two teams who have had magnificent starts to the campaign go head to head.
Man City v QPR
Key Battle: Carlos Tevez will cause no end of problems to whomever is at the back for QPR, if it is Michael Dawson, Ricardo Carvalho or Ryan Nelsen.
Player to Watch: Yaya Toure will be a force QPR have some difficulty handling in this clash.
Talking Point: Last time these sides met in one of the most memorable games in Premier League history. Can history repeat itself? No.
Liverpool v Arsenal
Key Battle: Joe Allen and Santi Cazorla will face off in central midfield in the battle of playmakers on Sunday afternoon.
Player to Watch: Luis Suarez is capable of conjuring a moment of magic from nothing. He has the ability to cause havoc here.
Talking Point: Both sides will be disappointed by their results but encouraged by performances. Both will also play the same style, and Arsenal have been doing that for longer.
Chelsea v Newcastle
Key Battle: Garath MacCleary gave Ashley Cole a difficult night on Wednesday and Hatem ben Arfa’s abilities mean he could reap havoc in the Chelsea defence here.
Player to Watch: Eden Hazard has started life in England superbly, showing the same close control and maturity in possession that took Lille to the 2010 French title.
Talking Point: Chelsea’s new lighter but more skilful attack could find it difficult against a well organised but technically adept Newcastle
Southampton v Man Utd
Key Battle: Rickie Lambert can cause problems for Michael Carrick if Manchester United’s defensive problems have not been solved.
Player to Watch: Robin van Persie scored on his full debut last weekend and will enjoy himself against Premier League newcomers.
Talking Point: Southampton have a great home record against United but have shown themselves to be defensively naive at times already this season. Against United that will be costly
Newcastle v Aston Villa
Key Battle: Papiss Cisse can really bully Richard Dunne here if Newcastle can get on top in the midfield battle.
Player to Watch: Hatem ben Arfa’s brilliant skills and ability to run the play will be a nightmare for Villa to deal with
Talking point: Newcastle are the stronger of these two teams but Villa will be desperate not to lose a third match in a row.