Premier League preview - Week 4
Published: 14.09.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Norwich v West Ham
Key Battle: Grant Holt could be a handful for the West Ham defence, and James Collins will be tested in his ability to constrain the powerful forward.
Player to Watch: Matt Jarvis has recently joined the London side, and his delivery from out wide could be a significant threat.
Talking Point: Two teams likely to struggle at the wrong end of the table, which will come out on top in a key early season battle?
Arsenal v Southampton
Key Battle: Morgan Schneiderlin will be given a tough test of his defensive abilities up against Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla, superb so far this season.
Player to Watch: Olivier Giroud will be keen to get off the mark in an Arsenal shirt and show that he can be a goal threat this season.
Talking Point: Arsenal have yet to concede – Southampton can’t stop conceding, but have put up good performances against both Manchester teams already.
Aston Villa v Swansea
Key Battle: Barry Bannan, the young Villa midfielder, will have a tough test on his hands to keep quiet Swansea’s Michu
Player to Watch: Nathan Dyer has been superb this season as he was last for the Swans, and could cause all sorts of problems for Villa.
Talking Point: This was a game Swansea performed brilliantly in last season, but Paul Lambert’s tougher, more resilient Villa could be a harder test this time.
Fulham v West Brom
Key Battle: It has been a remarkable start to the season for West Brom, but Liam Ridgwell will have his work cut out to keep Mladen Petric quiet.
Player to Watch: Fulham lost their two most creative players in Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele last month, and so the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov could be a significant boost.
Talking Point: Can West Brom’s good run continue, or will Fulham get back on track?
Man Utd v Wigan
Key Battle: James McCarthy in central midfield should have an intriguing tussle to dominate up against United’s Michael Carrick.
Player to Watch: Antonio Valencia against his former club will be looking to make an impression
Talking Point: United are usually clear favourites in these games, and their strong home record should see them through – but Wigan beat them at the end of last season and will be no pushovers.
QPR v Chelsea
Key Battle: All eyes will be on the handshakes before the game, but on the pitch Park Ji Sung will have to be at his battling best to keep quiet the talent of Eden Hazard
Player to Watch: Chelsea need goals, and ideally from Fernando Torres – can he deliver here?
Talking Point: Chelsea have enjoyed a fine start to the season, whilst QPR look the weakest team in the division, in spite of practically signing a new squad last month.
Stoke v Man City
Key Battle: If Javi Garcia starts his first Premier League game it will be intriguing to see how he deals with the attention of Stoke’s aggressive Dean Whitehead.
Player to Watch: Peter Crouch scored a remarkable goal in this fixture last season – can lightning strike twice?
Talking Point: City will look to dominate possession, Stoke will aim the ball high and long. Who will triumph in this stylistic clash?
Sunderland v Liverpool
Key Battle: Lee Cattermole will be assigned the role of ‘run around a lot and hassle your opponents’, and how much that flusters Joe Allen’s passing ability will be intriguing.
Player to Watch: With Liverpool struggling for goals, Luis Suarez will be the man they look to as usual to find the net.
Talking Point: A stern test of their ability to pass and move at pace this, for Liverpool, and Brendan Rodgers will hope his team can finally put three points on the board.
Reading v Tottenham
Key Battle: Chris Gunter for Reading will have a crucial role to play against his former team and Welsh compatriot Gareth Bale here.
Player to Watch: Emmanuel Adebayor will hope to show the kind of form he produced last season for Tottenham and get them their first win of the season.
Talking Point: Reading have had a tough start to life in the Premier League and it will not get any easier against Andre Villas Boas’ Tottenham side, looking for the first win of the season.
Everton v Newcastle
Key Battle: Papiss Cisse has yet to score this season and will find it tough to do so here against Phil Jagielka and Everton.
Player to Watch: Hatem ben Arfa has been brilliant already this season and will find himself back at the ground where he scored one of his best goals in a Newcastle shirt.
Talking point: Two good teams looking to return to winning ways. Both are physically strong but technically slick with good strikers. This should be a wonderful battle.