Premier League preview - Week 7
Published: 06.10.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Manchester City v Sunderland
Key Battle: David Silva will be battling up against Lee Cattermole as he seeks to influence proceedings in this game, and that could be key for City.
Player to Watch: Adam Johnson will be up against his former team and with their leaky defence, he could spring a surprise.
Talking Point: Sunderland have come closer than anyone else to breaking City’s long unbeaten home run – they will surely be fired up for this weekend.
Chelsea v Norwich
Key Battle: Sebastien Bassong will look to stifle the movement and potency of Fernando Torres going forward.
Player to Watch: Juan Mata has been Chelsea’s best player, as usual, in recent weeks, and is the man Norwich must stop here.
Talking Point: Norwich will try and stifle Chelsea as Stoke did, only after their capitulation against Liverpool last weekend it is doubtful they can do this.
Swansea v Reading
Key Battle: Jem Karacan will have his work cut out to keep Swansea’s impressive midfielders quiet and restrict them.
Player to Watch: Wayne Routledge was a star in the opening weeks of the season as Swansea shone, and they will hope he rediscovers that form.
Talking Point: Swansea have had a mixed start to the season and will hope to turn around their ailing campaign quickly
West Brom v QPR
Key Battle: Shane Long has been impressive this season and QPR’s defence, in particular Ryan Nelsen, will have to work hard to keep him quiet.
Player to Watch: Chris Brunt’s creativity could be the edge in a game in which West Brom are looking to continue their excellent form.
Talking Point: QPR, struggling and adrift at the bottom of the table, have one of the toughest away tests they could have hoped for this weekend.
Wigan v Everton
Key Battle: Everton come into this game looking to keep a fine run going and Nikica Jelavic will hope to get the better of his personal duel with Gary Caldwell.
Player to Watch: Marouane Fellaini has been superb for Everton this year and he could be too much for the Wigan midfield.
Talking Point: Both teams are capable of brilliant technical football, but Everton’s superior physicality should give them an edge.
West Ham v Arsenal
Key Battle: Andy Carroll against Per Mertesacker could be the big battle here if the German is given the nod over Thomas Vermaelen.
Player to Watch: Santi Cazorla’s ability to dictate play may be key to Arsenal’s chances of dominating this one.
Talking Point: Arsenal must not give away free kicks too easily as they have been weak from set pieces in recent weeks, and so if they start with Thomas Vermaelen they could be in for a long afternoon.
Southampton v Fulham
Key Battle: Rickie Lambert against Brede Hangeland should be an interesting tussle, which Fulham will hope their man can win to give them a fighting chance.
Player to Watch: Adam Lallana’s creativity and skill could be a real danger for Fulham if he can get on the ball enough.
Talking Point: Southampton’s defence has been open all season and that may render them vulnerable to a slick Fulham
Liverpool v Stoke
Key Battle: Joe Allen’s ability to dictate play will be tested in this encounter by Stoke’s Dean Whitehead in the middle of the pitch.
Player to Watch: Luis Suarez was in sensational form last week and he will be the key man for Liverpool if they are to win again.
Talking Point: Liverpool got their season off and running last weekend, can they continue that against a tough Stoke side?
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Key Battle: Ciaran Clark has been a resolute figure at the back for Villa and Jermaine Defoe’s superb form will present him with an interesting test.
Player to Watch: Gareth Bale is showing signs of getting his best form back and he will be a real threat here.
Talking Point: Three victories in a row are a sign that Tottenham will be a force this season, but this is the type of game that will test their ability to finish in the top four again.
Newcastle v Manchester United
Key Battle: Cheick Tiote can cause Manchester United all kinds of problems in this game if Michael Carrick starts and United opt not to go with Darren Fletcher.
Player to Watch: Hatem ben Arfa will be the man who can unlock the United defence, and the wide open gaps that there have been in recent weeks can be exploited by his skill.
Talking point: It is hard to imagine Sir Alex Ferguson not taking significant action to prevent his defence giving away such soft goals again this week but a difficult Newcastle team will be tough to break down.