Premier League preview - Week 9
Published: 27.10.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Aston Villa v Norwich
Key Battle: Christian Benteke has a tough job this weekend getting the better of Michael Turner, who was superb last week for Norwich.
Player to Watch: Grant Holt will be eager to continue his fine form and Villa will have to watch his movement.
Talking Point: Paul Lambert takes on his former team with Villa struggling, while Norwich got a huge boost last week with victory over Arsenal.
Arsenal v QPR
Key Battle: Mikel Arteta against countryman Esteban Granero in midfield should be an intriguing battle; cultured midfielder against cultured midfielder.
Player to Watch: Santi Cazorla has not been at the same level as at the start of the campaign and Arsenal will need him firing again to get the better of QPR.
Talking Point: Mark Hughes’ side desperately need a win, and how will Arsenal react after two defeats in a week?
Reading v Fulham
Key Battle: Pavel Pobgrebnyak takes on his former side and will look to expose his former team mate Brede Hangeland.
Player to Watch: Damien Duff has shown his predatory instincts this season and the wily winger can harm Reading.
Talking Point: Reading are in need of a win to get their season up and running; surely this is a must win game for them already?
Stoke v Sunderland
Key Battle: Two highly functional teams, and the clash between Dean Whitehead and Lee Cattermole could be pivotal.
Player to Watch: Steven Fletcher, as the scorer of all of Sunderland’s goals so far this season, will be the man to watch for Stoke.
Talking Point: Two functional sides, but Sunderland tend to play with a bit more flair, and have that added creativity to do for Stoke.
Wigan v West Ham
Key Battle: Andy Carroll will hope to bully Gary Caldwell and help West Ham to another priceless three points in the league.
Player to Watch: Mo Diame takes on his former team and can show them what they are missing in the middle of the pitch.
Talking Point: Wigan will keep the ball well but West Ham will give them a real test in the air.
Man City v Swansea
Key Battle: Sergio Aguero will be looking to cause problems for the Swansea defence marshalled by Angel Rangel.
Player to Watch: David Silva, if fit, can run rings around a Swansea team lacking some of the discipline of last year.
Talking Point: Having suffered humiliating defeat at Ajax in the week, City will be looking forward to home comforts.
Everton v Liverpool
Key Battle: Nikica Jelavic will hope to cause Daniel Agger problems and get the better of the Liverpool man
Player to Watch: Leighton Baines’ deliveries are usually deadly, and Liverpool will be wary of those.
Talking Point: The two local rivals seem for once, rather evenly matched, and this one could really go either way.
Newcastle v West Brom
Key Battle: Yussuf Mulumbu will have the task of trying to keep Yohan Cabaye quiet if West Brom are to take anything from this one.
Player to Watch: Hatem ben Arfa has been Newcastle’s best player this year, and he can be the difference here
Talking Point: A midweek Europa League tie may have taken some of the energy out of Newcastle, but they should still have enough
Southampton v Tottenham
Key Battle: Rickie Lambert can cause William Gallas problems here after the Frenchman struggled against Chelsea last week
Player to Watch: Gareth Bale will hope to return to the team to inspire Spurs after being forced to miss the Chelsea game
Talking Point: Southampton are in need of points but will do well to take anything from Tottenham.
Chelsea v Manchester United
Key Battle: Eden Hazard will be hoping to exploit that space United have left open in midfield so much this season so Michael Carrick will have to be wary.
Player to Watch: Robin van Persie netted a hat trick at Stamford Bridge last season and may cause them more problems here.
Talking point: United have gone behind so often this season and Alex Ferguson will be hoping they are much tighter here.