Premier League preview - Week 11
Published: 09.11.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Arsenal v Fulham
Key Battle: Olivier Giroud has been one of Arsenal’s better performers in recent weeks and if he can get some service in this game he can really threaten Fulham and Brede Hangeland will have to be at his best to stop the Frenchman.
Player to Watch: Dimitar Berbatov has been in good form since signing for Fulham and is a danger man for the Gunners.
Talking Point: Arsenal will need to bounce back quickly if they are to thrust themselves back into title contention.
Everton v Sunderland
Key Battle: John O’Shea will have to be at his best to keep Nikica Jelavic quiet and get Sunderland anything from this game.
Player to Watch: Steven Pienaar can cause Sunderland all kinds of problems with his running and creativity.
Talking Point: Sunderland have been dreary and unambitious all season – will things get any better at Goodison?
Reading v Norwich
Key Battle: Pavel Pobgrebnyak can cause problems for Norwich if Michael Turner is not at the top of his game.
Player to Watch: Wes Hoolahan is probably the best player on display in this game and he can turn it for the visitors
Talking Point: Reading, still winless, surely must beat Norwich if they are to harbour realistic ambitions of staying up
Southampton v Swansea
Key Battle: Southampton will hope Adam Lallana can inspire them here, but Swansea have their own playmakers, and who can cause more danger between him and Michu could be key.
Player to Watch: Wayne Routledge has been very creative so far this season for Swansea and can carve Southampton apart.
Talking Point: Two attacking teams, but Southampton desperately need the points, while Swansea are in impressive form.
Stoke v QPR
Key Battle: Djibril Cisse can cause problems for Stoke, but will have to get the better of Ryan Shawcross first.
Player to Watch: Peter Crouch has been in prolific form for Stoke and if QPR are not careful he will punish them here.
Talking Point: QPR are still looking for a win but it is unlikely to come in this one
Wigan v West Brom
Key Battle: Youssef Mulumbu against James McCarthy in midfield could be the main battle in this game – whoever comes out on top and dictates play could have a huge bearing on the result
Player to Watch: Shaun Maloney is the creative spark for Wigan and he can pierce the West Brom defence.
Talking Point: A brilliant win against Tottenham last week buoyed Roberto Martinez’ side, who come into this game with every chance.
Aston Villa v Man Utd
Key Battle: Robin van Persie could cause Villa all kinds of problems, and Ciaran Clark is one of the last people you’d want to be in the position of early evening on Saturday.
Player to Watch: Wayne Rooney has been in breathtaking form and can carve Villa apart if given time.
Talking Point: Against the most inexperienced defence in the league surely United’s attackers will have a field day?
Man City v Tottenham
Key Battle: Gareth Bale can be the difference if he can expose Man City on the right side of their defence, where Pablo Zabaleta will be tested.
Player to Watch: Sergio Aguero can make the difference for Man City if given the right service, but that is a big ‘if’ these days.
Talking Point: Inconsistent Tottenham have already won once in Manchester this season – can they do so again and break City’s unbeaten run?
Newcastle v West Ham
Key Battle: On the sidelines, Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew take on their former teams. Could revenge be the key to motivating their teams to win here?
Player to Watch: Hatem ben Arfa is Newcastle’s best player and West Ham will have to keep him quiet.
Talking Point: West Ham have made a useful start to the season but Newcastle have not been as good as last season and will hope to improve quickly.
Chelsea v Liverpool
Key Battle: Joe Allen is the key cog in the Liverpool midfield and will be shackled here by the central pivot in Chelsea’s attacking midfield trio, probably Oscar.
Player to Watch: Juan Mata has created most danger for Chelsea this season and Liverpool must be wary of him.
Talking point: Liverpool have a good record at Chelsea, but usually through defending deep and counter attacking. This is a new Liverpool.