Premier League preview - Week 14
Published: 26.11.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers
Key Battle: In his first game in charge Harry Redknapp will hope the energetic and hard working Jamie Mackie can cause problems for John O’Shea.
Player to Watch: Junior Hoilett was tracked by Redknapp when he was Spurs coach and he can be the big danger for the visitors.
Talking Point: QPR are searching for their first win of the season, and after an encouraging post Mark Hughes display at Manchester United, they may just sneak this one.
Aston Villa v Reading
Key Battle: Kaspars Gorkss will have a tough task on his hands trying to keep quiet Villa’s Belgian forward Christian Benteke.
Player to Watch: The pace of Gabriel Agbonlahor will be a threat to the Reading defence in this one.
Talking Point: Two teams in the bottom three mean this will be a tightly contested game, but Villa are better than their position suggests.
Chelsea v Fulham
Key Battle: Aaron Hughes will have a big test in this game without Brede Hangeland alongside him, as he looks to deal with the threat posed by Fernando Torres.
Player to Watch: Eden Hazard has the talent and individual skill to make something out of nothing for Chelsea.
Talking Point: Rafa Benitez received a rough reception on his first game in charge on Sunday against Man City, but a first win in six games will help start win over those opposed to the former Liverpool coach.
Everton v Arsenal
Key Battle: Mikel Arteta takes on his former team and he will have to keep quiet the force of Marouane Fellaini going forward.
Player to Watch: Jack Wilshere was rested on Saturday so should be fresher for this visit to Merseyside.
Talking Point: Arsenal have a good record at Goodison, but neither of these sides has been in great form.
Southampton v Norwich
Key Battle: Rickie Lambert against Sebastien Bassong should be an intriguing battle; the winner of which could go some way to deciding the winner here.
Player to Watch: Adam Lallana has been in great form of late for the Saints and Norwich will have to be careful of his creativity and skill.
Talking Point: Two teams battling the drop, but both are in good form and this will be a very closely fought encounter.
Stoke v Newcastle
Key Battle: Cheick Tiote against Dean Whitehead in central midfield will go some way to deciding the outcome of this game, likely to be an extremely closely fought encounter.
Player to Watch: Papiss Cisse has not replicated the form of last season and Alan Pardew will hope he can rediscover his best form soon.
Talking Point: Newcastle have been in poor form and a visit to Stoke is the last thing they would want as they look to restore their fortunes.
Swansea v West Brom
Key Battle: Swansea are a real threat with their fluid passing style, and Youssef Mulumbu will have to be careful tracking the runs of Michu.
Player to Watch: Pablo Hernandez has settled into life in the Premier League and has been one of Swansea’s most threatening players recently.
Talking Point: West Brom have been in remarkable form this season, but this will be a real test of their ability.
Tottenham v Liverpool
Key Battle: Gareth Bale against Glen Johnson will be a key battle in this game, with the Welshman’s pace and trickery holding the key for his team.
Player to Watch: Luis Suarez had a quiet game for once against Swansea, but can cause mayhem for Tottenham.
Talking Point: Tottenham had a good win on Sunday and will hope to pick up where they left off against West Ham, whilst Liverpool are enjoying a long unbeaten run.
Manchester United v West Ham
Key Battle: Andy Carroll can be a real threat for Manchester United’s porous defence in this encounter, and Jonny Evans will have to be at his best to keep him quiet.
Player to Watch: Robin van Persie has not scored in three games, and is unlikely to have to wait long for his next strike.
Talking Point: On paper an easy home win for United, and Sam Allardyce teams tend to roll over that bit easier when visiting Old Trafford.
Wigan v Man City
Key Battle: Steve Caldwell is tasked with keeping quiet the talents of Sergio Aguero, one of the toughest jobs in the league.
Player to Watch: David Silva is getting back into his stride after a slow start to the season and he can drive City forward now.
Talking point: Wigan are an excellent passing side and Man City could be caused all kinds of problems if they are not sharp.