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Ontheminute.com: Premier League preview - Week 19

Premier League preview - Week 19

Published: 25.12.12 / Written by: David Gold

Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!

Everton v Wigan

Key Battle: This is a game of two terrific left backs – Leighton Baines and Jean Beausejour. Whichever is the more effective could decide this game.

Player to Watch: Nikica Jelavic has struggled to get back to his best goalscoring form and David Moyes will hope he can do so quickly.

Talking Point: Everton have enough to punish a Wigan team who are struggling without their usual central defence at present.

Prediction: 2-0

Fulham v Southampton

Key Battle: Two talented forwards in Dimitar Berbatov and Rickie Lambert vie for goals here, and the more effective frontman will be vital.

Player to Watch: Without Bryan Ruiz Fulham have struggled for inspiration, making Damien Duff’s influence from out wide more important.

Talking Point: Having been thrashed by Liverpool, Fulham will hope to get back to winning ways, but face a tough challenge from the visiting Saints.

Prediction: 2-3

Man Utd v Newcastle

Key Battle: Nemanja Vidic is back at the heart of the United defence and if he can shut out Demba Ba United should be on course for victory.

Player to Watch: Robin van Persie, United’s top scorer, will hope to continue his good goalscoring record against Newcastle.

Talking Point: Newcastle are struggling and do not have a number of key players for this visit to Manchester.

Prediction: 2-0

Norwich v Chelsea

Key Battle: Sebastien Bassong will be charged with keeping Fernando Torres quiet in this game and if he can do so Norwich have a chance.

Player to Watch: Chelsea will be buzzing after an 8-0 win against Aston Villa, and few more so than two goal man Ramires.

Talking Point: Norwich have not failed to win a home game since October and their solid organisation could prove problematic for Chelsea

Prediction: 1-0

QPR v West Brom

Key Battle: Jamie Mackie can get QPR another crucial three points if he can get the better of West Brom defender Gareth Macauley.

Player to Watch: James Morrison has been a key part of the West Brom side this season and he can carve QPR apart.

Talking Point: This is surely a must win game for QPR if they are to drag themselves away from the relegation zone

Prediction: 2-1

Reading v Swansea

Key Battle: Adam leFondre is Reading’s key dangerman and he will hope to get the better of Swansea’s Ashley Williams in this clash

Player to Watch: Michu is in prolific form for the Swans and can punish Reading here.

Talking Point: Reading almost beat Swansea in Wales earlier this season and at home, they can inflict a third defeat in four on Michael Laudrup’s men.

Prediction: 2-1

Sunderland v Man City

Key Battle: John O’Shea has a tough job on his hands to keep Sergio Aguero quiet, and to give Sunderland a chance in this game.

Player to Watch: David Silva is key to so much of City’s best play, and if he plays well, his team will have a great chance.

Talking Point: Sunderland are hoping to repeat their showing last year when they stunned City at home. Can lightning strike twice?

Prediction: 0-0

Aston Villa v Tottenham

Key Battle: Matt Lowton has been brilliant for Villa but was vulnerable against Chelsea, and will have to keep Gareth Bale quiet in this one.

Player to Watch: Jermain Defoe’s brilliant finishing ability could be the key to this match if Tottenham have few chances.

Talking Point: Villa will have no confidence after their 8-0 thrashing by Chelsea, and Tottenham at home is not an ideal game to play after such a defeat.

Prediction: 0-1

Stoke v Liverpool

Key Battle: Expect Ryan Shawcross to use all of his aggression to get at his opponents as usual as he tries to keep Luis Suarez quiet.

Player to Watch: Stewart Downing finally scored and set up a goal for Liverpool against Fulham – can he strike again here?

Talking Point: Stoke, quite possibly Europe’s most boring team, will have every intention of grinding out yet another goalless draw.

Prediction: 0-1

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