Premier League preview - Week 20
Published: 28.12.12 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Sunderland v Tottenham
Key Battle: Steven Fletcher can cause all kinds of problems for Tottenham, for whom Steven Caulker will be important.
Player to Watch: Gareth Bale can cause Sunderland all kinds of problems if they give him enough room.
Talking Point: Sunderland are battling away from danger, whilst Tottenham are trying to fight for a Champions League spot.
Aston Villa v Wigan
Key Battle: Ciaran Clark will have a tough job on his hands trying to keep Arouna Kone quiet in this encounter.
Player to Watch: Christian Benteke can bully and force his way through the Wigan rearguard if they aren’t on their game.
Talking Point: Villa are trying to turn a corner again, and Wigan need points to get away from the danger zone
Fulham v Swansea
Key Battle: Dimitar Berbatov has the ability to carve open any defence in the league, so the Swans and Ashley Williams will have to keep a close eye on him
Player to Watch: Michu can break free of the Fulham defence to punish them if they give him enough time and space.
Talking Point: Swansea had a comfortable win in this game last year and Fulham will have a tough job on their hands containing the Swans.
Reading v West Ham
Key Battle: Carlton Cole is missing so Andy Carroll may be back, and he can cause all kinds of problems for the Reading backline, for whom Kaspars Gorkss will be key.
Player to Watch: Kevin Nolan is liable to pop up with crucial goals and Reading must watch him carefully.
Talking Point: Reading desperately need points, but West Ham will be more rested.
Man Utd v West Brom
Key Battle: Gareth Macauley will be key in this game, as he tries to marshal the movement of Robin van Persie
Player to Watch: Wayne Rooney was conspicuous by his absence a year ago on New Years’ day as United lost to Blackburn at home – he will be hoping to make his impression for the right reasons here.
Talking Point: United are trying to put distance between themselves and Man City, and can take another big step towards the title here.
Norwich v Man City
Key Battle: Javier Garrido is up against his former team but will have to watch the runs of David Silva very very carefully
Player to Watch: Carlos Tevez is City’s top scorer and he can be the key man in this game if he starts.
Talking Point: Norwich’s home form is superb, and Man City will find it hard to escape from East Anglia with a win.
Stoke v Southampton
Key Battle: Brawn against skill will be on display in this game. The clash between Gaston Ramirez and Dean Whitehead underlines that.
Player to Watch: Jason Puncheon has been an important player for Southampton and he is a dangerman for Stoke
Talking Point: Expect Stoke to bully their way to a dull victory once again in this game.
Arsenal v Newcastle
Key Battle: The battle between Cheick Tiote and Jack Wilshere will be intriguing to watch in this enticing tussle.
Player to Watch: Arsenal will hope that Theo Walcott can continue his fine recent form in this game.
Talking Point: Newcastle are trying to rediscover their form while Arsenal are hoping to continue a three game winning streak
Everton v Chelsea
Key Battle: Leighton Baines can be a real thorn in Chelsea’s side if Cesar Azpilicueta gives him too much time and room here.
Player to Watch: Eden Hazard has not been at his sparkling best since the start of the season – can he show his full talents in this one?
Talking Point: Rafa Benitez likes to rotate and with so many games he may do so in this match. How will that affect Chelsea?
QPR v Liverpool
Key Battle: Adel Taraabt will hope to get the better of Lucas and cause some damage to the Liverpool defence.
Player to Watch: Luis Suarez, who else? QPR must keep close tabs on the Uruguayan if they are to have a hope of pulling off an upset
Talking point: Last year QPR stunned Liverpool by winning 3-2 from 2-0 down. But this is a stronger, better Liverpool.