Premier League preview - Week 28
Published: 28.02.13 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Chelsea v West Brom
Key Battle: Juan Mata has been Chelsea’s best player this season and West Brom may utilise someone like Youseff Mulumbu to try and mark him out the game.
Player to Watch: Demba Ba will hope to underline his case to be Chelsea’s first choice forward with Fernando Torres still struggling
Talking Point: Things are not going well at Stamford Bridge, and Chelsea’s top four position is at risk. Can West Brom take advantage again, as they have so often of late?
Everton v Reading
Key Battle: Leighton Baines and Ian Harte are two of the best set piece takers in the league, so the battle of the left backs will be an intriguing sub plot.
Player to Watch: Adam le Fondre has been in great form of late and scored twice against Everton earlier in the season.
Talking Point: Reading’s good form seems to have come to an end, and they now need to repeat their win over Everton from earlier in the season to try and restart their challenge to survive.
Manchester United v Norwich
Key Battle: With Robin van Persie possibly out, Wayne Rooney will look to assume the goalscoring responsibility, and will face a tough challenge against a well organised Norwich defence, and Sebastien Bassong in particular
Player to Watch: Javier Hernandez may look to stake his claim for a regular start again if he can find the net.
Talking Point: Norwich’s season is going reasonably well after a comeback win against Everton last week, but it looks a tough ask to repeat their shock win over United from earlier in the season.
Southampton v QPR
Key Battle: Gaston Ramirez and Adel Taraabt line up against each other in a battle of the playmakers, and whichever does better could decide the outcome of this game.
Player to Watch: Rickie Lambert is in rich goalscoring form for the Saints and can send QPR closer to the Championship here.
Talking Point: Southampton are battling impressively and playing very well under Mauricio Pochettino. QPR will have a tough task on their hands getting anything from St Mary’s.
Stoke v West Ham
Key Battle: The battle of the two long ball teams in the league, and their bulky centre forwards Kenwyne Jones and Andy Carroll should dominate
Player to Watch: Matt Jarvis is probably the most technically skilled player in these two teams so he could prove the difference.
Talking Point: Stoke have hit a ceiling and there is increasing unrest at the club among the fans about his lack of imagination and ambition in terms of style of play. Could that tell here?
Sunderland v Fulham
Key Battle: Steve Fletcher is the obvious Sunderland threat, and he will be up against one of the league’s most underrated centre backs in Brede Hangeland.
Player to Watch: Dimitar Berbatov showed his class again last week with a brilliant volley against Stoke – can he repeat the trick here?
Talking Point: Fulham are much the better team on the ball, whilst Sunderland work hard off it. Hard to see a winner in this one.
Swansea City v Newcastle
Key Battle: Michu is the obvious threat for Stoke, but he will have a tough task on his hands against Newcastle’s physical threat in Fabricio Coloccini.
Player to Watch: Moussa Sissoko is scoring regularly for Newcastle and is a real threat for them now from midfield.
Talking Point: Swansea will be on a high after their cup victory last week and Newcastle may seize an opportunity to take advantage of that.
Wigan v Liverpool
Key Battle: Arouna Kone was a threat against Reading last week and he can cause problems for Liverpool’s Daniel Agger here.
Player to Watch: Luis Suarez is in magnificent form and along with Gareth Bale is performing better than anyone in the league.
Talking Point: Liverpool are struggling to make an impression on the race for the top four whilst Wigan need the points as they battle for survival.
Tottenham v Arsenal
Key Battle: Two former Southampton wingers face off here, in Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott. Whoever makes more of an impression will be key.
Player to Watch: Santi Cazorla netted twice for Arsenal against Aston Villa last week and he can be a real threat for Spurs.
Talking Point: This is a pivotal game in the race for the top four. Arsenal’s defence has been weak but their attack strong of late. Spurs look in good form.
Aston Villa v Man City
Key Battle: Yaya Touré will be a major threat if Aston Villa cannot contain him so the performance of Karim El Ahmadi could be vital.
Player to Watch: David Silva’s passing range is key to this City team and if he is on form it will be a long night for Villa.
Talking Point: City could be 15 points behind Man Utd again before kick off, whilst Villa desperately need the points. They can’t both win though.