Premier League preview - Week 30
Published: 15.03.13 / 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 Manchester City
Key Battle: Marouane Fellaini has not looked at his best of late but he will be fired up to shine against the champions, and the battle between him and Yaya Toure will be interesting
Player to Watch: Carlos Tevez was on form against Barnsley in spite of his driving arrest, and he can steer Manchester City to a vital win
Talking Point: Everton’s season is tailing off badly and after defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup they will find it hard to get themselves up for this one.
Aston Villa v QPR
Key Battle: Loic Remy and Christian Benteke are in good form respectively for these two sides and whoever plays better could decide this game.
Player to Watch: Andreas Weimann has been one of the best things about Villa this season and they will hope his pace and intelligence can drive them to victory.
Talking Point: A huge six pointer in which both sides are desperate for the points. But QPR have more experience and nous, and with good form building, they can win.
Southampton v Liverpool
Key Battle: Luis Suarez has been in sumptuous form and Southampton’s Maya Yoshida could have a long afternoon.
Player to Watch: Daniel Sturridge has added something to the Liverpool attack and he can stretch Southampton with his pace.
Talking Point: Two of the league’s form teams, they are both chasing goals – Southampton look well placed to stay up and Liverpool are possible top four contenders.
Stoke v West Brom
Key Battle: Youssef Mulumbu will battle against Marc Wilson in midfield in this game, likely to be a dour affair between two functional sides.
Player to Watch: Romelu Lukaku is in great form and the powerful Belgian is the type of player who can breach this Stoke rearguard.
Talking Point: West Brom have little left to play for this season but they will want to get one over on bogey team Stoke, who are in a lull and seem to be struggling having hit a ceiling.
Swansea v Arsenal
Key Battle: Santi Cazorla and Michu are two Spanish spearheads for these two free flowing sides, and both have scored plenty of goals this season.
Player to Watch: Welshman Aaron Ramsey returns to his home country to face the Swans in good form, playing really well for Arsenal of late and he can be key in the absence of Jack Wilshere.
Talking Point: Arsenal must take three points here to keep up their bid for a top four finish, and could be buoyed by the performance in beating Bayern Munich in midweek.
Man Utd v Reading
Key Battle: Robin van Persie against this Reading defence seems a mismatch, and Adrian Mariappa could have a torrid time of it.
Player to Watch: Wayne Rooney’s future has been the subject of much discussion of late but he will surely want to show what he can do here.
Talking Point: As United romp towards the title there seems little that can stop them – and Reading are hardly the most difficult of opponents.
Sunderland v Norwich
Key Battle: Norwich have had a good defence of late and this could be a battle of the goalkeepers, Mark Bunn and Steve Mignolet.
Player to Watch: Steve Fletcher’s goalscoring has kept Sunderland going this season and if anyone is likely to hit the target this weekend it is the Scot.
Talking Point: Neither of these sides are prolific and both are just about comfortable in their position clear of the danger zone, but neither can afford to be complacent.
Tottenham v Fulham
Key Battle: Gareth Bale could cause havoc as usual if Fulham cannot marshal him properly, and Steve Sidwell will have a tough afternoon keeping him quiet.
Player to Watch: Clint Dempsey takes on his former team looking to help fire his current side into the Champions League next season.
Talking Point: Tottenham’s good form came to an end against Liverpool last time round and former manager Martin Jol would love to derail their top four push.
Chelsea v West Ham
Key Battle: Juan Mata ripped West Ham apart earlier this season in the first half of their game at Upton Park and Mo Diame will have a big afternoon trying to keep him quiet.
Player to Watch: Demba Ba could be the big danger against his former club, having netted the only goal of the last game against West Brom at Stamford Bridge.
Talking Point: Chelsea’s comeback against Manchester United last weekend gave them a much needed morale boost as they look to hold on to their top four spot.
Wigan v Newcastle
Key Battle: James McCarthy was brilliant in this game last year as Wigan crushed Newcastle and will hope to dictate proceedings up against Yohan Cabaye
Player to Watch: Demba Ba’s departure has given Papiss Cisse his central role back and the Senegalese can continue his good goalscoring form here.
Talking Point: Wigan thrashed Newcastle in the final months of last season and their high pressure passing game could pose problems again for Alan Pardew.