Premier League preview - Week 33
Published: 12.04.13 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Arsenal v Norwich
Key Battle: Santi Cazorla has been in great form for Arsenal of late, and Alex Tettey will have his hands full in central midfield to keep him at bay.
Player to Watch: Gervinho has been in surprisingly good form of late and he is showing that he can be a real danger to opposing defences.
Talking Point: Every game is must win now for Arsenal and this is an essential one for their Champions League hopes and to put pressure on Chelsea and Tottenham – they will go third with a win.
Aston Villa v Fulham
Key Battle: Andreas Weimann has been impressive recently and his pace and direct running can cause a headache for Fulham, and for Brede Hangeland.
Player to Watch: Christian Benteke, who else? The prolific Belgian is conducting a mini rescue mission of his own for the Villans.
Talking Point: Another huge game for the home team, who are looking to register back to back wins after triumphing at Stoke last week.
Everton v QPR
Key Battle: Everton will hope their sharp shooting forward Kevin Mirallas continues his good form, but at the other end of the pitch Loic Remy is showing no little skill.
Player to Watch: Leon Osman has been an unsung hero of the season for Everton and he keeps things ticking over nicely in midfield.
Talking Point: A huge game for Everton’s Champions League hopes but also for QPR in their battle against the drop.
Reading v Liverpool
Key Battle: Luis Suarez can cause no end of problems for Adrian Mariappa in the Reading backline, who will be sorely tested here.
Player to Watch: Coutinho continues his irrepressible form of late since signing for Liverpool and Reading must be wary of him.
Talking Point: Reading’s faint hopes of survival are hanging by a thread and Liverpool can hammer another nail in for the home team.
Southampton v West Ham
Key Battle: Rickie Lambert is in superb form and has been all season, but this will be a very different battle up against Winston Reid for him.
Player to Watch: Jay Rodriguez has been in fantastic form of late for Southampton and his sharp passing and finishing will be a major threat for the Hammers.
Talking Point: West Ham are almost safe but cannot afford to assume they will avoid relegation yet, whilst Southampton climbed above them last week.
Newcastle v Sunderland
Key Battle: Papiss Cisse struck the crucial goal last week for Newcastle and Sunderland need to keep him quiet – John O’Shea has a big afternoon on.
Player to Watch: Sebastien Sessegnon looked revitalised to some extent last week and when he is on form he is a fantastic player.
Talking Point: A huge game between two teams battling against the drop. Newcastle look more secure and will relish the chance to send their rivals towards the relegation zone.
Stoke v Man Utd
Key Battle: Ryan Shawcross takes on his former team and Robin van Persie needing to use all his raw aggression to prevent the slick passing of the champions elect.
Player to Watch: Wayne Rooney may have a point to prove with rumours about his future in the papers.
Talking Point: Stoke are looking like real relegation candidates at present and they must try to find a way past United to resurrect their ailing campaign.
Arsenal v Everton
Key Battle: Olivier Giroud can pose a real physical challenge for Phil Jagielka, normally so reliable for Everton.
Player to Watch: Mikel Arteta takes on his former team looking to dictate play and enable Arsenal to dominate proceedings.
Talking Point: Another three points is a must for Arsenal as they look to reach the top four this season.
Man City v Wigan
Key Battle: Gary Caldwell has it all to do up against Sergio Aguero after he fired City to victory at Old Trafford last week
Player to Watch: Yaya Toure, recently signed to a new contract, can bulldoze his way through the Wigan backline if they aren’t careful.
Talking Point: This game is far more important for Wigan than for City as they look to complete another improbable escape from danger.
West Ham v Man Utd
Key Battle: Robin van Persie can do more damage at Upton Park here if he can evade the attentions of James Collins for the Hammers.
Player to Watch: Michael Carrick has been superb for United all season and back at his old club can show off his range of passing
Talking Point: United are looking to edge ever closer to the title and this can take them to the brink of it.
Fulham v Chelsea
Key Battle: Dimitar Berbatov has been in fantastic form for Fulham and Chelsea’s David Luiz will be tested in his positional sense in this one.
Player to Watch: Juan Mata, Chelsea’s best player and their key performer, is vital for them in this one.
Talking point: Fulham would love to halt Chelsea’s attempt to finish in the top four, but the visitors are really in need of the points.