Premier League preview - Week 34
Published: 20.04.13 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Fulham v Arsenal
Key Battle: Santi Cazorla against Bryan Ruiz is a battle of the playmakers which could go some way to determining the outcome of this one.
Player to Watch: Theo Walcott is on his way back after injury but can be a real nuisance for the home side.
Talking Point: After being held by Everton in midweek Arsenal need to get straight back to winning ways to keep them on course for the top four.
Norwich v Reading
Key Battle: After his heroics last week Alex McCarthy will be the man Reading look to to keep them in this game, whilst Norwich will hope Grant Holt can find a way to beat him.
Player to Watch: Reading can threaten if Adam le Fondre rediscovers his goalscoring touch
Talking Point: Norwich are trying to battle their way to safety whilst Reading seem doomed. Who can come out on top of this one?
QPR v Stoke
Key Battle: The battle for supremacy in this one could come down to which set of forwards threatens more; Andros Townsend has been in fine form for QPR and Stoke will hope that Glenn Whelan can produce something.
Player to Watch: Loic Remy is a class above his peers at Loftus Road and his skill and finishing prowess can be deadly
Talking Point: This is a clash between two of the league’s worst sides, who could yet find themselves facing off in the Championship next year.
Sunderland v Everton
Key Battle: Adam Johnson up against Leighton Baines is an intriguing tussle between two creative outlets who can determine the outcome of this game.
Player to Watch: Steven Pienaar’s link play and attacking threat is something Sunderland must guard against.
Talking Point: Sunderland were formidable last week as they crushed Newcastle but Everton are an extremely tough nut to crack
Swansea v Southampton
Key Battle: Rickie Lambert is in superb form and has been all season, whilst Michu has been just as prolific for the Swans.
Player to Watch: Nathan Dyer comes face to face with his old employers, who may regret letting him go.
Talking Point: This should be a fantastic game between two teams who play football the right way, and who have been entertaining all season.
West Brom v Newcastle
Key Battle: Papiss Cisse has been in useful goalscoring form and can be a real nuisance here for Gareth MacAuley.
Player to Watch: Moussa Sissoko, if played in the right position, can give further justification for Newcastle’s decision to sign him in this one.
Talking Point: Newcastle are still not entirely safe and will look to get the points they need to secure safety.
West Ham v Wigan
Key Battle: Shaun Maloney against Mo Diame in midfield is a battle that could determine the outcome of this one. Two tough players with a decent touch.
Player to Watch: Arouna Kone can be a real menace on the break for Wigan as they hope to secure a crucial three points..
Talking Point: Wigan must wonder how they didn’t beat Manchester City in midweek after outplaying them. More performances like that and they’re staying up though.
Tottenham v Man City
Key Battle: Moussa Dembele and Yaya Toure are both similar players, technically gifted and they break from midfield with purpose. Whoever has more influence here could be key.
Player to Watch: Gareth Bale, if he has recovered from injury in time for this clash, will be the key man for the home team.
Talking Point: A big question for City is how much effort they put in, and they were awful against Wigan in the week, but they will want to stop Man Utd clinching the title this weekend if possible.
Liverpool v Chelsea
Key Battle: Brendan Rodgers will not have been happy with Rafa Benitez’s recent comments about his suitability for the Liverpool job in the future, but the Spaniard can expect the best reception he’ll receive all season on Sunday.
Player to Watch: Juan Mata is the man Chelsea rely upon these days and he will be key in this clash.
Talking Point: Chelsea need points for their top four push but they have been caught short in the big games this season.
Man Utd v Aston Villa
Key Battle: Robin van Persie has rediscovered his goalscoring form and can cause Matt Lowton no end of problems at Old Trafford on Monday.
Player to Watch: Ashley Young will relish taking on his former team and can give them a real runaround.
Talking Point: United may be able to wrap up the title in this game and they will be determined to do so in style