Premier League preview - Week 35
Published: 27.04.13 / Written by: David Gold
Key battles, players to watch and talking points, check out our preview of the Premier League action this week!
Manchester City v West Ham
Key Battle: Yaya Toure comes up against Mo Diame in an interesting battle between two driving midfielders of similar stature.
Player to Watch: Carlos Tevez plays against his former team and really the one side he felt at home at during his time in England.
Talking Point: Neither side have a great deal to play for although City still aren’t guaranteed a Champions League spot and need to keep up the distance between themselves and the chasing pack.
Everton v Fulham
Key Battle: Marouane Fellaini will surely be deployed in attack after being played further back last time out, and will have an intriguing battle up against Fulham’s Eno, who looked combative against Arsenal.
Player to Watch: Leighton Baines is Everton’s key creative outlet and he can cause havoc for the Fulham defence.
Talking Point: David Moyes gave up the battle for a top four spot last week after defeat to Sunderland, but they will be sure to keep going until the end.
Southampton v West Brom
Key Battle: Gaston Ramirez is a wonderfully gifted playmaker who will be closely marked by Claudio Yacob in this encounter.
Player to Watch: Rickie Lambert continues to impress in his debut campaign at this level and West Brom must be careful of him.
Talking Point: Another dead rubber in effect between two teams who can look back with fondness on their best seasons for many a year.
Stoke v Norwich
Key Battle: Two teams battling to stay up, this could be a battle of two impressive goalkeepers – Asmir Begovic for Stoke and Mark Bunn for the visitors.
Player to Watch: Is there a player to watch in a battle between the league’s two most lifeless teams? If so it is surely Robert Snodgrass, Norwich’s most creative outlet.
Talking Point: These are two teams who are naturally cautious and inclined to defend. You feel that the winner will stay up but it could well be goalless.
Wigan v Tottenham
Key Battle: Gareth Bale is fit again and firing for Tottenham, and it will be interesting to see how Emmerson Boyce copes with the Spurs man’s rampaging runs.
Player to Watch: Arouna Kone is the most likely player to breach a resolute Tottenham defence for Wigan.
Talking Point: Wigan have outplayed Manchester City and West Ham of late without picking up a point, and their good performances should continue, but can they cope with the Tottenham counter attack?
Newcastle v Liverpool
Key Battle: Daniel Sturridge was brilliant against Chelsea last week and he can cause major problems for Newcastle’s star defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Player to Watch: Yohan Cabaye is Newcastle’s key man and if on form he can help the home side to three vital points.
Talking Point: Just how will Liverpool cope with Luis Suarez after his suspension? Can they breach the Newcastle defence?
Reading v QPR
Key Battle: Two teams already destined for the drop see Nigel Adkins and Harry Redknapp face off in the battle to escape culpability for their respective side’s inevitable relegation.
Player to Watch: Loic Remy has been QPR’s star of the miserable second half of the season, and he can at least give them something to shout about here.
Talking Point: Both sides may well be relegated by Monday night and they can help secure their relegation with a draw. The visitors may nick it though.
Chelsea v Swansea
Key Battle: Fernando Torres on one side, Michu on the other. This game epitomises the ludicrous over spending of the modern game.
Player to Watch: Juan Mata, as usual, is the man Chelsea rely upon. If he plays well, so do they. If he doesn’t, they don’t either.
Talking Point: Chelsea need the points for their top four charge and will want revenge on Swansea for their Capital One Cup defeat to the Welsh side.
Arsenal v Manchester United
Key Battle: Robin van Persie comes face to face with his former employers and possibly his old friend Thomas Vermaelen.
Player to Watch: Santi Cazorla will probably see plenty of the ball and his creative influence is key for Arsenal.
Talking Point: United have the title wrapped up so may lack a bit of motivation on Sunday, but these are always big games and they will hope to inflict another blow on Arsenal’s top four hopes.
Aston Villa v Sunderland
Key Battle: Stephane Sessegnon has been fantastic of late for Sunderland, and Karim el Ahmadi must marshal him well to contain his threat.
Player to Watch: Christian Benteke is Villa’s big threat and Sunderland must find a way to stop him if they wish to avoid defeat.
Talking Point: Sunderland are all but safe now but Villa need the points desperately and this game is crucial for their survival hopes.