Premier League preview – Week 31

Aston Villa v Chelsea

Key Battle: Improving Chelsea won in the week and Fernando Torres will hope to get the better of James Collins against Villa.

Player to Watch: Juan Mata is the danger man for Chelsea who can carve opponents apart at will.

Talking Point: Villa have been poor of late whilst Chelsea are desperate for points

Prediction: 0-1

Everton v West Brom

Key Battle: Youssuf Mulumbu will have to keep Leon Osman quiet if West Brom’s goal is to be untroubled at the weekend.

Player to Watch: Nikica Jelavic has looked dangerous since signing from Rangers and should cause West Brom problems

Talking Point: With little to play for, West Brom appear to be looking forward to the summer already – whilst Everton’s minds are focused on the FA Cup

Prediction: 0-0

Fulham v Norwich

Key Battle: Fulham will hope to do better than they did against Swansea at home recently, and they will be glad Grant Holt is out – but Steve Morison is not, and he could be a handful for Brede Hangeland.

Player to Watch: Clint Dempsey is often on the end of Fulham’s most dangerous pieces of play and he could strike for them at any moment.

Talking Point: Two teams again with little to play for in the league on paper, but who have had good seasons and will want to show how good they are again.

Prediction: 3-2

Man City v Sunderland

Key Battle: Lee Cattermole is charged with closing down and annoying opponents with his running, and he could cause David Silva all kinds of problems

Player to Watch: Sergio Aguero has not scored with the prolific rate he was at the start of the season, but has the talent to spark into life.

Talking Point: Stoke angered City with their physical approach last week and Sunderland will look to do the same, but may be tired and disappointed after a Cup defeat in the week

Prediction: 1-0

QPR v Arsenal

Key Battle: Joey Barton will be tasked with getting in the face of the Arsenal midfield, and he has previous with Alex Song and Gervinho

Player to Watch: Robin van Persie has not scored for Arsenal in two matches, which begs the question – surely he will this weekend?

Talking Point: QPR need points but are without Djibril Cisse, again, whilst Arsenal have won seven on the trot

Prediction: 0-2

Wigan v Stoke

Key Battle: Mo Diame and Dean Whitehead will be a tough physical battle and Wigan will need Diame to come out on top.

Player to Watch: Victor Moses has looked bright for Wigan recently but sometimes doesn’t pass when team mates are in better positions

Talking Point: Wigan need the points more, but will find it tough against a very physical Stoke

Prediction: 1-0

Wolves v Bolton

Key Battle: A tough relegation battle, and Ivan Klasnic can cause Roger Johnson all kinds of problems if at his best

Player to Watch: Matt Taylor has the ability to pop up with big, important goals for Bolton.

Talking Point: Wolves look the weakest team in the league right now whilst Bolton are battling bravely against the drop and for their stricken midfielder Fabrice Muamba

Prediction: 0-2

Newcastle v Liverpool

Key Battle: Liverpool will need Steven Gerrard firing on all cylinders, but Newcastle will hope Yohan Cabaye can outshine him

Player to Watch: Hatem Ben Arfa was brilliant last weekend against West Brom and can cause Liverpool problems

Talking Point: Few would have bet Newcastle being above Liverpool at this stage of the season, and this will be a key battle between the European contenders

Prediction: 1-1

Tottenham v Swansea

Key Battle: Gareth Bale is looking like he is getting back to his best form and will hope to shine against Swansea and their full back Angel Rangel.

Player to Watch: Leon Britton will be the man Tottenham need to stop spraying around his Xavi-like passes in the Swansea midfield

Talking Point: Tottenham look revitalised for a final push for the Champions League, but Swansea have been brilliant this year

Prediction: 4-2

Blackburn v Man Utd

Key Battle: Wayne Rooney will hope to continue his good form against Blackburn and Grant Hanley at the back for them

Player to Watch: Antonio Valencia provides so many assists that Blackburn will have to watch him closely on Monday night

Talking point: United appear to be strolling to the title now, but Blackburn have spirit and could cause them problems

Prediction: 1-2