Mata, Suarez, and...? 10 players to watch in the Premier League this weekend

Players from Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton, Crystal Palace, Cardiff City, West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland feature.

This weekend marks the start of the very busy festive period that sides will have to face. One of four teams could be sitting on top of the table, the relegation picture could have a different look to it and there are a couple of big clashes this weekend.

Our players to watch are either returning to familiar surroundings, have a point to prove, are in very good form or perhaps don’t get the plaudits they deserve. Here are our ten players to look out for this weekend.

Craig Bellamy

He may be facing a battle to be a fit with a knee injury but Bellamy would love to take part in his hometown’s match against the side he spent two spells at. If he does take part, he is sure to get a warm reception from those at Anfield.

Ravel Morrison

It’s well documented that Morrison was let go by Manchester United partly because of his antics off the pitch but he has been one of the few bright sparks in West Ham United’s season so far. Can he prove his point at Old Trafford and come back to haunt the club?

Luis Suarez

With a goalscoring record of 17 goals in 11 games so far this season, it is hard to leave Suarez out of such a piece. In every home game he has played in this season he has managed to get himself on the scoresheet.

Shane Long

Long was a target for Hull City during the summer but opted to stay at West Bromwich Albion. Given that Steve Clarke was axed last weekend, the Baggies are going to want a big performance from Long up front – and for him to find the net.

Fabio Borini

Once a hero in the Tyne/Wear derby, and now a League Cup hero after his midweek exploits for Sunderland against Chelsea. Every game is a big game at the moment for the Mackems, so Gus Poyet may call on the Italian to perform another heroic act for the side.

Juan Mata

Some Chelsea fans will have been wondering why Juan Mata didn't feature in midweek for the League Cup defeat against Sunderland, but he may feature against Arsenal, who he tormented earlier on in the season in the Cup. Will he haunt the Gunners again?

Marouane Chamakh

Chamakh seems to have had a new lease of life under new Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis having scored in each of the club’s last three games. Another goalscoring performance from him this weekend against Newcastle would suit the Eagles down to the ground.

Thomas Vermalen

With Laurent Koscielny highly unlikely to feature having suffered a knee injury against Manchester City, it is an opportunity for Vermalen to stake his claim for a place back in the Arsenal side in massive clash with Chelsea. Can he provide the solidity that’s required to keep Chelsea at bay?

Edin Dzeko

No Sergio Aguero for Manchester City, but Dzeko threw his hat in the ring to be the ideal replacement in midweek by scoring twice against Leicester City in the League Cup. Now it’s just the small matter of finding the net against Fulham if Manuel Pellegrini decides to select him.

Kevin Mirallas

Whilst all the headlines at Everton will have been the focused on the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Gerard Deulofeu and Gareth Barry, Kevin Mirallas has been in pretty impressive form for the Toffees this season, and in a game against Swansea could pop up with the vital goal Everton need.

image: © Wshjackson

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