After a weekend of FA Cup action the Premier League returns this weekend as it’s the reverse of the opening day fixtures.
With the league taking shape after 20 games, each Premier League fixture is becoming all the more important – meaning every player’s contribution is proving to be that little more crucial.
With all that mind, some players this weekend are returning from injury, up against their old club, have their futures in doubt or are in very good form. So here are our 10 players to watch in the Premier League this weekend.
Sturridge returns to action for Liverpool after a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury. Before that, he had scored 9 goals in his 12 league appearances this season so he’ll be looking to pick up from where he left off – though he may be getting his chance from the bench.
Adam lines up against one of his former clubs this weekend, but has looked a goal threat of late for the Potters. Can he provide the threat Stoke need? And will he come back to haunt his former employers?
There is some uncertainty surrounding Hoolahan’s future at Norwich City with reports linking him with a reunion with old boss Paul Lambert at Aston Villa. However, Hoolahan is struggling with a knock ahead of Norwich’s trip to Everton, so it will be interesting to see if he does play, and if so what kind of performance he puts in.
Arsenal’s front line has been hit badly in recent weeks with Giroud himself missing out through illness meaning Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott have both filled in, and both picked up injuries. The Gunners will be hoping Giroud is fit enough to lead their attack at Villa Park in order to keep them on top of the table.
Gus Poyet said Adam Johnson had made his night when Sunderland overcame Manchester United in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final. Johnson came off the bench and put in a determined performance which resulted in the Mackems being awarded a crucial penalty. Will he impress again in Sunderland’s six pointer at Fulham?
Mata seems to be the player to watch at Chelsea at the moment, and unfortunately for him it’s not just for his wonderful footballing ability. It’s over whether he starts under Jose Mourinho, how his attitude is and whether he can impress his manager. This weekend’s match is unlikely to be different, as there will be plenty of chat about the Spaniard.
Bony seems to be finding his feet at Swansea City and his highlight so far will have been his header that knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford. This week, he gets a similar opportunity in the league this time. Can he add inflict more misery on United?
Ever since his return from ulcerative colitis, Fletcher has arguably been Manchester United’s most impressive midfielder. That either speaks highly of him, or not very highly of his teammates in the middle of the park. Either way, Fletcher may have become more of an importance than David Moyes will have wanted and expected so quickly after the Scot’s return to action, and they’ll want him to shine against Swansea this weekend.
Huddlestone – minus his big hair – will have to be at his best in his integral role in the middle of the park for Hull City against a Chelsea side that looks as if they’re starting to get going and are showing signs of putting together a title challenge. Huddlestone’s distribution is going to be a big factor for Hull against the Blues.
Magnus Wolff Eikrem
The first signing for Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer at Cardiff City and the Norwegian midfielder will be desperate to show he is money well spent in this weekend’s match crunch game against West Ham United.
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