Every weekend, the significance of Premier League action seems to be get bigger and bigger as it’s tight between top and bottom. Some players have joined up with new clubs as the January transfer window is well under way, some players are returning from injury and others are keen to make their mark on sides when they may have done earlier on in the campaign.
So, here are our ten players to look out for in the Premier League this weekend:
Having just signed on loan from Wigan Athletic, Holt is set to make his Premier League debut for Aston Villa against Liverpool. It will be interesting to see if he starts the game alongside Christian Benteke because since both men have such a big presence they could cause problems for the Liverpool defence.
City’s top scorer makes his Premier League return this weekend against Cardiff City after being out for a while through an injury. They have coped without him but with Aguero back City look an even more frightening prospect going forward.
Jose Mourinho has tipped Eden Hazard to become the best player in the world, and given the form he is in at the moment there is no reason to suggest why the Chelsea boss is going to be far away from the mark on this issue. Can he continue his good form this weekend and help inflict another defeat on Manchester United?
The former Celtic winger signed for Everton last week from Spartak Moscow so it will be interesting to see how he fits into the Toffees’ style of play as they look to keep up the pressure on their Merseyside rivals for the top four by overcoming West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Monday night.
He was introduced in the latter stages of Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa and looked quite lively when he had the ball. Now it may be a question of him gaining a bit of match fitness, meaning he may well feature against Fulham proving he is a huge asset to Arsenal’s cause.
Rooney has been sidelined for a while through injury and there are still question marks over whether he will be fit for the trip to Stamford Bridge this weekend. However, if there is a game that David Moyes may risk him for, it’s this one as he will need his best players against a very good Chelsea side. Will Rooney play and shine against the club he was linked so strongly with in the summer?
Campbell gave Manchester City a torrid time earlier on in the season and benefited from some poor defending as Cardiff City produced the earliest shock of the season. He will have his work cut out having the same effect on this game given City’s 100% home record, but the former Manchester United striker would love nothing more than to put an end to that statistic.
The past two games have seen an upturn in the form of Adam Johnson. His crucial intervention in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final against Manchester United meant his side have a crucial lead in that tie, and his hat-trick performance against Fulham proved to be the difference as it gives Sunderland real hope of avoiding the drop. Can he be the hero again against Southampton?
Carroll has only just returned from injury and provided the assist for Mark Noble to wrap up three crucial points for West Ham against Cardiff. He could make his first start of the season against his former club Newcastle United this weekend as he looks to be the spearhead that keeps the Hammers in the Premier League.
It is going to be interesting to see how this match goes as Jerome, alongside manager Tony Pulis, line up against their former club in Stoke City. Jerome, along with Chamakh have the resources to trouble Stoke who conceded five last weekend against Liverpool, and at Selhurst Park they’ll fancy their chances.
image: © Ben Sutherland