This weekend’s Premier League action sees a few fixtures that raise the eyebrows.
That includes a Tyne/Wear derby, a massive fixture in the title race, key games in the race for the top four whilst the relegation battle has a couple of big games, also. This weekend could see many players take centre stage. They could be facing old friends, filling in for key players, have a huge amount of responsibility or could be in line for their debuts. There are those who have good records against their opponents this weekend. With all that in mind, here are ten players to look out for.
Luuk De Jong
De Jong completed his loan signing from Borussia Monchengladbach this week and could be in line for a baptism of fire in the Tyne/Wear derby on Saturday lunch-time. There is no Loic Remy, and Papiss Cisse is being constantly linked with a move away from the club – so how will De Jong do on his debut?
Borini became a bit of a cult hero on Wearside after his winner for Sunderland in the reverse fixture against Newcastle, and has popped up with a couple of important goals for the side since. Another big game - does Borini have another big goal in him.
With Sergio Aguero substituted because of injury in the win over Tottenham, and Alvaro Negredo nursing a slight shoulder problem, Manuel Pellegrini may be looking to Dzeko to fire them to victory against fellow title challengers Chelsea.
Huddlestone comes up against his old club in Tottenham when Hull City face them at the KC Stadium this weekend. It will be an interesting midfield battle, but Huddlestone will have a point to prove to show he can compete against and shine against his old club.
Chamakh didn’t have the best of times at Arsenal as he struggled to find his stride but Tony Pulis seems to have found a bit of promise in his play at Crystal Palace. Pulis will be hoping he can get the best out of him as Chamakh returns to the Emirates Stadium.
With Romelu Lukaku sidelined and Lacina Traore a couple of weeks away from full fitness, Nasimith could be the man leading the Everton attack against Aston Villa. He didn’t have much effect when he came on at Anfield, but he did grab a couple of goals in the FA Cup last weekend, and will hope to build on that this weekend.
Sturridge has scored in every game since his return from injury, including his brace against Everton in midweek. The question is; can he keep that run going? And if the opportunity of a hat-trick is there before him, will he lay it off to a striker in a better position? We shall see.
After a barren spell, Benteke seems to have got back into some decent goalscoring form having scored in each of his last three league games, his latest was the winning penalty in the 4-3 victory against West Bromwich Albion. Can he keep that run going against Everton?
Young was pretty impressive for Manchester United in midweek against Cardiff City. This weekend, United travel to the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke City, where Young shone for United in the League Cup. Can he keep up his good form and put in a repeat performance against the Potters?
Jose Mourinho will probably set up his Chelsea side to be solid at the Etihad Stadium as they take on free scoring Manchester City. At the heart of the defence, the Chelsea captain is going to have to demonstrate all of his best qualities, including leadership.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald