It is going to be an interesting weekend in the Premier League as sides have the opportunity to put pressure on the two teams who are taking part in the League Cup final.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool will all look to pressure on Manchester City at the top of the Premier League whilst the sides involved in the relegation scrap will look to make Sunderland’s task of avoiding relegation a bit more difficult this weekend.
With all that mind, here are our ten players to watch in the Premier League this weekend.
Ozil returns to the Arsenal side this weekend after missing the win against Sunderland. The German has been criticised for lacklustre performances of late, but having had a week out of the side, will we see a recharged Ozil performing to the standard that made Arsenal pay in excess of £42m for him?
Baines had a terrific game for Everton against this weekend’s opponents West Ham United scoring two wonderfully taken free-kicks, and has been in impressive form for the Toffees defensively this season. Roberto Martinez would like to see another top class display from his left-back.
Sturridge is going through a real purple patch in front of goal at the moment having scored in each of his last eight Premier League games – with a tally of 18 goals for this campaign. A big game for Liverpool awaits for Liverpool on the south coast against Southampton, and another scoring display from the Reds number 15 could go a long way to keeping their title ambitions going.
Lovren was superb for Southampton earlier on this season when they played Liverpool at Anfield both at the back and in scoring the winner. He’s going to have to be at his best at the heart of the Southampton defence if there is to be a repeat performance and result on Saturday evening.
Caulker returns to his old club Tottenham this weekend, and his current club Cardiff City need a big lift as they are currently in a perilous position, and were hammered 4-0 at home by Hull City last weekend. Defensively there needs to be a big improvement for Cardiff, and from Caulker, otherwise they could be sliding even further towards a swift return to the Championship.
Another player facing his former club and Fulham will need Sidwell to have a big game at the heart of their midfield, as they look to get something against Chelsea to help their cause of avoiding relegation. He is capable of delivering against the big teams for his side as shown in their 2-2 draw against Manchester United not so long ago, so another gutsy midfield effort could help his side out massively.
Eto’o was subject to a few comments from his boss Jose Mourinho this week about his age, in a leaked conversation where the Chelsea boss said his strikers don’t score enough. Eto’o has subsequently said he isn’t bothered and those comments won’t affect him. So if he’s picked, should we be surprised if we gets on the scoresheet against Fulham?
Ledley could be in for a frosty reception as the Cardiff old boy will be part of the Crystal Palace side that travels to Swansea City. There is only one way for him to silence them, and that is to put in a big performance to lead the Eagles leaving the Liberty Stadium with all three points. Will Ledley shine?
Hoolahan is believed to have wanted a reunion with his old boss Paul Lambert at Aston Villa, but Norwich City insisted the player should stay put. It will be interesting to see how he performs if he plays a part at Villa Park on Sunday.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald