This weekend in the Premier League will see plenty of interesting match-ups both in terms of the teams and the players. There is the clash between the two most successful clubs in the country at Old Trafford and a North London derby taking place at White Hart Lane with still some issues to resolve as the Premier League is now firmly in what you would regard as the business end of the season.
With that in mind, here are our ten players to look out for in the Premier League this weekend.
Rooney has said it is hurting to see Liverpool and Manchester City in the race for the title whilst Manchester United have been looking up at them. He said it's particularly painful to see Liverpool in the mix. He's no stranger to scoring against Liverpool, though he'd probably like to score more against the Reds, and he could help spoil Liverpool’s chances of becoming champions by firing United to victory against them at Old Trafford this weekend.
Tottenham’s implosion against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge all started with the slip and poor back pass from Jan Vertonghen. Spurs will be looking for a response, and a more solid defensive performance, in order to keep their slim looking hopes of getting into the top four alive. A win over Arsenal, however, could reignite a challenge for the Champions League places.
City haven’t been their free-scoring selves of late but that might be down to the fact their top scorer hasn’t been fit enough to play and that Negredo is out of form. They need Negredo to get back in amongst the goals again, with Aguero suffering another hamstring problem against Barcelona in the Champions League.
If Hull City had a bit of cutting edge at the Etihad Stadium earlier on in the season, the result could have been very different. In January they signed two strikers in Jelavic and Shane Long, and the Croat seems to have settled in at Hull reasonably well. Can we expect him to find the target again?
Vermalen hasn’t been in the side much this season but he’s had to fill in at left-back due to the injuries to Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal lately. He put in a reasonably good performance in Munich, so will Arsene Wenger stick with him in the North London derby?
No manager about this weekend for Newcastle United as Alan Pardew starts his stadium ban for head-butting Hull City’s David Meyler, so what effect will it have on the players? Their captain may have to take a little bit more responsibility, certainly around the dressing room. It will be interesting to see the effect it has on him and the team as a whole.
Lampard broke the Chelsea goalscoring record in this fixture last season, and had a big say in the result between themselves and Villa earlier on in the campaign. If selected, will he have just as big an effect on the outcome between the two sides this Saturday evening?
Holtby has started the previous two games on the bench recently under new Fulham boss Felix Magath, but the strategy doesn’t seem to have worked. With every game seemingly getting bigger every week, will Magath play Holtby in the hope he can come up with the piece of magic that can somehow kick-start Fulham’s bid to stay in the top flight?
Cattermole had a poor second half in the FA Cup defeat to Hull City last weekend but he will be needed at his best against Crystal Palace in what is likely to be a tough, yet crucial battle for Sunderland in their bid to escape the drop.
Gerrard’s role could be fascinating as Liverpool take on Manchester United at Old Trafford. Brendan Rodgers has several midfield options at his disposal with the return of Lucas Leiva to the side – so will Gerrard continue in the deeper midfield role or will the Liverpool boss be tempted to change things?