Another huge weekend in the Premier League is upon us as we really do enter the final stretch on the penultimate weekend. Three teams are still involved in the title race and all three of them face very different assignments this weekend, the battle to beat the drop is also a tough one to call.
There are going to have to be some big performances from certain individuals this weekend as they could have a big say in the important games. They may be returning from injury, or there is a bit of intrigue over what role they have in their side. So, who are the players to look out for this weekend?
Jagielka has been absent for quite a while with a hamstring problem but he is returning at a time when Everton face the second highest scorers in the Premier League in Manchester City. Everton’s defence has usually been solid when their skipper has been there, so they wouldn’t mind another solid showing from Jagielka in order to thwart their free-scoring, title challenging opponents.
Toure was very impressive on his return from injury last week against Crystal Palace by setting up and scoring a goal to help Manchester City grab the initiative in the title race. This weekend is a difficult game as they travel to Everton, and Toure is going to need to put in another top class performance to help City remain favourites, and in charge, of this season’s title race.
Ince used to be part of the Liverpool team at youth level before joining Blackpool, and was linked with a move back to Anfield but he joined Crystal Palace in the January window. Palace face Liverpool on Monday night, and if he gets a chance to play against the Reds, he could be a danger and may well punish his old side.
Mata was left out of the starting line-up for Manchester United’s game against Norwich City, but did come off the bench to score two goals. It will be interesting to see if interim manager Ryan Giggs decides to start him this week. If he does, which role will he play? Who would drop out as a result?
O’Shea returns to Old Trafford this weekend with Sunderland, who are currently out of the relegation zone on goal difference, but they will still need points to aid their cause as it’s incredibly tight amongst the bottom clubs. They will need a good performance from the Irishman at the back if they are to leave with a positive, yet crucial result.
Amalfitano’s future at West Bromwich Albion seems to be uncertain as his loan spell expires at the end of the season, but he has come up with some key moments in big games this season. It’s another big game for the Baggies this weekend as they travel to Arsenal. Can he come up with something special to get West Brom a good result at the Emirates Stadium?
The Aston Villa striker has said their home clash with Hull City could be the biggest game of their careers. With no Christian Benteke, there is a bit more pressure on Agbonlahor to deliver in front of goal, and Villa could do with the win to arrest their alarming slide down the table.
Sturridge didn’t look at his best when he came on for Liverpool in last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea at Anfield. But if he is fit for Monday night, he is likely to start and give the Reds that extra option going forward as well as the goal threat, which is much needed now as the title race could be decided on goal difference. A return to scoring form would be welcome for both the player and his team.
There was a lot of talk prior to Ozil’s injury layoff that he looked tired and that he could do with a break. He has looked relatively fresh since his return and Arsenal look pretty creative going forward, and part of that is down to the German. It will be interesting to see how he performs against West Brom this weekend.
Hazard returned to the Chelsea side in the Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid, and his side are within two points of league leaders Liverpool with two games to go. He has been their most prolific player in front of goal this season, so Jose Mourinho may be looking to him to bring all of his attacking prowess to the fore when the Blues take on Norwich City.