None of the top six face each other this weekend but they should nevertheless be wary of slipping up against seemingly inferior opposition. The likes of Stoke and Swansea are unlikely to tamely roll over against Liverpool and Arsenal respectively. So who are the players to look out for on the 21st Matchday of the Premier League?
The Captaincy Debate
One man who had an excellent Christmas period was Gareth Bale. The Welshman’s performance at Norwich in particular earned him plenty of plaudits from the media. With Spurs playing their second home game in the space of four days, Bale will be in amongst any attacking activity for Harry Redknapp’s men. The last time Wolves visited North London though, they snatched a point as they only conceded one. It might not be as free-flowing as Bale would like.
In that case, it’s certainly worth looking at Sergio Aguero as a possible alternative. The Argentinian has found the net in his last two performances against Liverpool and Manchester United. He travels to Wigan on Monday night looking to further his total of fourteen league goals this season. The Latics have been very inconsistent this season but can take heart from the fact the league leaders haven’t scored in their last two Premier League away days.
If you’re worried by this statistic, then why not consider Wayne Rooney. Despite reports claiming Rooney could be sold off by Sir Alex Ferguson , the United No.10 turned in an unblemished performance against fierce rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup last Sunday. However, in his last thirteen Premier League games, the former Everton star has only netted four times. He faces Bolton on Saturday as the Trotters try desperately to stave off the threat of relegation. He scored a hattrick in their first encounter earlier this season.
The Captain – Gareth Bale – The stage seems set for Bale this weekend to continue his excellent form against a Wolves side vulnerable to the Welshman’s quick turn of speed.
The Vice Captain – Sergio Aguero – The Argentinian should be confident of netting at the DW Stadium on Monday night as he faces the third worst defence in the Premier League.
Long Term Look
Let’s focus on a player who has revelled under new Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill – Stephane Sessegnon. The attacking midfielder who hails from Benin has had a terrific Christmas period for the Black Cats netting twice and creating three. Priced currently at a modest £6.5 million on Fantasy Premier League, Sessegnon offers a good alternative to more pricey midfield options.
Sunderland have upcoming home games against Norwich and Swansea meaning it is all the more tempting to draft in the Benin international. That said the way the Wearsiders have been playing with O’Neill in charge, you wouldn’t bet against Sessegnon having an impact in this weekend’s match against Chelsea, considering the plight of both sides.