EPL Predictions Week 6: Stars Sure to Be the Best at Their Positions

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IISeptember 26, 2012

EPL Predictions Week 6: Stars Sure to Be the Best at Their Positions

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    More spectacular goals and sublime skill will be on display in the next set of matches in the 2012-13 English Premier League season. 

    It has been a wild start to the campaign, with Everton and West Bromwich Albion currently in position to qualify for Champions League, and Liverpool in one of the relegation spots. 

    But there is certain to be more incredible performances that will lead to the table undergoing drastic changes.

    Here are the stars who will shine brightest and put their teams in position to earn three points.   

Goalkeeper: Joe Hart, Manchester City

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    Joe Hart has become one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and he has continued his fine form this season. 

    Manchester City is taking on Fulham at Craven Cottage, where the London club has won both of its matches without conceding a goal thus far. Although City is far more talented than the Cottagers, the hosts will not go down easy in this match.

    To start the season, the City defense has been far less solid than it was last year, giving up seven goals in five matches when it only allowed 29 during all of last year's campaign. Hart will be called upon to make saves in this game. As he often does, he will deliver in spectacular fashion. 

    Hart will be an instrumental part of City's performance at the back in this game. 

Left-Back: Ashley Cole, Chelsea

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    Despite being 31 years old, Ashley Cole is still one of the best left-backs in football. 

    Chelsea will need both his defending and attacking skills this weekend as they take on an Arsenal team that has yet to lose a game this season.

    Cole rose to stardom with the Gunners, and he has as much motivation as any player to perform at a high level in this London derby. 

    Expect the left-back to be flying up and down the flank in this game.

Center-Back: Gareth McAuley, West Bromwich Albion

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    Class and professionalism have long defined Gareth McAuley's career, but the veteran center-back has helped West Bromwich Albion get off to fantastic start.

    The Baggies are currently tied with Everton for third in the table, and have conceded just four goals this season. His consistent play in the heart of the defense has helped the back line play at a high level. 

    McAuley and West Brom will take on Aston Villa in a Sunday game, and the 32-year-old has an excellent chance to lead his team to its fourth clean sheet of the season.

    The upcoming match will be a continuation of one of the finest defensive performances of the young EPL season. 

Center-Back: Thomas Vermaelen, Arsenal

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    The Arsenal captain missed last week's draw with Manchester City with the flu, but the Gunners will likely have their star center-back in the lineup for its clash with Chelsea.

    Vermaelen has few weaknesses in his skill set. He is strong and athletic while remaining disciplined in his defensive duties. 

    Going forward, he has the touch and vision to distribute to his midfielders and allow Arsenal to maintain possession of the ball. The Gunners have only allowed two goals this season, and Vermaelen's leadership has played a significant role in that effort. 

    In the weekend's premier matchup, Vermaelen will turn in another impressive performance. 

Right-Back: Rafael, Manchester United

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    The Brazilian right-back was a promising talent from the moment that he arrived at Old Trafford, but Rafael's youthful energy has come with a lack of discipline and consistency. 

    But this season, he has shown that he has grown as a player is playing brilliantly at the moment. The spectacular goal he scored against Liverpool this past weekend was a long time coming. 

    Raafel has the speed and tenacity to be a capable defender, as well as the touch to make dangerous runs and aid the attack. 

    His presence will be felt on the ride side of the pitch against Tottenham. 

Left Midfielder: Gareth Bale, Tottenham

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    Gareth Bale is one of the Premier League's great talents and he will need to turn in a fine performance in order to lift Tottenham over Manchester United. 

    Spurs will have to travel to Old Trafford for this difficult match, but the London club will have a slightly easier time cracking the United defense without Nemanja Vidic on the pitch. The center-back will miss eight weeks due to knee surgery

    Bale will need to take advantage of his opponent's depleted defense and put a significant amount of pressure on the back line. 

    The Welshman can impact a game like few other players in the Premiership and he will cause problems for the United defense. 

Center Midfielder: Joe Allen, Liverpool

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    Liverpool has yet to earn three points from a Premier League fixture this season, but the Reds will find the road to victory significantly smoother against Norwich. 

    After playing Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, Brendan Rodgers will finally see his team dominate possession, score goal and win a match. That will all start in the center of the pitch with Joe Allen. 

    Allen will continue to pass intelligently and frustrate opposing midfielders. He is an excellent ball-winner a fantastic distributor. 

    He will be the engine behind Liverpool's first victory of the season. 

Center Midfielder: Santi Cazorla, Arsenal

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    Santi Cazorla looks as if he has been playing under Arsene Wenger since he was a teenager. 

    The 27-year-old Spanish international has an innate understanding of his teammate's tendencies and preferences, allowing him to play stunningly perfect passes. He is also extremely clever with his movement and is able to find space on the pitch. 

    When he has the ball, he is always a danger to dribble past players and he has one of the most lethal long-range shots in the Premiership. 

    No player in England has been more impressive that Cazorla, and he will continue his fine form against Chelsea. 

Right Midfielder: Hatem Ben Arfa, Newcastle

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    Hatem Ben Arfa has brought creativity and flare to the Newcastle attack this season.

    The crafty French midfielder is a constant threat to make a decisive pass that will set up a goal, or to simply take players on and score himself. 

    Newcastle will take on Reading this weekend, and the Magpies will have an opportunity to post a convincing victory over the new-boys. 

    Expect Ben Arfa to create a significant amount of scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates in his next match. 

Striker: Steven Fletcher, Sunderland

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    Steven Fletcher has scored four goals in three matches since arriving at Sunderland, and his poaching talents have been a perfect fit for the Black Cats. 

    He is a true center forward who does not waste touches in front of goal, and he has been a constant danger to his team's opponents. 

    Sunderland will take on Wigan this weekend, and the Latics have already allowed 10 goals. Their soft defense will struggle against Fletcher, who is in top-class form. 

    The Scot only needs a few inches of space to get on the score sheet, and he will find that at least once against an undisciplined Wigan defense. 

Striker: Rickie Lambert, Southampton

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    Rickie Lambert has as much pressure on him to score as any striker in the Premier League due to Southampton's defensive deficiencies.

    The Saints have given up an EPL-worst 15 goals this season. Lambert has done everything possible to keep his team competitive and has scored four times. 

    He is a powerful striker who is excellent in the air and also possesses a thumping shot. 

    Lambert is well on his way to a productive season, and he will need to continue his goal-scoring pace in order for Southampton to avoid relegation.