The next round of Premier League matches will likely shake the table up as key players become of utmost importance during this crucial set of fixtures.
Arsenal's trip to Manchester City headlines a week that also sees Manchester United travel to Aston Villa and Spurs take on Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Who will make the difference in this week's games?
Let's take a look at the upcoming schedule and predictions before settling on those all-important names.
|Manchester City vs. Arsenal||Dec. 14||12:45 p.m. GMT/7:45 a.m. ET||3-1|
|Cardiff City vs. West Brom||Dec. 14||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||1-1|
|Chelsea vs. Crystal Palace||Dec. 14||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||3-0|
|Everton vs. Fulham||Dec. 14||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||3-0|
|Newcastle United vs. Southampton||Dec. 14||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||2-1|
|West Ham vs. Sunderland||Dec. 14||3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET||2-1|
|Hull City vs. Stoke City||Dec. 14||5:30 p.m. GMT/12:30 p.m. ET||2-1|
|Aston Villa vs. Manchester United||Dec. 15||1:30 p.m. GMT/8:30 a.m. ET||2-1|
|Norwich City vs. Swansea City||Dec. 15||1:30 p.m. GMT/8:30 a.m. ET||1-2|
|Tottenham vs. Liverpool||Dec. 15||4 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. ET||2-2|
Players Set to Star in Upcoming Matches
Samir Nasri, Manchester City
Arsenal fans will remember Samir Nasri.
They'll remember his creative talent, ability to win matches and, most of all, his decision to exchange the Emirates for the Etihad. While the French midfielder is yet to truly define his City career with a special moment, his form has been much-improved of late.
Will Samir Nasri score against Arsenal?
Nasri's confidence looks to have returned under Manuel Pellegrini, who has reinstated the 26-year-old back into his side while David Silva recovers from injury. Although the Spaniard will be fit to face the Premier League leaders, reported by Nick Lustig of the Mirror, Nasri is likely to get the starting nod.
With four goals and two assists in 15 Premier League games this season, per WhoScored.com, it's clear the energetic player is capable of helping his team to three points.
Arsenal's season has largely progressed without a hitch—barring defeats against Villa and Manchester United—but a goal from their former player could signal a change in momentum for both sides.
Ross Barkley, Everton
Roberto Martinez's handling of Ross Barkley has been fantastic this campaign. The English starlet completed 90 minutes in six of Everton's first seven games, but his manager gave him plenty of rest across October and November, ensuring he is ready for the Christmas run of games.
Barkley's performances against United and Arsenal suggest this was an intelligent course of action by the former Wigan boss.
Will Ross Barkley score against Fulham?
The 20-year-old's powerful dribbling skills have seen him glide beyond some of the toughest competitors in the league, as he continues to thrust the Toffees into counterattacking moves with his willingness to drive at opponents.
Barkley is likely to receive a decent amount of room in midfield during Fulham's trip to Goodison Park, suggesting he will be even more productive on the ball when Rene Meuelensteen's men visit.
With just one loss this season, Everton have nothing to fear, typified by the attitude and continued confidence of their hottest young property.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool
Is there any superlative left for Luis Suarez this season?
The Uruguayan striker has scored 14 goals in 10 appearances, per WhoScored.com, and continues to romp through any defence put in front of him (well, aside from Hull).
Will Luis Suarez score against Spurs?
The divisive character has scored stunning long-rangers, tap-ins, headers, free-kicks, often in the same game. He is continually dangerous all over the pitch and has the capability to overturn Spurs' run of two consecutive wins.
The North London club will need to be particularly wary of Suarez's dribbling skills and are likely to utilise the tackling prowess of Paulinho, Sandro and Mousa Dembele to track his every movement.
A win for Spurs will put them on equal points with Liverpool and could see them go as high as second if other results fall in their favour, while Brendan Rodgers' team will be itching to keep pressuring Arsenal at the top.