EPL Week 21 Predictions: X-Factor Performers Set to Dazzle in Sunday's Action

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Samir Nasri of Manchester City in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium  on December 14, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Only one of Saturday's seven Premier League encounters failed to produce two goals or more, and Sunday's schedule ensures that the action isn't set to stop there, either.

Manchester City will aim to make it a raucous double against Newcastle United this term, travelling to St. James' Park five months after dishing out a triumphant 4-0 display against the Magpies on the opening day of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Liverpool face a tough trip to the Britannia Stadium and face a Stoke City side that's lost just once at home all season.

With two of England's biggest title contenders on display, there's bound to be fireworks during our two Sunday clashes, but some stars have a bit more reason to be upbeat about their prospects than others.

Sunday's Premier League Predictions
Newcastle United vs. Manchester CityJan. 122:05 p.m. GMT/9:05 a.m. ET1-3
Stoke City vs. LiverpoolJan. 124:10 p.m. GMT/11:10 a.m. ET2-2
Aston Villa vs. ArsenalJan. 138 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET0-2

Samir Nasri 

David Silva stood as the Citizens' gem during the 6-0 mauling of West Ham in their Capital One Cup semifinal first leg during midweek, but Samir Nasri was also pulling strings from across the park.

The Frenchman has undergone a dramatic revitalisation under Manuel Pellegrini, who has utilised his playmaker to the utmost this season.

Nasri was one of those who managed to get his name on the score sheet at the Etihad Stadium back in August, and he will be looking to deal Alan Pardew's side some further misery in the return fixture this weekend.

According to Fantasy Football Scout, Davide Santon isn't a definite for the encounter after failing to train all week, and with Mathieu Debuchy suspended thanks to his red card against West Brom, the wings look like a particular point of the pitch worth exploiting.

Daniel Sturridge

Something of a wild card this week given that he's been out since late November, Daniel Sturridge could make his highly anticipated return for Liverpool this week.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park on November 23, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex L
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The Englishman was in flying form for the Reds prior to aggravating an ankle injury seven weeks ago, but The Telegraph's Chris Bascombe says that the striker is fit and ready to feature against the Potters.

Brendan Rodgers is quoted by the Liverpool Echo as saying that Luis Suarez's attacking partner is the key to Liverpool's end-of-season run-in:

It was Sturridge who struck home the decisive goal against Mark Hughes' side on the opening day of the season to lead Liverpool to a 1-0 win in August, and it seems only fitting that the forward should come back to haunt Stoke City once more on Sunday.

Alvaro Negredo

Nobody entertained during this week's League Cup fixtures on the same level as Alvaro Negredo, whose elegant outing against Sam Allardyce's Hammers was nothing short of devastating.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08:  Alvaro Negredo of Manchester City in action during the Capital One Cup Semi-Final first leg match between Manchester City and West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on January 8, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The Spaniard struck the second hat-trick of his Manchester City career in the 5-0 mauling, none of which were particularly easy finishes, showing that the Citizens are indeed in good hands with "The Beast" during Sergio Aguero's injury absence.

Goal.com's James Goldman even goes so far as to call the former Sevilla man an "upgrade" from Carlos Tevez:

Negredo will be looking to turn around his form in the league, however, having not netted in his last two Premier League outings and with a point to prove at St. James.