Premier League Week 28 Predictions: Players Set to Star in Upcoming Matches

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2014

Week 28 sees a reduced programme for the Premier League due to the Capital One Cup final at Wembley between Manchester City and Sunderland.

The absence by the Sky Blues from this week's fixtures allows their main title rivals a chance to creep ahead of them as they focus on their cup aspirations.

Chelsea travel the short journey through the streets of West London to face derby opponents Fulham, and Arsenal travel north to the Britannia Stadium to take on the physical might of Stoke City.

Here is a list of the forthcoming fixtures and predictions of the results, as well as a look at the likely stars to emerge from this weekend's action:

Premier League Week 28 Fixtures and Predictions
FixtureDateTime (GMT)Prediction
Everton v West HamMar. 13 p.m.0-0
Fulham v ChelseaMar. 13 p.m.1-2
Hull City v NewcastleMar. 13 p.m.2-1
Stoke City v ArsenalMar. 13 p.m.1-3
Southampton v LiverpoolMar. 15: 30 p.m.2-3
Aston Villa v NorwichMar. 24:30 p.m.1-1
Swansea City v Crystal PalaceMar. 24:30 p.m.2-0
Tottenham v CardiffMar. 24:30 p.m.2-0



Jose Mourinho's purchase of Brazilian international Willian came as a surprise to many as it was difficult to guess where he would play in the Chelsea team.

With Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard pulling the strings behind the striker, the skillful player looked like he could be an expensive addition to the bench.

However, it soon became apparent what The Special One's plan was, and Mata was the player to lose out.

Willian has performed valiantly for the Blues this season, featuring 18 times in the league and scoring twice, per Squawka.

But the overwhelming attribute he has provided, which has become apparent in his short time in London, is his ability to work hard without compromising skill.

The 25-year-old has a magnificent engine and is a completely different type of attacking midfielder than Mata was for Chelsea.

Willian covers an amazing amount of turf during games and is the type of player Mourinho loves.

As Chelsea drive towards a league championship, it is the likes of Willian who will get them over the line, rather than the underperforming collection of strikers that the Blues currently have.

With Hazard and Oscar providing the goals, Willian will be an unsung hero in comparison, but his quality will still shine bright. 


Per Mertesacker

When the 29-year-old German international defender signed for Arsenal the first thought was that he is too slow for the Premier League.

As a player he has never been blessed with a turn of pace that you would expect from a Rio Ferdinand at the top of his game, or the power running displayed by Vincent Kompany. 

But Mertesacker has prevailed and proved himself to be Arsene Wenger's most reliable entity in the back four.

The player has appeared 25 times in the league this season, per Squawka, and helped his team greatly during their lightning start to the current campaign. He has shown himself to be a leader at a time when the Gunners needed one the most.

His real worth is shown in games like the next fixture, at Stoke. Their physical approach would have once shattered the North Londoners' equilibrium and the Potters would have caused Arsenal huge issues in the last third.

Mertesacker has helped these types of issues with his experience and know-how. If Arsenal do pip their rivals to the championship, Mertesacker will have done more than enough to have earned his medal.


Emmanuel Adebayor

It looked like Emmanuel Adebayor's Tottenham Hotspur career was well and truly over. 

Having played all of 45 minutes up until his inclusion by new manager Tim Sherwood during the Christmas programme, the player now has a great return of eight goals in 12 games, per Squawka.

Andre Villas-Boas may not have rated the experienced striker, but if he had, he might still have a job at White Hart Lane.

Adebayor has shown what experience in the prime forward position can give you. He has not only provided goals but also a fear factor that was not there with new signing Roberto Soldado.

As a result, Soldado has looked second class when put up next to Adebayor, and now looks like a very expensive mistake by Spurs.

The club still needs to drive forward and earn the results to challenge Liverpool for fourth place, and the visit of Cardiff City should not hold any problems for Adebayor and Spurs.

A victory will see their charge continue, and Adebayor could well become one of the Premier League's surprise players of the season. 


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