An inconsistent Tottenham side will have to deal with Manchester City’s in-form forward on Sunday, and we’re not talking about Sergio Aguero.
Six goals in his last four Etihad Stadium appearances in all competitions mark Alvaro Negredo (£9.1m) out as the man Spurs have to stop in the contest, and at £2.8m cheaper than Argentina’s Aguero (£11.9m), he offers both value and quality ahead of a meeting with the goal-shy visitors.
Goals against Bayern Munich, Everton, Norwich and a hat-trick against CSKA Moscow in City’s last four home matches have seen supporters take the Spanish forward to their hearts, and as the spearhead of Manuel Pellegrini’s side he has dovetailed excellently with the headline-hogging Aguero.
This weekend it could pay to side with the former Sevilla man over the Premier League’s joint-top scorer though, with Negredo possessing the ability to thrive on the service of the likes of Yaya Toure (£9.6m) and Samir Nasri (£8.1m) as City bid to keep alive their 100% home league record this season.
The meeting between City and Spurs is one of the three contests this weekend that pit six of the top eight against each other, with a mouthwatering Merseyside derby kicking off the action and closely followed by Arsenal’s clash with surprise package Southampton.
With so much on the line in both games, it could pay to focus on the defenders in them rather than the attackers.
Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel (£5.4m) and Arsenal’s German international Per Mertesacker (£5.5m) have both displayed a recent goal threat that could come to the fore again here, whilst Seamus Coleman (£5.5m) of Everton and Southampton left-back Luke Shaw (£4.8m) will be doing all they can to get forward and support their team’s attacks.
Attacking will also be on the agenda for Newcastle as they welcome a struggling Norwich and former Magpies boss Chris Hughton to Tyneside on Saturday afternoon.
Following hugely impressive wins at home to Chelsea and then even more recently at Spurs, Newcastle will be full of confidence as they embark on a small run of winnable games that includes this one as well as a home clash with West Brom and a trip to Swansea.
Key to all of those fixtures will be the stylish French midfielder Yohan Cabaye (£6.3m) who, fresh from helping his country reach the World Cup finals in dramatic fashion with the 3-0 win over the Ukraine in midweek, will be hugely important at the weekend.
Cabaye’s set-pieces as well as his constant probing from midfield and ever-present goal threat mark him out as one to watch in the fixture, with his fellow countrymen Loic Remy (£7.8m) and Yoan Gouffran (£6.3m) also looking to keep up impressive recent goalscoring form.
Elsewhere though, it will be all about a different set of forwards.
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (£11.0m) and Robin van Persie (£13.9m) showed signs of clicking in the win over Arsenal before the internationals, and so there will be plenty backing them to fire in the Welsh capital as they take on Cardiff on Sunday afternoon, although it must be noted that the Dutchman is a slight doubt through injury.
Stoke’s Peter Crouch (£5.5m) might garner a little less support than the champions’ dynamic duo, but he could be one to consider ahead of Mark Hughes’ side hosting struggling Sunderland on Saturday.
The beanpole forward has only completed 90 minutes in the league three times this season, but those three occasions were in the Potters’ last three games, during which he found the net against Manchester United and registered two assists in the 3-3 draw at Swansea.
With Gus Poyet’s leaky side coming to town, Crouch could just be the man to turn to.