Fabian Delph, Aston Villa

Christian Benteke almost single-handedly kept Villa in the Premier League with his superb form across the second half of last season but the Belgian's absence through injury means that Paul Lambert, the manager, will need to look elsewhere for inspiration during the run-in. With Villa's players desperately short of confidence after four successive league defeats, Delph's industry and never-say-die-attitude may be crucial to drive on his team-mates over the final five matches. One of the most consistent performers in a struggling team, he has also weighed in with a couple of vital league goals, scoring the winner at Southampton and, memorably, at home against Chelsea last month. One more decisive contribution from the 24-year-old midfielder will almost certainly be enough to keep Villa up. Stuart James

Wilfried Bony, Swansea City

At a club-record £12m, Bony did not come cheap when he signed under Michael Laudrup from Vitesse Arnhem last summer, but 20 goals in all competitions in his first season at Swansea City represent a decent return, even if things have not quite gone as everyone planned. The dream ticket for Swansea was for Bony to lead the line and Michu to play just off him but the partnership never really clicked over the first few months and the pair have not had a chance to gel during the second half of the season because the Spaniard has been sidelined with an ankle injury. Bony, though, has grown in confidence over the course of the campaign. Strong in the air and powerful on the ground, the Ivorian is a real threat in the opposition area and will want to sign off with a flourish before the World Cup. Stuart James

Robert Snodgrass, Norwich City

If Norwich City are to escape relegation, Robert Snodgrass could hold the key. The winger has been one of their more impressive performers in a miserable season and his creativity on the right wing and dangerous set pieces could give them the spark they require against Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. Norwich's manager, Neil Adams, is well aware of Snodgrass's importance and praised him after last week's defeat at Fulham. "Robert Snodgrass was mind-boggling, the amount of effort he put in and he typified how hard we worked as a side," Adams said. Snodgrass is Norwich's joint top scorer in the league with five goals and has scored winners against Sunderland, Tottenham and West Ham. Adams will be banking on the Scottish international to provide ammunition for his misfiring strikers. Jacob Steinberg

Morgan Amalfitano, West Bromwich Albion

A couple of goal-of-the-season contenders – the mazy run in West Bromwich Albion's memorable 2- 1 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford in September and the outrageous lob against Cardiff City at the Hawthorns last month – have provided the headline moments for Amalfitano in his first season in English football. At times it has seemed like a stop-start campaign for the 29-year-old winger, who is on loan from Marseille and keen to play in the Premier League again next season. But those flashes of brilliance, together with the recent match-winning goal against fellow strugglers Norwich, underline his star quality. In an Albion team that are not blessed with a prolific striker – Amalfitano is the joint leading scorer in the league with four – the Frenchman's contribution over the last few weeks could be vital. Stuart James

Connor Wickham, Sunderland

How everyone laughed when Gus Poyet recalled Wickham from a loan stint at Leeds United and suggested the England Under-21 striker could be the answer to Sunderland's woes. After all, the striker Steve Bruce once paid £8m for – rising to a potential £12m – had rarely looked like scoring in a Sunderland shirt. Criticised by Martin O'Neill and Paolo Di Canio, he seemed an expensive mistake, but Wickham has only just turned 21 and his two impressive goals in the 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Wednesday night have offered Poyet hope of a great escape. Wickham says loans at Leeds and, earlier, Sheffield Wednesday turned him into "a man", and he is certainly holding the ball up much better than before. If Adam Johnson and, perhaps, a recalled Emanuele Giaccherini can provide suitabl service Wickham might just register the goals to give Sunderland the minimum three wins they so desperately require. Louise Taylor