Ramires. Putting in the graft for the third week running.

Want to be the pub/terrace know-all this weekend? Want to know who has committed the most fouls? Or who has covered the most ground? Which player has provided the most crosses and who last week put in a true captain’s performance? Then read on and let the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index arm you with enough stats to impress everyone but girly girls.

Saturday 1st December:

West Ham vs. Chelsea (12:45)

West Ham fought bravely at Old Trafford on Wednesday, just losing out to a first-minute Robin Van Persie strike.  A stuttering yet talented Chelsea side will provide a tough test at Upton Park:

Jussi Jaaskelainen kept the Hammers in the game against United with a string of fine saves.  He’s the league’s second best performing keeper this season, having saved 82.4 percent of the 91 shots on target he’s faced.

James Tomkins frustrated United’s attack for much of the game, and is statistically the Premier League’s most successful tackler according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.  He’s won a massive 94.1% of the seventeen tackles he’s gone in for.

Chelsea can expect a physical battle at Upton Park, as Mark Noble has also been one of the league’s toughest tacklers. He’s one of only seven men in the whole league to have put in 35 successful tackles this season.

The Hammers have had an impressive season so far and look highly unlikely to become involved in a relegation battle.  The team will be aiming to score more often however, as it has now gone six games without striking more than once.

Two games into his managerial tenure at Chelsea, and Rafael Benitez’s team are yet to score.  They haven’t looked like conceding however, and will be full of determination to end their recently inconsistent run of form:

Eden Hazard had a difficult time against Fulham on Wednesday, with little space to operate.  He remains the Premier League’s assist leader with nine however, one ahead of Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez.

Juan Mata is third on the same list, but was left out of Chelsea’s team on Wednesday.  His return could well spark the Blues into life this weekend, as the Spaniard is currently the league’s ninth most prolific passer- the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows him to have made 387 so far at a rate of one every 2.4 minutes.

Covering 7.12 miles, Nascimento Ramires was Chelsea’s hardest worker on Wednesday.  This has been the case for the last three consecutive games in which the Brazilian has played the full 90 minutes.

Fernando Torres’ lack of form may be grabbing all the headlines at the moment but the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows his is most certainly still willing to let fly. He’s had 23 attempts on goal this season, 74% of which have been on target.

Fans  at Stamford Bridge will be hoping December produces better results.  Chelsea took just one victory from seven in November, the first month this season in which the Blues missed out on at least a two-thirds win rate.

Arsenal vs. Swansea City (15:00)

A midweek draw left Arsenal seventh in the league standings.  Although this is below fans’ expectations, the Gunners are just five points off Chelsea in third- a home win would haul them towards the Champions League qualification spots.

Theo Walcott made a good case for more starts at Arsenal with a first-minute goal on Wednesday.  His 66.6% shooting accuracy rate (from 15 shots is identical to that of Lukas Podolski and much greater than Olivier Giroud’s 51.2% from 39 efforts.

Per Mertesacker has split opinion amongst much of Arsenal’s fan base this season, but has an excellent tackling record in the league.  He’s won 89.5% of the nineteen challenges he’s put in a figure topped by only four others this season.

Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla were Arsenal’s two most tireless players against Everton, covering 12.9 miles between them.  The pair have both covered more distance than any of their team mates for three consecutive matches according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Cazorla continues to shine for Arsenal following his summer move form Malaga as he continues his running battle with Yaya Toure to be the league’s most successful passer. He’s notched up 602 passes in the opponent’s half according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

The Gunners failed to score in either of their opening two matches this season, but have done so in eleven of the twelve fixtures since then so Swansea’s defence will have to be on top form this weekend.

Swansea produced a great performance on Wednesday, comfortably defeating an in-form West Brom side.  The win will have galvanized the club’s fans, who will do their best to roar their side to victory at Arsenal this Saturday.

Wayne Routledge scored an excellent brace against the Baggies, becoming the club’s joint-second highest scorer with Nathan Dyer.  The winger has a better rate of shooting accuracy than Dyer this season, 85.7 percent of his 14 shots being on target compared to Dyer’s 68.8 percent from 16 shots.

Miguel Michu took his goals tally to nine with another strike on Wednesday.  Interestingly, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows him to be the only man in the league to have shot on target and won a tackle twenty times each.  This versatility will be key to a strong result at the weekend.

Pablo Hernandez was another superb performer in the midweek game.  With 187 passes at a rate of just under one every four minutes this season, he’s Swansea’s most prolific passer of the ball.

Only Norwich and champions Manchester City can share the Swans’ boast of being on a five match unbeaten run, with two wins and three draws in November.

Bale further increases his shots-on-target ratio.

Fulham vs. Tottenham Hotspur (15:00)

Fulham battled excellently to hold Chelsea to a draw at Stamford Bridge, and will be in confident mood heading into this clash against fellow Londoners Tottenham. An in-form Spurs will provide a stern test for the Cottagers however:

John Arne Riise failed to convert either of two clear chances against Chelsea.  Nevertheless, the left-back has an unmatched rate of shooting accuracy amongst his teammates with 90% of his shots being on target so far this season. This is much better than Dimitar Berbatov’s sixteen from twenty-eight (just over 57 percent).

Steve Sidwell endured a frustrating time at Stamford Bridge, but is the only player in the entire league to have notched up 40 successful tackles this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Dimitar Berbatov has arguably been Fulham’s standout player of the season so far.  The Bulgarian is capable of strong defensive play as well as getting forward, he’s made 32 interceptions at a rate of one every 28.5 minutes this season, a rate that is unmatched by any of his team mates.

Aaron Hughes has been fantastic in his reading of the game at the back for Fulham this season. He currently sits third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for interceptions with a huge 103.

Fulham are having very little luck at the moment.  They’ve failed to win any of their last six league games despite scoring nine goals, drawing four in the same period.

Tottenham are on a high after a solid victory over Liverpool on Wednesday, and seem to be past the recent run of three defeats that damaged their hopes of a top-four finish.  Gareth Bale is in top gear once again, and will aim to frighten Fulham’s defenders at the weekend:

Bale made up for his own goal against Liverpool with the match-winning strike, and moved to seventh on the list of the league’s top scorers.  The Welshman has hit 29 shots on target so far this season, more than any player in the league other than Luis Suarez according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

His midfield teammate Aaron Lennon also found the net in midweek, and has a better rate of shooting accuracy than Bale this season with 63.6 percent from 11 shots.

For the second time in less than a week, Raniere Sandro was Spurs’ hardest working outfield player.  He covered 6.26 miles against Liverpool, and none of his teammates managed to notch up more than 6 miles.

William Gallas continues to prove that age does not diminish natural instincts, as even at 35 he is still Tottenham’s best reader of the game this season, racking up 58 interceptions.

Tottenham are having no problems putting the ball in the back of the net at the moment, and are the only league side to have done so at least twice during each of their last three games.

Liverpool vs. Southampton (15:00)

Defeat at White Hart Lane will have disappointed Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, with his side unfortunate not to score more than once.  The Reds would be wrong to be complacent heading into a game against eighteenth-placed Southampton, who are on a good run of form:

Luis Suarez failed to score against Spurs but caused their defence great problems throughout the game.  The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows him to be the league’s most prolific man on the ball this season, having made 31 dribbles at a rate of one every 43.4 minutes.

Raheem Sterling is chasing Suarez’s record however, and is himself the league’s fifth most prolific dribbler.  The young winger has made 19 at a rate of one every 63.9 minutes.

Jose Enrique missed a number of chances to score at White Hart Lane, but his rate of shooting accuracy rate has been solid this season with a 55.5% on target rate. This rate is actually greater than star team mate Suarez’s 51.3 percent rate from 76 attempts on goal.

Steven Gerrard’s importance to Liverpool in all areas of the pitch really cannot be understated. He’s racked up 431 successful passes in the opponent’s half, a squad-high, as well as an impressive 36 interceptions to boot.

Liverpool may have lost out in their midweek game, but had been on a run of eight games without defeat beforehand.  Three of their next four games are at Anfield, and all will be against teams from the bottom half of the table.

Fans of Southampton will be relieved to see their side’s form improving in recent games.  Now undefeated in four straight games, the Saints are marching towards their forty-point target at an impressive rate:

Morgan Schneiderlin has won many admirers for his performances this season, but his defensive play could use so more refinement to match his excellent work rate. He currently sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for fouls with 30.

This high rate of fouls is likely due to the commitment Schneiderlin shows in his defensive work rate for Nigel Atkins’ side. The Frenchman has attempted 61 tackles so far this season, managing to winning 57%.

Jose Fonte’s reading of the game has been impressive for Southampton this season. The Portuguese defender has compiled 21 clearance and 78 interceptions according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Adam Lallana continues to underline his importance to Southampton with his consistent performance-level this season. He’s their most successful passer of the ball, notching up 312 successful passes in the opponent’s half so far this season.

Lallana is also consistently the man most likely to provide the killer final ball for Southampton, having provided 31 crosses for his teammates this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Nathaniel Clyne is definitely showing he has multiple strings to his bow this season, not all of them limited to his defensive duties. He’s Southampton’s third-slickest passer of a baller, having successfully completed 239 passes.

Yaya Toure. The most prolific passer in the whole league.

Manchester City vs. Everton (15:00)

Still undefeated in the Premier League this season, Manchester City are looking good for another title push.  Their opponents this weekend are also performing well, and are determined to break into the league’s top four- this tie should be an excellent display of attacking talent:

Yaya Toure is the most prolific passer of the ball in the whole league, having completed 609 at an incredible rate of just under one every two minutes according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Mario Balotelli’s goal against Wigan was his first in the league since March, but Roberto Mancini was still unhappy with the Italian’s overall performance.  Balotelli recorded the tenth fastest average speed among his teammates and is yet to be in the top three during a game this season.

Gareth Barry, on the other hand, was City’s hardest working player and covered 6.85 miles, half a mile more than David Silva in second.  Wednesday’s match was the fourth in a row in which Barry has achieved this feat.

City are now the only team in the entire football league not to have lost this season, and will be aiming to repeat Arsenal’s legendary ‘invincible’ 2003-04 record of zero defeats.

Everton remained strong in the face of adversity against Arsenal on Wednesday, cancelling out the Gunners’ early strike to secure a point.  This strength of spirit could be critical against a Manchester City side that are looking increasingly dangerous.

Marouane Fellaini marked his return to the Everton line-up with a goal against Arsenal, and is in the league’s top ten most threatening players- the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Belgian has shot on target once every 45.8 minutes on average.

Fellaini unfortunately continues to sit atop the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for defensive misdemeanor though, having been pulled up for a foul 32 times so far this season.

Leon Osman ran tirelessly again against Arsenal, covering 6.61 miles.  For five consecutive matches now, he’s been either his side’s hardest or second hardest worker.

Tim Howard’s opposite number on Sunday has attracted rave reviews for his performances in goal this season.  The American’s statistical record is not far off Joe Hart’s, he’s saved 75.7 percent of the 74 shots on target he’s faced compared to Hart’s 79.6 percent from 49.

In all competitions this season, the Toffees have only failed to find the net once. They are the only team in the entire league other than West Brom who can boast this record, and will be looking to score early against the champions.

QPR vs. Aston Villa (15:00)

Harry Redknapp’s appointment seems to have inspired QPR, who put in another improved performance on Tuesday to earn a point at Sunderland.  A win on Saturday would cut the gap between the R’s and safety from eight points to just five:

Adel Taarabt set off the January rumour mill with a strong showing at the Stadium of Light.  He’s shot on target 23 times this season at a rate of one every 37.8 minutes, a better record than any of his team mates.

Taarabt has also been the league’s fourth most prolific dribbler this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.  He’s beaten defenders running with the ball fourteen times this season, once every 62.2 minutes on average.

Esteban Granero has been one of the R’s most important players this season, and once again covered more distance than any of his teammates in the midweek game with 6.94 miles.  This was the fourth match in a row in which the Spaniard has achieved this distinction.

QPR are yet to go two games in a row without defeat in this season’s Premier League, but will be in confident mood after a solid result at Sunderland.  Beating fellow strugglers Villa could be the catalyst for one of the Premier League’s ‘Great Escapes’ from relegation.

Christian Benteke’s header gained Aston Villa three vital points to put breathing distance between the club and the Premier League relegation zone.  A second consecutive win could put the Villains level on points with tenth-placed Fulham:

Benteke is keeping Darren Bent out of the Villa side at the moment.  The Belgian frontman has had 69.2% of his 39 shots on target this season compared to Bent’s 60% from 15 attempts.

Matthew Lowton is continuing the excellent tackling record that has defined his season so far.  Only eight league players have bettered his 85% success rate according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Scottish midfielder Barry Bannan is not far behind Lowton however, and has won 84.6% of the 11 tackles he’s gone in for. You can be sure that Harry Redknapp has noted this physical side to Aston Villa’s play.

Villa have only scored three goals in seven away games this season, but have still managed to collect more points on the road than any of the three sides currently in the relegation zone.  With QPR yet to win at their Loftus Road, something will have to give in Saturday’s game.

Lukaku once again demonstrates his excellent accuracy.

West Brom vs. Stoke City (15:00)

West Brom’s excellent run of four straight wins came to an end on Wednesday, with the Baggies falling to defeat against battling Swansea.  The home side remain a force to be reckoned with though, and are level on points with third-placed Chelsea:

Romelu Lukaku scored again in the midweek defeat, bringing his season tally to five.  His 83.3 percent shooting accuracy rate (20 shots on target from 24 attempts) is excellent, and the Belgian is the only player on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with at least 20 goalbound efforts to have maintained a rate of 80% or more.

Claudio Yacob looked solid against Swansea, and has made 35 winning tackles so far this season.  Only three league players have made more, and Yacob’s tally of 24 lost tackles is lower than them all.

The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows the Baggies to be the only side to lose midweek despite covering more ground than their opponents, and manager Steve Clarke will be telling his team to let the ball do more of the work at the weekend.

In all competitions this season, the Baggies have only failed to find the net once, they are the only team in the entire league other than Everton who can boast this record, and will be looking to score early against Stoke.

Stoke’s home results this season have been incredible, with the side taking fifteen from a possible twenty-one points.  If they can replicate this form on the road, the Potters will be strong contenders for a European place:

Asmir Begovic almost cost his side the points on Wednesday with an unfortunate blunder, but remains the league’s best performing keeper this season.  According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Bosnian stopper has saved 75 of the 87 shots on targets he’s faced, notching up an unmatched 86.2 percent success rate.

Stoke were one of only two Premier League teams to win in midweek despite covering less total distance than their opposition, covering 63.9 miles compared to their Newcastle’s 65 miles.

Cameron Jerome scored his side’s late winner on Wednesday, and will be hoping to get more time on the pitch in the next few matches.  He’s only played 96 minutes this season, making eight successful passes and five attempts on goal according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Stoke’s win extended their unbeaten home record this season to seven matches, an even more impressive run considering the Potters have only let in two goals at the Brittania. West Brom may well be relieved to be playing at home at the weekend.

Reading vs. Manchester United (17:45)

Reading just missed out on a point at Aston Villa on Tuesday, conceding a late header to lose 1-0.  The side created several good chances though, and will be hopeful of taking points off the league leaders in Saturday’s late game:

Kaspar Gorkss has been solid for the Royals this season, having racked up 84 interceptions and successfully completed 63% of his tackles. He needs to improve his work on the rare occasion he gets up the other end of the field though. He’s had 9 shots on goal this season, none of which have been on target.

Jobi McAnuff has been toiling to try and spark Reading’s season, the midfielder having dribbled more often that any of his teammates with 13 and providing 33 crosses to boot.

Defender Adrian Mariappa has been more than happy to put his body on the line for the Reading cause this season. He’s racked up 12 blocks according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Midfielder Mikele Leigertwood continues to underline his importance in the Reading engine room having successfully completed more tackles that any other Royal’s player with 34.

Robin van Persie struck after just thirty seconds to win three points against West Ham, and is on fantastic form.  His Manchester United side remains top of the pile, and will be looking to add another victory against relegation-threatened Reading:

Van Persie continues to impress, but trails Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in the golden boot standings.  Interestingly, the Dutchman hasn’t scored a brace in eleven games for United, with Suarez achieving the feat twice in the same period.

Anders Lindegaard got the nod ahead of David de Gea to start in goal for United in midweek, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows there is little to choose between the pair statistically.  Lindegaard has saved 79.4 percent of the 34 shots on target he’s faced while De Gea has saved 76.2 percent of 42 shots on target.

Michael Carrick set up United’s early strike and was their second hardest worker for the third consecutive match against West Ham.  He covered 6.32 miles according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, just short of Van Persie’s 6.46 miles.

Rafael continue to develop under the watchful eye of Sir Alex Ferguson. He’s Man Utd’s most successful tackler this season, winning 24 of his challenges along with 329 successful passes.

United have only kept one clean sheet in seven away games this season.  Keeping Reading’s attackers at bay will be a priority as the Royals have scored seven in their last four games at home.

Sunday 2nd December:

Sebastien Bassong has been rejuvenated at Carrow Road.

Norwich City vs. Sunderland (16:00)

Norwich are now undefeated in seven straight games, a record shared only by champions Manchester City.  The Canaries have only lost once at home this season, and will be difficult opponents for the away side:

Sebastien Bassong has appeared rejuvenated at the back for Norwich this season, and his commitment to the cause has been shining through in his work for Chris Hughton’s side. The Frenchman has racked up 28 clearances, the highest in the Norwich squad.

Robert Snodgrass’ understanding with Norwich’s frontmen could be crucial as their season continues to develop. He’s currently placed joint fourth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for crosses with 43.

Midfielder Alex Tettey was Norwich’s hardest grafter last time out against Southampton, covering a good amount of ground with 6.51 miles.

Big striker Grant Holt often has a solid size advantage against opposition centre-halfs and the Norwich frontman can always be relied on by Chris Hughton to bag his fair share of goals. However he could do with tidying up some of his defensive work as he currently sits fourth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for fouls with 29.

Sunderland could only manage a draw against QPR on Tuesday, but manager Martin O’Neill will be relatively happy with his side’s efforts.  A first win in three games will be his target at Carrow Road:

James McLean has won admirers all throughout of the game for his abilities with the ball at his feet, but Martin O’Neil will be especially pleased with his defensive work this season. The Irishman has won 34 tackles this season, the most of any Sunderland player.

Stephane Sessegnon has a deserved reputation as one of Sunderland’s most dangerous players with the ball at his feet and he certainly isn’t lacking the confidence to test opposing defenders. He’s fifth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles with 18.

Sebastian Larsson must be enjoying playing with Adam Johnson at the Stadium of Light. The winger’s arrival has taken some of the burden off his shoulders to be Sunderland’s main provider of chances for their frontmen, Johnson having complemented Larsson’s 33 crosses with 35 of his own.

Carlos Cuellar has been throwing himself into Sunderland’s defensive efforts with plenty of vigour this season. The Spanish defender has notched up 13 blocks according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Monday 3rd December:

Newcastle United vs. Wigan Athletic (20:00)

Alan Pardew’s side have to pick up points quickly if the manager is to avoid speculation over his future.  Four straight defeats will have concerned the Newcastle fans, but they will have taken heart from their solid performance against Stoke:

Cheick Tiote appears to have responded well to Alan Pardew’s call for a return to his form of last season. For the second consecutive match, he covered more distance than any of his team mates against Stoke with 6.53 miles.

Demba Ba remains the Magpies’ top scorer in the league with eight strikes this season, and has also been their most accurate finisher statistically.  The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the striker isn’t shot-shy, as he’s just one of three players to have made 50 or more attempts on goal.  Ba’s tally of 51 is greater than anyone else’s except for Luis Suarez (76) and Jermain Defoe (52).

Newcastle will miss the services of the injured Hatem Ben Arfa on Monday.  The midfielder has made 26 dribbles at a rate of one every 44 minutes this season, a record beaten only by Luis Suarez’s 31. Other than the these two, no Premier League player has made more than 20.

Defender Davide Santon has really started to come into his own this season, quietly establishing himself as a consistent performer under Alan Pardew.  Not only is he Newcastle’s most successful tackler, with 25 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he’s also compiled 41 interceptions.

The Magpies were unfortunate to lose to Stoke, and were one of only two teams to be defeated despite covering more total distance during the game (65 miles compared to the Potters’ 63.9).  A more efficient style of letting the ball do more work may be the answer to the club’s recent problems.

Wigan battled well against Manchester City on Wednesday, holding the champions to a stalemate until Mario Balotelli’s strike on 69 minutes.  The Latics have won half of their previous six league games though, and will be aiming to claim three points in Monday’s only game:

Ali Al Habsi will be unlikely to have let his blunder against Reading affect his confidence in the Wigan goal. The man from Oman has an excellent record in terms of the percentage of shots on target he’s kept out, stopping 76.9% of 108 attempts on his goal.

Ben Watson has only played 386 minutes for Wigan this season, but in that time has compiled 175 successful passes.  That places him as the league’s fourth most prolific passer according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, ahead of other excellent passers such as Santi Cazorla and Yaya Toure.

Franco Di Santo’s pace is a weapon Wigan will be looking to unleash at St. James’s Park.  Against City he recorded a top speed of 20.07 miles per hour, faster than any other man on the field. Newcastle’s defenders appeared to tire late on against Stoke, so a late introduction of Di Santo may be a smart strategic move.

Both Maynor Figueroa and James McCarthy have been key to Wigan’s defensive efforts this season. The pair sit second and third respectively on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles won this season, notching up a massive 72 between them.