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 29th December 2012
Sunderland v Tottenham 12:45
Former Manchester City man Adam Johnson scored a sensational winner against his old club to give Sunderland a 1-0 win over the reigning champions on Boxing Day. That followed the same scoreline against Southampton before Christmas, courtesy of a Steven Fletcher goal.
Fletcher is returning to the form which made him such an instant hit at the Stadium of Light at the beginning of the season. Fletcher has eight goals so far this season from 31 efforts at goal, averaging 3.88 shots per goal. Of the strikers to have scored five or more goals this season only Manchester United’s Chicarito Hendandez has done so more efficiently than Fletcher.
John O’Shea has been a key player for Sunderland this season, and is ranked second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for most interceptions made with 138
A more surprising statistic may be that O’Shea’s team mate Danny Rose has made more interceptions than any other midfielder in the league with 89
Gareth Bale was another winger in the headlines after the Boxing Day fixtures after a sensational hat trick helped dispatch Aston Villa 4-0, with Jermain Defoe also on the score sheet
Bale has now had 66 efforts at goal this season with 63.6% on target and averaging 7.33 shots per goal. Bale has also leapt up to second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for most crosses delivered with 67 so far this season. 13 of those came in the game against Villa, the most by a single player in a game this season.
Defoe, meanwhile, has enjoyed a similarly lethal season with 10 goals from 70 efforts at goal with 61.4% on target
Aston Villa v Wigan 15:00
Aston Villa have a mountain to climb after losing their last two games 8-0 (against Chelsea) and 4-0 (against Spurs)
One shining light for Villa has been Christian Benteke, who has had 50 shots at goal, the tenth highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Of the player’s in the top ten for shots, Benteke has the best accuracy rating with 74% of his shots on target.
However, conversely, he has the worst conversion rate needing ten shots for every goal. That suggests the goals may start flowing for Benteke soon, as with so many shots on target there are only so many times he can be prevented from scoring by fortunate goalkeepers.
Matt Lowton has also looked like a promising prospect this season. No defender has won more tackles in the league this season. Lowton has won 44 tackles, an incredible 83% of those attempted
Wigan will be hoping for the first points of their Christmas fixtures against Villa. The Latics lost 1-0 to Arsenal and 2-1 to Everton, with Arouna Kone scoring a late consolation against the Toffees
Kone’s goal was his fifth of the season, coming from 45 efforts at goal with 57.78% on target. That gives Kone a conversion rate on a par with Manchester City hot shot Sergio Aguero, who has just one more goal from the same number of chances.
Ronnie Stam has delivered 37 crosses this season, the third highest among the defenders in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and the most by any player without being credited an assist
Fulham v Swansea 15:00
Fulham suffered a disappointing 4-0 defeat to Liverpool before Christmas before bouncing back with a 1-1 draw against Southampton. Dimitar Berbatov scored the opener in that game before displaying a t-shirt urging his team mates to “keep calm and pass me the ball”
Berbatov may be forgiven his self assurance, with his goal against Southampton his sixth of the season, having come from 39 shots at goal with 58.9% on target.
Berbatov has averaged 6.5 shots per goal this season, as conversion rate on a par with Newcastle’s Demba Ba who has 11 goals this season, suggesting that if the chances come Berbatov’s way he could become one of the league’s top goal scorer’s by the end of the season.
One thing that Fulham aren’t missing is the potential to score goals. As well as Berbatov they have in Mladen Petric one of the best minutes per goal strikers in the league. His rate of 121 minutes per goal is bettered only by Javier Hernandez who has averaged a goal every 94 minutes 20 seconds.
Brede Hangeland was one of the stand out defensive performers of last season. Hangeland’s season has been disrupted by injury, but he has looked impressive on his return winning 64.9% of the 37 tackles he has attempted
Premier League top scorer Michu scored an equaliser for Swansea against Manchester United to earn Swansea a point they will be pleased with, while a 0-0 draw with Reading will be less pleasing for Laudrup’s side
Michu now has 13 goals to his name this season, joint with Manchester United’s Robin van Persie. Michu has scored his goals more efficiently, however, needing 54 shots for his goals compared to van Persie’s 63.
Wayne Routledge has been on impressive form this season, and has been terrorizing defences. Routledge has had 16 efforts at goal with 14 on target, an accuracy percentage of 87.5% on target, the best in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, exclusing players who have had fewer than ten shots
Swansea captain Ashley Williams hit the headlines for the wrong reasons over Christmas, but the defender is top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for most block made this season with 30. 8 of those were against Manchester United, the most by a single player in a match this season.
Man Utd v West Brom 15:00
Manchester United played out one of the most entertaining games of the Boxing Day season after winning against Newcastle in a sensational 4-3 encounter.
Goals from league joint top goal scorer Robin van Persie, Patrice Evra, Jonny Evans and a characteristic late winner from Chicarito Hernandez saw United extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table
Van Persie’s goal was his 13th of the season, having come from 63 efforts at goal with 53.7% on target, averaging 4.84 shots per goal.
While van Persie’s prowess in front of goal is often commented on, the work he does at the other end of the pitch is often less noticed. He has made 20 clearances so far this season, more than any other striker in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
If you asked which of United’s goal scorers against Newcastle has the best shots per goal ratio in the league Jonny Evans’ name may not spring to mind, but with three goals from just five shots at goal Evans leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in that respect
While Wayne Rooney may not have scored in United’s previous game against Swansea, his 7 shots on target is the joint highest by a player in a single game this season.
West Brom have enjoyed back to back 2-1 victories over the Christmas fixtures so far, with Chris Brunt scoring and then forcing an error from Rob Green for an own goal against QPR, and Gera and Lukaku on target against Norwich
Having been marginalized at Chelsea Romelu Lukaku has reveled in his role at West Brom, with his goal at Norwich his sixth of the season. Lukaku remains the most accurate shooter in the league, getting 81.25% of his 32 efforts at goal on target and averaging 5.33 shots per goal and a goal every 133 minutes
Zoltan Gera has made a habit of scoring important goals for West Brom, and his strike against Norwich was his fourth of the season, coming from just 16 chances
meaning he needs just 4 shots per goal. Gera has also completed 233 passes in the opposition half this season, more than any other West Brom player.
Chris Brunt has been more of a supplier than a scorer this season, though the way he struck his goal against QPR wouldn’t have you believe it ws his first of the season. Brunt has 5 assists to his name this season compared to just 1 goal. IOt’s no wonder Brunt’s ‘assists’ column looks so healthy, when you consider he has delivered more crosses than any other West Brom player with 28 and is in the league’s top 30 crossers overall
Norwich v Man City 15:00
Norwich’s tough run of Christmas fixtures continues with a visit from Man City on Saturday, after facing a rampant Chelsea side on Boxing Day. Norwich will feel pleased though that they managed to keep the scoreline to 1-0.
Sebastian Bassong came close with a late header, while Grant Holt dragged a chance wide
Bassong is Norwich’s second highest ranked player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index ranked 59th overall. He is one of only four defenders to have scored three or more goals this season.
Bassong has needed just 9 efforts at goal for his 3 goals. Those defenders who have out scored him with 4 goals, Evra and Ivanovic, each have needed 13 and 14 efforts respectively.
Bassong has now also made the second highest amount of clearances in the league with 45, though it will take a huge effort to overtake top performer Jonas Olsson of West Brom who has made 65 so far this season
Grant Holt’s season has been disrupted by injury and the goals haven’t flowed for the striker as they did last season. Holt has four goals now from 27 efforts at goal with 15 on target.
Man City will be looking to bounce back after falling further behind league leaders Manchester United with a surprise 1-0 defeat to Sunderland on Boxing Day
Mancini has called for better finishing from his strikers in order to mount their title challenge, after it took midfielder Gareth Barry’s late goal to get a win against bottom side Reading in their previous game
Man City’s top goal scorers, Carlos Tevez (7) and Sergio Aguero (6) have scored just one goal each in the last seven games.
Tevez is now averaging 8.43 shots per goal and Aguero 7.17 shots per goal, a rate bettered by Norwich striker Grant Holt who averages a goal every 6.75 shots. In comparison, the league’s top scorer Michu averages a goal every 4.15 shots this
season, showing just how far off the pace the striker’s on show today have been in converting their chances.
Yaya Toure remains the centre of City’s best play, and preventing him from dictating the midfield will be key to Norwich getting a result out of the game. In the game against Reading he completed 73 passes in his opponent’s half, the third highest total by a player in a single game this season and taking his total to 818 passes completed this season.
Reading v West Ham 15:00
Reading remain bottom of the Premier League after the Christmas period has so far given them a 0-0 draw with Swansea and 1-0 loss to Man City.
Mikele Leigertwood has covered more ground than any other player for Reading this season, and has also attempted the third highest number of tackles in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 80 tackles attempted and 61.25% won
Adam le Fondre was unlucky to be denied by a sensational goal line clearance by Chico in the game against Swansea. The striker has five goals this season, from 30 efforts at goal with exactly half on target.
His rate of a goal every 195 minutes is comparable with Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez, who averages one every 192 minutes, suggesting that if le Fondre gets the chances then he could help fire Reading off the bottom of the Premier League table
West Ham’s inconsistent start to the season continues after a 2-1 loss to Everton in their last game, with a Carlton Cole goal early on wasn’t enough to prevent Everton bouncing back to win 2-1
Cole has been impressive in his role deputizing for injured West Ham strike duo of Andy Carroll and Mohammed Diame. Cole has scored twice for West Ham this season, though he has needed 20 efforts at goal to score them. However, a healthy on target ratio of 60% suggests that more goals will come for the striker if he keeps testing goalkeepers
Mark Noble has been one of West Ham’s most impressive performers this season. Of the top twenty players to have attempted the most tackles, Noble has the best percentage of tackles won. He has attempted 71 and won 64.8% of them.
Young defender Winston Reid has also been a stand out performer, and has contributed 80 interceptions, 20 clearances and 14 blocks this season
Stoke v Southampton 15:00
Stoke’s incredible unbeaten run at home continued with a 3-1 win over Liverpool on Boxing Day. Two goals from Jonathan Walters and a second in three games for Kenwyne Jones saw the Potters bounce back from conceding an early Steven Gerrard penalty
Jones looks like a striker with new confidence, but will need to sharpen up his accuracy in front of goal in order to add to his tally. He has hit just 50% f his 12 efforts this season on target
Jonathan Walters’ goals lifted him up to 32nd in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index overall to make him Stoke’s highest ranked player. He now has 5 goals to his name for the season, but like Jones will need to work on his accuracy as he has hit just 40.7% of his shots on target this season
Stoke are known for their players’ willingness to put their bodies on the line for the club. Ryan Shawcross has made the second highest number of blocks in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 22, while Glenn Whelan has made more than any other midfielder with 11
Steven Nzonzi joined Stoke from Blackburn at the end of last season, and he has impressed in midfield, completing more passes in the opposition half than any other Stoke player with 247. However, only he and Jonathan Walters from the Stoke side are in the top 100 overall in the league
A late Rickie Lambert penalty earned Southampton a valuable point against Fulham in their fight against relegation
Lambert’s goal was his 7th of the season, coming from 41 efforts at target. Like his opposition strikers today, though, he will need to work on his shooting accuracy if he is to improve that tally as his current on target percentage is just 46.3%
Nathaniel Clyne made the step up to the Premier League this season, joining Southampton from Crystal Palace. Of all the defenders in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index only Aston Villa’s Matthew Lowton has won more tackles than Clyne. Clyne has won 44 tackles, 77.2% of all those attempted
Jose Fonte has also impressed in defence for Southampton, and is ranked third in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for interceptions with 134
Arsenal v Newcastle 17:30
Arsenal’s last Premier League outing was against Wigan on December 22nd, when a Mikel Arteta penalty was enough to give Arsenal all three points
Arteta’s goal was his fourth of the season, and having got his four goals from just twelve efforts at goal he has one of the best chance conversion rates in the Premier League this season
Cazorla and Arteta have been dominating possession for Arsenal in midfield this sseason, and are ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes completed in the opposition half with 737 and 699
Cazorla has been more effective at turning that possession into goals, however, having got 7 goals and 6 assists this season compared to Arteta’s 4 goals and 2 assists
Add to that midfield the return of Jack Wilshere, who has averaged a pass completed in the opposition half ever 2 minutes 24 seconds since returning from injury (on a par with Cazorla’s 2 minutes 18 seconds and Arteta’s 2 minutes 28 seconds) and Newcastle will find it hard to win the ball from this Arsenal midfield
Newcastle came close to causing a huge upset when they lead Manchester United for most of the game before conceding a last minute goal to Chicarito Hernandez and losing 4-3.
Goals from James Perch, Papiss Cisse, and an own goal forced from a Danny Simpson cross seemed to be enough to secure back to back victories after Shola Ameobi had scored a spectacular winner in their previous outing against QPR
Cisse’s finish for his third goal of the season belied the form of a striker who has struggled to recapture the goal scoring touch that saw him make such an impact last season. Cisse has three goals from 31 efforts at goal this season, with an accuracy rate of 41.9% on target and a conversion rate of 10.3 shots per goal demonstrating his struggles in front of goal this season
James Perch wasn’t the most likely goalscorer for Newcastle in their last game, having impressed more in his defensive duties. Perch has made 45 interceptions and won 54.8% of the tackles he has attempted.
Simpson’s cross was one of 33 he has made this season, making him the 7th most prolific crosser of the ball from a full back position this season
Ameobi’s goal was his first of the season, despite getting a healthy two thirds of his 12 shots this season on target, and also contributing two assists
Sunday 30th December 2012
Everton v Chelsea 13:30
Everton have clocked up back to back 2-1 victories so far this Christmas with wins over Wigan and West Ham. Four different goalscorers across the games (Pienaar, Osman, Jagielka, and Anichebe) is testimony to the depth of Moyes’ squad
Jagielka’s goal added to an incredible season for the England centre back. Jagielka has now made more interceptions than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 147 in total
Leon Osman’s form this season saw him pick up his first England cap at the age of 31. Osman has three goals this season, but has required 44 efforts at goal in order to get them. In comparison team mate Steven Pienaar has needed just 32 efforts to score his three goals.
Victor Anichebe has carved a role for himself as the eternal supersub at Everton, but it was on a rare start against West Ham that he scored his third goal of the season. Anichebe’s minutes per goal rating of 141 minutes and 40 seconds makes him one of just 15 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to average a goal more frequently than once every 180 minutes.
Chelsea have been the Premier League’s form team recently, following up a sensational 8-0 win over Aston Villa with a 1-0 win over Norwich in their last game. Juan Mata scored a stunning winner in that game.
Mata’s goal was set up by great work from Oscar and David Luiz, who has been a revelation since moving into midfield under Rafa Benitez. Luiz has now made 48 interceptions and completed 179 passes in his opponent’s half this season
Mata has now moved up to fourth in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index having scored 7 goals and contributed 7 assists this season
Mata’s healthy goals scored tally is in no doubt due to his accuracy in front of goal. He has hit 71% of his shots at goal on target this season. Meanwhile he is ranked 7th for passes completed in the opposition half with 558 and 8th for crosses with 48
QPR v Liverpool 16:00
QPR are struggling with life in the Premier League, after losing both their games over the Christmas period to date. Their most recent loss to West Brom saw Djibril Cisse score a consolation goal which was not enough to make up for an earlier Robert Green own goal.
Cisse’s goal was his third of the season, but more are surely on the way as Cisse has had 39 shots at goal with an impressive two thirds on target, suggesting that he will hit a run of better luck soon
Rob Green has shared goalkeeping duties with Julio Cesar this season, and has made 38 saves averaging a save every 21 minutes 48 seconds compared to Cesar’s 58 saves averaging one every 17 minutes 36 seconds
QPR’s struggles this season are indicated in that they have no players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s top 100. Ryan Nelson is their top ranked played in 119th. He’s made an incredible 93 interceptions, 22 clearances and 20
blocks to try and keep his team from conceding, and has also won 56.7% of the 30 tackles he has attempted.
Liverpool will be looking to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat against Stoke in their last game, where an early Steven Gerrard goal wasn’t enough to break the Potters’ unbeaten run. That result was in stark contrast to their previous 4-0 win over Fulham, where Gerrard, Skrtel, Suarez and Downing all scored.
Suarez has now had an incredible 97 efforts at goal this season, more than any other player, with 53.6% on target, and averaging 8.72 shots per goal.
Brenadan Rodgers has started new contract talks with Steven Gerrard and two goals in back to back games shows why. Gerrard has four goals this season from 46 efforts with 63% on target,
Gerrard has also won 67.6% of the 37 tackles he has attempted, and is ranked sixth for passes completed in the opposition half with 586 and fourth for crosses with 66. Given that level of involvement in playing in his team mates, it’s no surprise he is third for assists with 8 this season.
Downing’s search for a goal or assist was well documented last season, and he’ll be relieved that he now has one of each already this season. Downing has had ten efforts at goal this season with half on target, and a healthy 184 passes completed in the opposition half averaging one every 3 minutes 40 seconds.