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.
Tuesday 29th January 2013
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Aston Villa v Newcastle 19:45
Aston Villa will be looking to bounce back from a week that saw them knocked out of both the FA Cup and League Cup. Their last league game was a 2-2 draw with West Brom that saw goals from Christian Benteke, who has been a stand out performer for Villa this season, and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Benteke has seven goals from 68 shots this season, with an impressive 72% on target. He’s also contributed four assists meaning he has had a hand in 58% of Aston Villa’s goals this season.
Agbonlahor’s goal was just his second of the season, having had 14 shots at goal with 71% on target. The usually prolific Agbonlahor has been shot shy this season, averaging a shot every 84 minutes 24 seconds.
Matt Lowton has been another stand out performer for Villa this season, winning 58 tackles so far, more than any other defender in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Newcastle will also be looking for an upturn in form, after losing 2-1 to Reading in their last Premier League game. Yohan Cabaye had put Newcastle ahead in that game with a superb free kick.
Cabaye has been a key player for Newcastle over the last two seasons, and his absence through injury has had an undeniable impact on Newcastle’s fortunes. Cabaye has played just 1017 minutes this season, but has completed a pass in his opponent’s half every 5 minutes 9 seconds this season and won 61.5% of his attempted tackles.
Newcastle’s reliance on Cabaye is made clear when you consider that 84 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index have completed 300 or more passes in the opposition half this season, but only one of those is a Newcastle player (Vurnon Anita with 307 passes completed)
Following the loss of Demba Ba to Chelsea, Papiss Cisse and Hatem Ben Arfa seem to be Newcastle’s most likely sources of goals. Cisse has four goals from 39 shots at goal with 51% on target, while Ben Arfa has 3 goals from 30 shots with 53% on target. A conversion rate of approximately ten shots for each goal for both players will need to be improved on if they are to fire in the goals to keep Newcastle clear of the relegation zone.
Jonas Guttierez is doing as much as anyone to try and provide the goal scoring opportunities. He has delivered 31 crosses without being credited an assist, the second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
QPR v Man City 19:45
Loic Remy marked his QPR debut with a goal to earn QPR a point against West Ham in their last league match.
Remy was also the hardest working player on the pitch for QPR, covering 6.31 miles in total and showing the fresh impetus that new signings can bring in the January window
QPR will be hoping Remy’s goal scoring continues. Their current top goal scorer is Adel Taarabt with four goals this season. However, it has taken Taarabt 66 shots to score those goals, a conversion rate of 16.5 shots per goal. That makes Taarabt the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s 8th most prolific shooter but the 39th ranked goalscorer.
With four goals and four assists, however, Taarabt has contributed directly to 8 of QPR’s 18 goals (44%) this season, showing just how valuable he is for the R’s. He has also completed 478 passes in the opposition half this season, ranked 21st in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, and over 100 more than his next ranked QPR team mate Esteban Granero with 374
Taarabt is also ranked third overall in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles completed this season with 33
Manchester City have won their last four Premier League games, including three consecutive clean sheets.
Man City goalkeeper can thanks his outfield team mates for making those clean sheets relatively easy to come by this season. The England number one has had to make just 67 saves this season, averaging one every 33 minutes 7 seconds. Compare that to the league’s busiest goalkeeper Aston Villa’s Bradley Guzan who has had to make 130 saves, averaging one every 15 minutes 33 seconds.
David Silva scored twice in their most recent victory, a 2-0 defeat of Fulham, to mark a return to last season’s scintillating form for the Spanish midfielder. Of players who have played over 500 minutes this season only Paul Scholes has a better minutes per pass completed rating than Silva. Silva averages a pass completed in his opponent’s half every 2 minutes 10 seconds (compared to Scholes who averages exactly two minutes between each completed pass in the attacking half).
That has put Silva third overall in the ranking for most passes completed in the opposition half with 758. Silva’s passing game will be even more crucial as team mate Yaya Toure is away at the Africa Cup of Nations, and he leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes completed with 916.
City covered a total of 66.96 miles in that game, the 8th highest total distance posted by a team in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this season
Stoke v Wigan 19:45
Stoke have been one of the best teams in the league defensively this season, but will need to return to that form to halt a run which has seen them concede ten goals in their last three Premier League games.
The most recent defeat was a 3-1 loss against Swansea, in which Michael Owen scored a late consolation goal.
Robert Huth has been at the centre of Stoke’s best defensive work this season. Huth is ranked third overall for defensive contributions this season with 238 across tackles won, interceptions, clearances and blocks. That means Huth interrupts an opposition attack every 9 minutes and 35 seconds on average.
Jonathan Walters’ season may be remembered for his nightmare performance against Chelsea which saw him score two own goals and miss a penalty, but in fact Walters should be credited as one of the most consistently hard working players in the league. Walters has covered 141.46 miles this season, the fourth highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has been Stoke’s hardest worker in 12 of their 23 league games this season.
Walters has also done more defensively than any other striker in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 77 defensive contributions across tackles won, clearances, interceptions and blocks.
Wigan were unfortunate to lose 3-2 against Sunderland in their last league game, to make it three games without a win for the Latics.
Ronnie Stam’s shot forced a Sunderland own goal for the first, while Angel Henriquez hit the second.
Stam has delivered more crosses per minute on the pitch than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with one every 18 minutes and 18 seconds, 42 crosses in total.
James McArthur covered the most ground for the Latics in that game with 7.08 miles, the 7th time in 8 games he has topped his team’s charts for ground covered and taking his total mileage for the season to 104.39 miles.
Jean Beausejour has been a constant threat this season delivering 87 crosses so far, the second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and just one behind the league’s top performer Leighton Baines who has delivered 88 crosses.
Sunderland v Swansea 19:45
Two goals from Steven Fletcher and a penalty from Craig Gardner helped Sunderland battle to a 3-2 win over Wigan in their last league game.
Gardner’s goal was just his third of the season, despite having had 39 shots at goal this season with 61.4% on target. Gardner has been more effective at the other end of the pitch, however, making 26 clearances, more than any other midfielder in the league.
Sunderland have built a reputation as a tough tackling team this season, led by midfielder James McClean who has won 65 tackles so far this season, more than any other player.
Carlos Cuellar has also excelled in the tackle this season, winning 86.7% of his 53 attempted tackles this season, a percentage bettered only by Reading’s Shaun Cumming’s and Everton’s Phil Jagielka
John O’Shea, meanwhile, has been one of the league’s most influential defenders. O’Shea is ranked fourth overall for defensive contributions with 231 across tackles won, interceptions, clearances and blocks, averaging one every 7 minutes 38 seconds.
Swansea were also winners in their last league game, beating Stoke 3-1 thanks to two goals by Jonathan de Guzman and Ben Davies’ first goal for Swansea
De Guzman’s goals take his tally for the season to five in the Premier League, coming from 31 shots with 54.8% on target. He also has 5 assists to his name, with 472 passes completed in the opposition half or one every 3 minutes 28 seconds.
Sung Yeung Ki will be hoping to break his duck in front of goal soon. The South Korean midfielder has had 26 efforts at goal including 13 on target without scoring, the second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Angel Rangel shares a similarly frustrating statistic, having delivered more crosses (32) without being credited an assist than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Away from the goal scoring heroics of his team mates, Ashley Williams has excelled in defence this season. He has made 160 interceptions, more than any other player, and is second only to Phil Jagielka for overall defensive contributions, having made 243 contributions across tackles won, interceptions, clearances and blocks
Wednesday 30th January 2013
Arsenal v Liverpool 19:45
Arsenal ran riot in their last Premier League game, beating West Ham 5-1 thanks to two goals from Olivier Giroud, and strikes from Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott.
Giroud’s strikes took his Premier League tally to six this season from 51 shots with 51% of those on target. Giroud has also been supporting at the back, with 20 clearances. That’s the second highest for a striker in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index behind only the man Giroud was bought in to replace, Robin van Persie, who has made 24 clearances.
Aaron Ramsey was one of the game’s controlling forces, completing 43 passes in the opposition half, more than any other player in the last round of games.
The match will be a battle of the midfielders, as the game will see two of the league’s hardest working midfielders go head to head. Santi Cazorla (142.4 miles) and Steven Gerrard (142.92 miles) rank third and second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for miles covered so far this season.
Cazorla has a chance to go top in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes completed in the opposition half over the forthcoming fixtures. Yaya Toure leads Cazorla at present by 916 to 843, but with Toure away at the Africa Cup of Nations Cazorla has a chance to make his mark at the top of the passing charts in his first season in the Premier League.
The game also sees two of the league’s most attacking full backs go head to head. Bacary Sagna has completed more passes in the opposition half per minute on the pitch than any other defender this season averaging a pass completed every 3 minutes 31 seconds. He will go up against Liverpool right back Glen Johnson, who has had more shots at goal than any other defender this season with 34, and more dribble than any other defender with 19.
Liverpool also hit five in their last league game, winning 5-0 against Norwich thanks to goals from Jordan Henderson, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and an own goal forced by Raheem Sterling
Sturridge has wasted no time in settling in at Anfield, scoring 3 goals from 18 shots already this season. Sturridge has averaged a shot every 17 minutes 36 seconds this season, the most prolific strike rating in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Sturridge is only just ahead of team mate Luis Suarez, who averages a shot every 17 minutes 59 seconds, so Arsenal Keeper Wojciech Szczesny can count on having to add to the 61 saves he has made so far this season.
Arsenal’s defenders will also need to be on their toes against a Liverpool side that enjoys running at players. Liverpool have both of the top two players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles in Luis Suarez (41) and Raheem Sterling (34)
The return of Lucas to the Liverpool midfield has proven an excellent defensive platform for a Liverpool attack which has scored three or more goals in three of their last four Premier League games. Lucas has contributed more defensively per minute on the pitch than all but one other Premier League defender. Lucas has made 79 defensive contributions across tackles won, interceptions, clearances and blocks, at an average of one every 8 minutes 38 seconds.
Everton v West Brom 19:45
Everton come into the game against West Brom on the back of successive nil nil draws against Southampton and Swansea.
Phil Jagielka remains the key to Everton’s excellent defensive record this season. Jagielka has won 87% of the 54 tackles he has made this season, a percentage bettered only by Reading’s Shaun Cummings.
In fact, no player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index has contributed more this season defensively than Jagielka. Jagielka has made 260 defensive contributions this season across tackles won, interceptions, clearances and blocks.
Meanwhile Leon Osman is having something of a renaissance this season, earning his first England cap thanks to a string of impressive performances for the Toffees. Osman is ranked fifth overall for distance covered this season with 140.53 miles.
West Brom’s last league game was a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa, with goals from Chris Brunt and Peter Odemwingie, who seems to be on his way out of the Hawthorns after taking to Twitter this week to voice his dissatisfaction.
Odemwingie has five Premier League goals this season, coming from 36 shots at goal with exactly half on target. Odemwingie also has four assists to his name, averaging a goal or assist every 139 minutes.
Brunt has completed 290 passes in the opposition half this season, averaging one every 4 minutes 36 seconds. It’s midfield team mate James Morrison, however, who has the most impressive passing stats in the West Brom squad, with 408 passes in the opposition half, averaging one every 4 minutes 28 seconds.
If Everton are to avoid a third successive game without scoring they will need to find a way past West Brom defender Jonas Olsson. Olsson has made more clearances than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this season with 61.
Norwich v Tottenham 19:45
Norwich have now failed to score in their last two Premier League games, including their most recent 5-0 defeat to Liverpool.
The goal drought at Carrow Road isn’t for want of opportunities. Winger Robert Snodgrass has delivered 86 crosses this season, the third highest overall in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and just two behind the top ranked player Leighton Baines who has delivered 88.
That performance makes Snodgrass Norwich’s top ranked player in 40th overall in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, thanks to four goals and four assists this season. Snodgrass has also completed 504 passes in the opposition half, averaging one every 3 minutes 41 seconds.
Team mate Anthony Pilkington has also been delivering the crosses this season, and is ranked 6th overall
Another Norwich midfielder doing his best to reverse Norwich’s fortunes is Bradley Johnson. Johnson has been consistently one of the Premier League’s hardest working players over the last two seasons and has now covered 133.62 miles this season, more than any other Norwich player.
A late Clint Dempsey equaliser earnt Spurs a point against league leaders Manchester United in their last game.
Spurs midfielder Sandro has excelled in the role of holding midfielder this season, winning 62 tackles so far, the joint second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Moussa Dembele is another Spurs player to sit high in the tackles won ranking. Dembele has won 39 tackles, more than any other forward in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Gylfi Sigurdsson will be hoping to end his dry run against Norwich. Sigurdsson has had 29 efforts at goal this season including 15 on target without scoring, more than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Aaron Lennon is enjoying a return to top form this season, and is ranked fourth overall in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles with 30.
Fellow winger Gareth Bale has been just as dangerous on the other flank, delivering 80 crosses, the fourth highest number in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Fulham v West Ham 20:00
Fulham will be looking to bounce back from their last Premier League outing which saw them fall to a 2-0 defeat against Manchester City.
Fulham midfielder Steve Sidwell is enjoying his role as a key part of the Fulham midfield this season. Sidwell has won 62 tackles this season, the joint second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Overall Sidwell has contributed defensively every 10 minutes 28 seconds this season, the best rating of any midfielder in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. As well as his excellent tackling rate, Sidwell has also contributed 15 clearances, 77 interceptions, and 6 blocks
West Ham will also be looking to forget their last league outing which saw them lose 5-1 to a rampant Arsenal side. A solitary Jack Collison strike was scant consolation for the Irons in that game
Irish defender Joey O’Brien is one of three West Ham players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s Top 100 players. O’Brien has made 89 defensive contributions this season across tackles won, clearances, interceptions and blocks, averaging one every 16 minutes 14 seconds
O’Brien could still, however, tighten up on his tackling as he’s won just 48.9% of the 45 tackles he has attempted this season
Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, meanwhile, is one of eight goalkeepers now in the Premier League to have made over 100 saves. Jaaskelainen has made 103 saves overall, conceding 33 goals at a rate of 3.12 saves per goal.
Man Utd v Southampton 20:00
Manchester United’s last league outing saw them denied three points by a late Spurs equaliser. Robin van Persie has put United ahead with his 18th goal of the season earlier.
Van Persie’s goal scoring has allowed Wayne Rooney to drop deeper into more of a supporting role, a move supported by his stats which show he makes more passes per minute in the opposition half than any other Premier League striker. Rooney averages a pass every 2 minutes 53 seconds.
Tom Cleverley provided the assist for van Persie’s goal, just his second of the season, despite having completed 386 passes in the opposition half at a rate of one every 3 minutes 6 seconds.
Manchester United defender Phil Jones made five blocks during the game against Spurs, the joint second highest number of the season.
Southampton’s new manager Mauricio Pochettino got his career off to a promising start with a 0-0 draw against Everton in their last game.
Pochettino has inherited the hardest working team in the Premier League. Southampton have covered more ground than any other team in the Premier League with a total of 1474 miles.
Morgan Schneiderlin, meanwhile, takes the individual trophy for most distance run with a total of 148.2 miles so far this season, one of only five players to have topped 140 miles so far.
Schneiderlin has also completed 414 passes in the opposition half this season, more than any other Saints player.
Rickie Lambert is Southampton’s top ranked player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index having scored ten goals in the Premier League at a rate of one every 191 minutes 40 seconds, and one every 5.1 shots.
Lambert also has five assists to his name, meaning he has contributed to exactly half of Southampton’s 30 Premier League goals this season.
Reading v Chelsea 20:00
Reading came from a goal behind against Newcastle to win 2-1 thanks to a brace from Adam le Fondre.
Le Fondre’s goals took his tally for the season to eight coming from an efficient 32 shots at goal averaging exactly 4 shots per goal. To put that in context, league top scorer Robin van Persie averages 4.39 shots per goal.
Reading had Adam Federici to thank for keeping them in the game up til that point. The Reading ‘keeper made 11 saves during the game, the busiest goalkeeper in the last round of matches.
Mikele Leigertwood has excelled in the role of midfield enforcer this season, winning 62 tackles so far, the joint second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has also made more interceptions than any other midfielder with 104.
Jobi McAnuff has had an impressive season for Reading, but will be hoping the goals start to flow soon. The midfielder has had 23 shots at goal including 8 on target without scoring, the third highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Chelsea will need to put the drama of their League Cup exit and Eden Hazard’s red card behind them and return to concentrating on the Premier League. Their last league outing saw them beat Arsenal 2-1 thanks to goals from Juan Mata and Frank Lampard.
Mata and Lampard now have eight goals each in the Premier League this season, although Lampard has secured his at a rate of one every 116 minutes 53 seconds (the best ratio of any midfielder in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index) compared to Mata’s one every 209 minutes 45 seconds
Both midfielders boast impressive accuracy in front of goal, with Mata getting 73% of his 41 shots at goal on target and Lampard 68% of this 28 shots.
However, Lampard is unusually yet to register an assist this season, despite having completed 245 passes in the opposition half. In comparison, Mata has 11 assists to his name having completed 689 passes in the opposition half.
Mata completes a pass in the opposition half every 2 minutes 26 seconds on average, the 6th best rating in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, discounting those players who have played less than 500 minutes.