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 6th April

Reading v Southampton 12:45

Reading are now bottom of the Premier League on goal difference after falling to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal in their last league game.

A Hal Robson-Kanu goal was scant consolation in that game. Robson-Kanu has been in good goal scoring form since the new year, and his goal against Arsenal was his fifth of the season. It has take him just 24 efforts to hit that tally, averaging a goal every 4.8 shots.

Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, in the absence of goal scoring opportunities, found himself supporting his defence, and was one of only two players to make 5 clearances in the last round of games (along with Jan Vertonghen).

Meanwhile, Adrian Mariappa made a stinging 7 blocks in the game, the second highest in a single game of the season so far

Southampton have enjoyed a very different season to their fellow newly promoted opponents today. They secured a stunning 2-1 victory over Chelsea in their last game thanks to goals from Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.

Lambert’s winner increased the volume of cries for an England call up. He has now scored 14 goals in the Premier League this season, more than any other English player (Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard are joint second with 12 each).

Lambert has taken just 73 shots to hit his 14 goals. In comparison, Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke has taken 91 shots for the same tally, while Demba Ba has taken 101 shots for just one more goal.

While Lambert has taken the headlines this season, Jay Rodriguez has also contributed with five goals, coming from 62 shots at goal. However, a wasteful shot conversion rate of 12.4 shots per goal should only be taken in context of an impressive shots on target percentage of 56.4%. If Rodriguez keeps getting his shots on target his tally will surely be closer to Lambert’s by the end of the season.

Unsung hero Jos Hoosiveld, meanwhile, helped the Saints frustrate Chelsea by making 25 interceptions, more than any other player in the last round of games. Morgan Schneiderlin also remains top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles won, with 79.

Stoke v Aston Villa 15:00

After falling to a 1-0 loss against Everton, Stoke are now just four points above the relegation zone and have scored just once in their last five matches.

Stoke’s issues in front of goal are made clear when comparing their top goalscorer to other clubs’ top goalscorers. Jonathan Walters is Stoke’s top goalscorer this season with six goals. All but three other clubs in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index have more prolific top goalscorers. The only clubs with a top goalscorer with fewer than 7 goals are West Ham (Kevin Nolan – 6), Norwich (Grant Holt – 5), and QPR (Adel Taarabt – 5).

Of those four players, Walters has reached top goalscorer status with the fewest shots at goal. He’s taken just 42 efforts for his six goals this season.

Stoke fans can’t complain about their team’s defensive effort’. After the last round of games Robert Huth became one of just 15 players who have contributed more than 250 times defensively across tackles, clearances, interceptions and blocks.

Huth’s joined in that group by Ryan Shawcross, who has made 268 this season, ranking him 8th overall defensively in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Aston Villa missed out on the chance to rise out of the relegation zone against Liverpool last weekend, falling to a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool despite taking the lead through Christian Benteke.

Of the top twenty players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total shots at goal, Benteke is the only one to have maintained an on target percentage over 70% (70.3%).

Bradley Guzan was once again kept busy in keeping the scoreline respectable. He made 9 saves against Liverpool, the joint highest in the last round of games. That took Guzan’s total for the season to 200, the most in the Premier League this season.

Matt Lowton also remains among the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s top defensive performers. He’s won more tackles (74) than any other defender in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. All being well, he will attempt his 100th tackle in the game against Stoke, and with a tackles won percentage of 74.7% you can make a safe bet that he’ll come away with the ball.

Ciaran Clark is Villa’s third highest ranked player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index behind Benteke and Lowton. Clark is ranked 10th overall for interceptions so far this season with 154, and 7th for clearances with 49.

West Brom v Arsenal 15:00

West Brom and Arsenal were both participants in high scoring fixtures in their last league games, though Arsenal were on the happier end.

West Brom suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham, with a late Graham Dorrans penalty a minor consolation.

That was Dorrans’ first Premier League goal of the season, despite 26 previous efforts at goal including 16 shots on target, not far behind Sun Yeung Ki who has had 32 efforts without scoring this season, and holds the unwanted title of the most shots without scoring in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Dorrans has been more effective at linking up play this season, and has completed 259 passes in the opposition half this season.

Jonas Olsson has led the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for clearances made for most of the season, but in the last game he joined an elite group of just five players who have made 30 or more blocks this season.

Arsenal, meanwhile, beat Reading 4-1 to boost their hopes of a top four finish. Four different goal scorers in Cazorla, Giroud, Arteta and Gervinho showed that West Brom will need to be mindful of danger all over the park in this game.

Cazorla has enjoyed a fantastic first season for Arsenal. Of the top twenty players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total shots at goal, only Christian Benteke has hit a higher percentage on target than Cazorla (68.6%).  Cazorla is ranked 3rd overall for shots on target this season, behind only Luis Suarez and Gareth, having tested the goalkeeper 66 times this season.

Gervinho scored in his second successive game, and his new confidence was shown in the four dribbles he completed, the joint highest in the last round of games.

As well as four different goalscorers, Arsenal had the top four players in the last round of games for passes completed in the opposition half. Cazorla (55), Ramsey (54), Rosicky (54) and Arteta (52) showed the sort of dominant passing football that Wenger has been working towards all season.

Rosicky has had limited playing time this season, but has been very effective on the pitch, completing a pass in opposition territory every 1 minute and 42 seconds.

Mikel Arteta should become one of just three players to pass 1,000 passes in the opposition half against West Brom. Arteta is on 995 so far this season presently, behind only Santi Cazorla (1170) and Yaya Toure (1039).

Norwich v Swansea 15:00

Norwich were left hanging just about the relegation zoneafter a late winner from Wigan sent Norwich back from the DW Stadium with nothing after a 10 defeat.

Robert Snodgrass again retains his place at the top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for crosses delivered this season with 119. Only one Swansea player (Ashley Williams) ranks in the top 60 players for clearances this season, a possible weakness that Snodgrass may look to exploit.

Given the array of attacking talent on display for Swansea, Sebastian Bassong’s ability to intervene at key moments will be vital should Norwich hope to get anything out of this weekend. He ranks second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for clearances with 75.

Expect Bradley Johnson to have his work cut out for him this weekend. Swansea’s technical midfielders will be looking to dominate possession and Johnson will likely be called upon to add to his 177 defensive contributions to break up their play.

Swansea fell victim to two moments of inspired brilliance as Tottenham inflicted a 1-2 defeat on the Swans at the Liberty Stadium.

Despite taking the league by storm this season, Michu has been surprisingly inaccurate with some of his attempts on goal. His technique and movement has seen him rightly lauded by the pundits but you wonder just how many more goals he could have bagged had he not been off target with 49.5% of his 85 efforts.

Ashley Williams has been in fine form all season and he will looking to kick on as Swansea push for a high league finish. His instinctive ability to read the game has seen him attract interest from numerous other Premier League clubs, with the Welshman currently sitting first on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for interceptions with 202. He remains the only Premier League player to break the 200-mark so far this season.

When he’s played this season, Leon Britton has shown he’s more than happy to get involved with the rougher side of the game as well as the slick passing football that Swansea embody. Britton has a better tackle success rate than any of his midfield colleagues, coming out on top in 68.5% of his 54 attempted challenges.

Sunday 7th April

Chelsea v Sunderland 15:00

Chelsea’s mixed season continued over the last week after a 2-1 defeat in the league at the hands of Southampton was followed by a cup victory over Manchester United. John Terry scored the consolation goal against Manchester United while Demba Ba score the cup winner.

 As well as scoring, John Terry showed his influence and experience in breaking up play, making 22 interceptions against Southampton. That was matched by Branislav Ivanovic, and bettered only by his opponent in the last game Jos Hoosiveld in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for the last round of games.

 Ivanovic has now made 99 interceptions so far this season, so all being well he willmake his 100th against Sunderland. Ivanovic was also in the goals earlier in the season, but hasn’t scored for a while.

 Chelsea fans will be hoping that Ba’s goal in the cup will see a return to goalscoring form in the league for the Senegalese striker. Ba has 15 goals in the league this season, but 14 of those came at Newcastle.

To us the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to compare, at Newcastle Ba averaged 20 minutes per shot and 6.28 shots per goal. At Chelsea he has averaged 39 minutes per shot and has 13 shots for a return of just one goal. Ba’s more shot shy play at Chelsea suggests he is being utilized in a different role, or is yet to regain the confidence he had at Newcastle.

 Sunderland are now without a win since January 19th after they fell to a 1-0 win against Manchester United in their last game, thanks to a Titus Bramble own goal.

 Despite that poor run, Steven Fletcher remains the most accurate shooter in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, discounting those who have had less than 30 shots at goal this season. Fletcher has had 49 shots at goal with 75.5% on target.

 That result could have been worse if it weren’t for the heroics once again of Simon Mignolet. Mignolet made 9 saves in that game, the joint highest in the last round of games.

 If Sunderland’s poor run continues, it won’t be for lack of desire to win the ball.  Of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s top 20 most frequent tacklers, only Matt Lowton comes away with the ball more often than James McClean. McClean has won exactly two thirds of his tackles this season, 70 out of 105.

John O’Shea, meanwhile, is now ranked second overall for defensive contributions this season having made 292 overall across tackles, interceptions, blocks and clearances.

Liverpool v West Ham 13:30

Liverpool showed good resolve to battle back in the second half against Aston Villa, with Jordan Henderson and Steven Gerrard propelling Brendan Rogers’ side to a 1-2 victory.

Stewart Downing has come in for a lot of negative press during his time at Liverpool but this season he has been defying his critics and turning in a string of excellent performances. The winger has been active in both defence and attack, successfully completing 76.4% of his 17 attempted tackles and completing a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 3.9 minutes.

Luis Suarez will once again be out to torment the opposition defence this weekend, the Uruguayan proving almost impossible to handle at ties this season. He close control and spatial awareness has pushed him to first in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles this season with 45.

Brendan Rogers will be keen to see Daniel Sturridge involved this Sunday, given the striker’s solid accuracy in front of goal this season. It has taken the England international on average just 31.3 minutes to have a shot on target whilst he’s been on the field of play, a run of form that could be key against a sometimes shaky Hammers defence.

A dominant forward display from Andy Carroll saw West Ham inch closer to Premier League survival with a 3-1 win over West Brom.

The Hammers will miss Carroll, who is ineligible to play against his parent club, this weekend. The big Geordie looks to be coming into form again, having bagged two goals in an excellent all-round performance last weekend and taking an average of 9.2 shots to score this season.

Look for Mark Noble to provide the service for many of West Ham’s opportunities this weekend, the midfielder having provided a squad-high 46 crosses this season.

New Zealand international Winston Reid has been the standout defensive performer for Sam Allardyce this campaign, racking up 130 defensive contributions. This is a full 39 more than James Tomkins, his nearest rival in the Hammers’ squad.

Tottenham v Everton 14:05

Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale provided a touch of class as another efficient Tottenham performance saw them beat Swansea 1-2 and move closer to automatic Champions League qualification.

Unsurprisingly for anyone who has been watching the Premier League this season, Everton will likely have been heavily factoring in how to deal with Gareth Bale in their preparations this week. The Tottenham flyer currently ranks first on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for attacking contributions made this season with 284, on average one every 8.9 minutes he’s been on the pitch.

Jan Vertonghen continues his march towards being rated as perhaps the best centre back in the Premier League after capping another fine performance last weekend with another goal and an assist. The classy defender certainly knows how to do the business in front of goal and has compiled a superb 68.9% shot accuracy rate from 29 attempts, registering 4 goals along the way.

Defensive colleague Kyle Walker also looks to be coming back to his best, dominating proceedings at the back for Tottenham last weekend. He won more tackles than any other player in the league in the last round (9) and Spurs will need him to be at his best to shackle Leighton Baines.

A sublime solo effort from Kevin Mirallas was the difference in a dogged encounter between Everton and Stoke at Goodison Park as the Toffees emerged the 1-0 victors.

Kevin Mirallas has proved to be yet another solid signing by David Moyes. The Belgian winger has adapted quickly to the pace of the Premier League and certainly knows where the goal is. He has one of the best shot accuracy rates in the league, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index rating him as getting 72% of his 50 total shots to work the keeper.

His compatriot Marouane Fellaini unfortunately continues in his streak of defensive ill-discipline. Fellaini has committed more fouls than any other player in the Premier League this season (61).

Shutting down Leighton Baines is key to stifling Everton’s play given the impact the full-back has down the left flank for the Toffees. He is by far the most dynamic crosser of the ball for David Moyes’ side, registering 106 this season, 70 more than his nearest squad rival Steven Pienaar.

Newcastle v Fulham 15:00

Newcastle were the victims as Manchester City surged back to form with a 4-0 win over the Magpies at the Etihad.

Centre back Steven Taylor has been enjoying a purple patch of form in recent weeks and his concentration must be at its peak to deal with the guile of Dimitar Berbatov. Taylor will be looking to add to 140 defensive contributions this weekend.

Newcastle will be keen to get Papiss Cisse having a sight on goal as soon as possible on Sunday, the Senegalese striker taking on average just 8.1 attempts to register a goal this season.

The influence of Yohan Cabaye on all facets of Newcastle’s play cannot be underestimated this season and his vision will be crucial against an always well-organised Fulham defence. The Frenchman is the only player in the Magpies squad to sit be in triple figures for both attacking and defensive contributions.

It was a baptism of fire for Newcastle reserve goalkeeper Rob Elliott, who despite conceding four still made nine saves, the joint highest in the last round of games.

Dimitar Berbatov was once again the inspiration for Fulham as they left QPR’s hope of a great escape in near tatters after a 3-2 win.

Mark Schwarzer continues to defy the odds even at 40 years of age. The Aussie keeper ranks fourth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for saves with 163. His reflexes will likely be tested this weekend by the likes of Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko and Papiss Cisse.

Dimitar Berbatov appears to be a rejuvenated figure at Craven Cottage this season, his touch and cool demeanour in front of goal proving invaluable for Martin Jol’s side. Look for him to exploit any hesitation in the Newcastle defence to play in his teammates this weekend, the Bulgarian having completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average every 3.8 minutes and registered 5 assists this campaign.

The continued form of Sascha Riether could be pivotal in deciding the outcome of this game, the German having been outstanding in his defensive duties this season. He’s completed a superb 76.6% of his 64 challenges.

QPR v Wigan 16:10

Another solid performance was QPR was not enough to avert defeat as they fell 3-2 to Fulham at Craven Cottage despite goals from Adel Taarabt and Loic Remy.

Andros Townsend has been reveling in an extended run of first team games since his arrival on loan from Tottenham. The pacy winger has taken on average just 8 efforts on goal to find the back of the net and QPR fans will be looking for him to hit his best form again against fellow strugglers Wigan.

Despite coming in for criticism in recent weeks, Christopher Samba has been compiling some impressive statistics following his big money transfer. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Samba has made a defensive contribution once every 7.1 minutes he’s played this season.

Another high profile signing, Esteban Granero, has been turning in some even more impressive performances for Harry Redknapp’s side, establishing himself as the pivotal figure in the QPR midfield. He’s so far completed a pass in the opponent’s half once every 3.6 minutes, the best rate in the QPR squad.

A late goal from Arouna Kone saw Wigan move out of the bottom 3 with a grinding 1-0 win over Norwich.

Wigan’s seemingly annual springtime revival is predicated on solid defensive work to allow the more attacking-minded players the freedom to roam, especially against spirited opposition who are also struggling in the league. Gary Caldwell will be central to this given the 256 defensive contributions he’s made to the Wigan cause this season.

Arouna Kone will be at the forefront of any charge Wigan make towards Premier League survival this season, his goals coming at crucial times so far for Roberto Martinez’s side. He has a solid 63.1% shot accuracy rate from 65 attempts on goal, bagging 10 goals along the way.

Feeding him opportunities will likely be Jean Beausejour who’s forays up the flanks have produced 107 crosses this season and a squad-high 8 assists.

Monday 8th April

Man Utd v Man City 20:00

Manchester United remain 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League coming into this game after beating Sunderland 1-0, Titus Bramble turning a Robin van Persie shot into his own goal.

Manchester City look like they may be finding form too late after beating Newcastle 4-0 in their last game. Goals from Tevez, Silva, Kompany and a James Perch own goal forced by Yaya Toure.

Ahead of the derby, we compare some key players like for like, starting with goalkeepers. Joe Hart has made 85 saves this season, conceding 26 goals at an average of 3.26 saves per goal. Hart has 13 clean sheets this season.

In goal for United, David de Gea has hit a great run of form and last conceded in the Premier League against Southampton on January 30th, keeping six clean sheets in a row in the league since.  That’s two thirds of his total clean sheets for the season. He has only conceded three goals in the Premier League 2013, a huge swing compared to the 17 he conceded up until the end of December. De Gea averages 4.65 saves per goal conceded.

In defence United have been dogged by injuries this season, rarely able to use the same back four for consecutive matches. Despite that, they have conceded the second fewest number of goals in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 31, after City’s 26. At the age of 34 and troubled by injuries, Rio Ferdinand hasn’t managed to play every game this season, but he STILL has contributed more defensively than any other player for either City or United. Rio has 137 defensive contributions in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, including 64 interceptions that show his reading of the game is just as sharp as it ever was.

Pablo Zabaleta, however, is 1 tackle, interception, block or clearance away from matching Rio, having notched up 136 defensive duties this season. That includes coming out on the winning end of an incredible 64 tackles, 59.8% of all those attempted. Perhaps Ferdinand’s most direct comparison, however, is with Vincent Kompany. Kompany has made 126 defensive contributions this season including 28 clearances and 54 interceptions.

In midfield one player has stood out for Manchester United this season – Michael Carrick. Carrick is ranked sixth in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes completed in the opposition half with 889, but that’s exactly 150 behind today’s opposite number Yaya Toure. Carrick has also played 201 more minutes that Toure this season, due to Toure’s absence during the Africa Cup of Nations. David Silva also ranks above Carrick in number of passes completed with 970, and has again played around 400 minutes less than Carrick.


With fascinating battles all over the park it is up front, however, where most eyes will be focused. Robin van Persie thought his goal drought was over when his shot hit the back of the net against Sunderland in his last game, just for it to be credited as a Titus Bramble own goal. However, Van Persie remains the second top goalscorer in the Premier League, despite that four game drought, and is one of only four players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have had 100 efforts at goal this season, unleashing 103 shots while maintaining a 60.1% on target rating.

Wayne Rooney, meanwhile, has hit 12 goals this season to support Van Persie, the same tally as Manchester City’s top goalscorer Edin Dzeko. Rooney has, however, taken more minutes on pitch and more shots at goal to hit that target. Rooney has played 1691 minutes and attempted 68 shots to reach 12 goals, while Dzeko has played 1556 minutes and taken 62 shots.

City’s goal threat comes from three players – Dzeko, Aguero and Tevez. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Tevez is the most accurate shooter of the three, getting 65% of his shots on target, while Dzeko is the most efficient, needing just 5.17 shots per goal.