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 20th April

Norwich v Reading 15:00

Norwich came within five minutes of beating Arsenal at the Emirates in their last league outing just to find themselves undone by a late salvo from the Gunner and leave on the end of a 3-1 defeat.

Michael Turner’s 56th minute goal had given the travelling Canaries fans reason to cheer, but they now find themselves just four points clear of the relegation zone ahead of what could be a vital game against bottom club Reading.

That was Turner’s third goal of the season, despite having had just nine efforts at goal. Turner has been more effective in employing his defensive duties this season, making 114 interceptions, 47 clearances and 20 blocks.

Robert Snodgrass has had a strong first season for Norwich, though he may be forgiven for being frustrated that his hard work hasn’t come to more. Of the 38 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index who have had 50 or more shots at goal this season, Snodgrass is one of six to have a return of just five or fewer goals to his name. However, with a 63% on target rating more goals will surely come for the former Leeds winger.

Snodgrass is also the leading player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance for crosses delivered this season with 128, 13 more than Leighton Baines and 20 more than Gareth Bale. Those crosses have resulted in 6 assists.

Snodgrass has also won 66 tackles this season, the fifth highest for a midfielder in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Alex McCarthy drew all the plaudits after a string of sensational saves in Reading’s last game to earn them a 0-0 draw against Liverpool. McCarthy made 12 saves in total, the sixth highest by a goalkeeper in a single game in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this season.

That takes McCarthy’s number of saves this season to 67 from just 766 minutes of football. With most goalkeepers having played around 3,000 minutes this season, that would take McCarthy to the top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for saves this season if he had averaged the same performances for the whole season.

At the other end of the pitch Noel Hunt and Jobi McAnuff both brought the best out in McCarthy’s Liverpool counterpart Pepe Reina. Hunt has two goals to his name this season, though he has had just 14 shots at goal this season with 10 on target.

McAnuff, meanwhile, is running out of time to break his Premier League duck, still being goalless despite 31 shots at goal with 20 on target.

Adam le Fondre has been stuck on ten goals this season for a long time, but still boasts the best shots per goal rating in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for those hitting ten goals this season, needing just 4.3 shots per goal, something Norwich will need to be wary of.

Sunderland v Everton 15:00

Sunderland host Everton on a high after new manager Paolo di Canio masterminded a famous 3-0 win over Newcastle in their last league game, the first victory for the Black Cats at St James’ Park in 13 years.

Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan were all on target to help ease Sunderland fans’ concerns over top scorer Steven Fletcher’s ankle injury.

Fletcher has some of the most impressive striking statistics in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, getting 75.5% of his shots on target (compared to van Persie’s 57.8%) and averaging 4.54 shots per goal (compared to van Persie’s 5.52). However, Fletcher has struggled for chances so far this season, having just 49 efforts at goal compared to van Persie’s 116.

While the goalscorers naturally took the headlines for Sunderland, John O’Shea also made a telling contribution making six clearances against Newcastle, the second highest from the last week of games.

Carlos Cuellar has also excelled in defence this season winning an incredible 87.9% of tackles he has attempted while only conceding one foul for every 7.25 tackles this season. Both stats are the best in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for players who have attempted 50 or more tackles this season.

Everton were in action against Arsenal in mid-week in a tough game which ended 0-0.

The pace and physicality of the game are clear when you see that Marouane Fellaini, never shy of going in for a tackle, attempted 11 tackles against Arsenal. That’s the second highest from the Premier League fixtures taking place last weekend or in midweek. It’s also the second time this season Fellaini has attempted so many tackles in a game, the other occasion coming against Villa back in August.

Kevin Mirallas got the headlines for off the pitch reasons after the game against Arsenal, but his performances on the pitch this season suggest that he may be good for more than his current tally of five goals next season. Depsite averaging 13.5 shots at goal for each of his four goals, Mirallas has the most accurate shooting percentage of any player to have had 50 shots or more in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Mirallas has got 74% of his 54 shots at goal on target this season. However, of the players to have had 50 of more shots on goal he has got the fewest goals, a statistical anomaly that suggests the goals may start flowing for Mirallas soon.

In defence Phil Jagielka also continues to shine, having attempted 67 tackles but given away just 11 fouls, a rate of a foul every 6.1 tackles, one of the best in the Premier League. He has also come away with the ball from 83% of those tackles, second only to Sunderland’s Carlos Cuellar in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

West Ham v Wigan 15:00

West Ham led twice against Manchester United in their mid week fixture, with goals from Ricardo Vaz Te and Mohammed Diame cancelled out twice in a 2-2 draw.

Winston Reid is one of a number of players to have shone at Upton Park this season, and is in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s top ten defenders for tackles won this season, having won 55.

Diame has also had a fantastic season, and has attracted praise from pundits and managers alike. Diame has three goals to his name this season, but has excelled in the tackle. Diame passed the 100 tackles attempted mark against Manchester United, and has now attempted 102 tackles winning 58% of them.

Vaz Te’s goal was his second of the season, to add to four assists. Vaz Te has also completed 208 passes in opposition territory and delivered 20 crosses.

Wigan held Manchester City for 85 minutes at the Etihad in their last game, before succumbing to a 1-0 defeat. Franco di Santo had troubled Joe Hart earlier in the game.

Despite coming out without a point from Manchester City Shaun Maloney completed 49 passes in the opposition half during the game. That was the second highest from the last round of games, and 10 more than the highest of his Manchester City opponent’s Samir Nasri, who completed 39.

Maynor Figueroa continues to make a name for himself as one of the Premier League’s more attacking minded full backs. Only David Luiz has had more shots at goal than Figueroa, who has had 33 efforts at goal this season. However, with just 10 of those on target while he may be willing he may need to sharpen up on his accuracy before he can score the sort of goals Luiz scored this week.

West Ham will need to work hard to break down a stoic Wigan defence. The Latics have two of the most effective defenders in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in Gary Caldwell and Ivan Ramis. Ramis has made 193 defensive contributions across tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks, averaging one every 7 minutes 43 seconds. Caldwell has made 256, averaging one every 7 minutes 54 seconds. Only QPR’s Christopher Samba has intervened in opposition play more frequently this season.

Fulham v Arsenal 15:00

Fulham were soundly beaten 0-3 by a resurgent Chelsea side at Craven Cottage in midweek, the Cottagers falling victim to some clinical attacking from the Blues.

Even at 34 years of age, Damien Duff remains a force to be reckoned with on the Fulham flank. Duff has now delivered 48 crosses this season, which, according to the EA SPORTS Premier League Index is the highest in the Premier League squad and also makes him the old player to have surpassed the 40 cross-mark this campaign.

Fulham will need Brede Hangeland’s steady influence this weekend against an Arsenal side packed with attacking talents. Hangeland has registered 175 interceptions this season, one every 15.9 minutes, and you can expect this number to rocket given the Gunners’ tendency to engage in intricate passing moves around the opposition box.

Although regarded as an out-and-out striker, Bryan Ruiz has demonstrated a distinctive ability to drop back and receive the ball in the pocket before taking on opposition defenders with their backs to goal. Ruiz has now racked up a squad-high 17 dribbles and 8 assists, highlighting his importance as a another attacking option to Dimitar Berbatov.

Arsenal’s winning run of form was halted on Tuesday evening as they played out a goalless draw with Fulham. They could have claimed another three points though had several of their players not been somewhat wasteful with the chances presented to them in front of goal.

Club captain Thomas Vermaelen may have been struggling for form in recent weeks but his commitment has certainly not dipped. No Arsenal player has been more willing to throw his body in the line of fire than Vermaelen, his 16 blocks the highest in the Gunners’ squad. His passion and leadership could well be key for Arsenal in what will no doubt be a tense London derby with Champions League implications.

Arsene Wenger admitted this week that he had perhaps rushed Jack Wilshere back into action prematurely in recent weeks. However the Frenchman can be forgiven for wanting his star player back in action, given the level of influence Wilshere has on proceedings when on the field. He is the youngest man in the top 10 players for lowest minutes per pass rate according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index (2.51). Wilshere has also completed more dribbles than any other member of the same top 10 (19) showing his willingness to drive play forward rather than playing the safe pass.

Lukas Podolski will be desperate to get on the pitch and show his manager what he is capable of this weekend, giving a frustrating run of starting on the bench. Podolski clearly has the skill to trouble Fulham should he get the chance to play a role, his 71.4% shot accuracy rate from 42 attempts the best in the Arsenal squad.

QPR v Stoke 15:00

QPR were pushed ever-closer to relegation last weekend as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of a much strong Everton side at Goodison Park.

Expect Loic Remy to be well-marshalled by Stoke this Saturday should the Potters have done their research on Harry Redknapp’s side. The French striker has made an immediate impact on QPRs ability to threaten in front of goal and already has the best shot accuracy in the Rs squad at 72% from 25 attempts.

Arriving at a club which is likely to struggle in a league as strong as the Premier League would cause many players to go into their shell, but not Esteban Granero. The gifted midfielder has shouldered much of the responsibility in the QPR engine room since his arrival and is now the fulcrum of their attacking play. Granero possesses a squad-high 438 successful passes in the attacking half according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Stephane Mbia’s reading of the game will be crucial this weekend, Stoke being a side who know how to shut up shop and protect a lead once gained. Mbia has the most interceptions of any QPR player this season with 102.

Stoke come to this match with their own relegation worries having been outclassed by Manchester Utd to the tune of a 0-2 defeat last weekend.

Tony Pulis will need Geoff Cameron in top form this weekend to ensure his side have some chance of taking a vital three points away from this game. The American defender has by far the best tackle success rate in the Stoke squad, with 71.4% from 91 attempted challenges. Only Aston Villa’s Matthew Lowton can boast a better success rate from more challenges (74.2% from 105) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Should he play a role this weekend, Peter Crouch must be careful not to let defensive indiscretions stifle potential opportunities for Stoke. Crouch has committed more fouls than any other Stoke player this season with 42, and should likely stick to doing what he does best rather than tracking back into midfield.

Matthew Etherington will be desperate to get some return on his attacking efforts this weekend as Stoke as they league enters its final phase of the season. Etherington has now delivered 39 crosses yet registered 0 assists, the only player in the league who has delivered 35 crosses or more to have done so.

Swansea v Southampton 15:00

Swansea battled back to earn a 2-2 draw with Norwich last time out, Luke Moore’s goal earning Michael Laudrup’s side the point.

Michu will be looking to enhance his now glowing reputation before the end of the season by adding to his already impressive total of 17 goals. The Spaniard has a distinct ability to fashion shooting positions that Southampton defenders must be aware of this weekend and they will certainly be trying to curb his current rate of a shot on goal once every 29.8 minutes.

Look for Jonathan de Guzman to be involved should Michu register yet another goal against Southampton. The Canadian midfielder has a squad-high 7 assists and is consistently involved in their play going forward, amassing another squad-high of 742 passes in the opponent’s half.

Young Ben Davies continues to impress this season, especially for one who only recently made the step up to first team football. Davies remains Swansea’s best defender this term, racking up a tackle success rate of 70.3% according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Southampton inched closer to securing their Premier League status for next season with a 1-1 draw with West Ham last time out.

With England still lacking a reliable source of goals in recent fixtures, Rickie Lambert may well be expecting the national side to come calling should he keep up the form he has demonstrated this season. Lambert has transitioned to Premier League football with ease, his 14 goals and Southampton squad-high 77 attempts on goal testament to that fact.

Striker Jay Rodriguez is another who may have surprised many with his ability and confidence at Premier League level. Yet the elusive forward has the best minutes-to-shot on target ratio of any Southampton player, registering one on average once every 49.2 minute he’s been on the field this season.

Morgan Schneiderlin again remains atop the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total tackles attempted this season with 136. Southampton will need his energy and industry in a midfielder packed with slick Swansea passers.

West Brom v Newcastle 15:00

West Brom left themselves a mountain to climb after falling 2-0 behind in their last Premier League outing with Arsenal. Despite James Morrison tucking a penalty away in the second half, it was not enough for Steve Clarke’s side to take anything away from the game.

With all the signs pointing towards Romelu Lukaku’s departure come the end of the season, the Baggies will be hard pressed to find someone else with his devastating impact. The young Belgian has take just on average just 37.2 minutes to conjure up an on target attempt on goal this season.

Gareth McAuley remains one of the leagues most effective defenders this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He currently sits 6th for total defensive contributions with 296, meaning he will very likely break through the 300 barrier this weekend against a Newcastle outfit likely to provide him with plenty of work.

Expect Steve Clarke’s side to potentially turn to James Morrison for inspiration this weekend, given the Scottish midfielder’s current position as the Baggies’ most consistent attacker. Morrison has now racked up 7 assists this season, to complement  his rate of completing a pass in the opponent’s half once every 4.4 minutes, the lowest in the West Brom squad. Look for him to be at the centre of everything positive about their play on Saturday.

A crippling 0-3 defeat to fiercest rivals Sunderland last Sunday will have been a bitter pill for Newcastle and they will be looking to bounce back in a positive fashion this weekend.
Newcastle’s defence will have been asking some hard questions of themselves this week following their collapse against Sunderland. Tim Krul in particular will be keen not to see his goal breached again and will be doing his utmost to add to his tally of 134 saves this season.

It was a rude introduction to the Tyne-Wear derby for Moussa Sissoko, in a match where the Newcastle midfield were dominated by their counterparts for large parts of the game. Sissoko will certainly be looking to improve upon his own personal defensive record this weekend, having only completed 25% of his 20 attempted challenges this season.

Yoan Gouffran has certainly made something of an impression following his arrival at St James’ Park. The Frenchman clearly has an eye for a gap and currently has the best shot accuracy rate in the Newcastle squad, with 70.6% of his 17 attempts finding their way on target. The Magpies may well need his sharp shooting this weekend against an often stubborn West Brom defence.

Sunday 21st April

Tottenham v Manchester City 15:00

Tottenham’s last Premier League fixture saw things end in a 2-2 stalemate with Everton at White Hart Lane, with goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson not enough to earn Andre Villas Boas’ side more than a point.

Emmanuel Adebayor comes up against his former club this Sunday after and up-and-down season with Spurs. Although often criticised for a lack of effort, his stats have told something of a different story this campaign. The Togo international has one of the best shot accuracy rates in the Tottenham squad, something he will be expected to utilize against the reigning champions. Adebayor has an on-target rate of 71.4% from 28 attempts on goal.

Another who has enjoyed a resurgence in form in recent weeks is right-back Kyle Walker. Walker has once again established himself as one of Spurs’ top defenders, with a tackle success percentage of 67.9% from 81 attempted challenges. The England full-back will need to be at his sharpest against a City left-flank stacked with attacking talent like Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri.

German midfielder Lewis Holtby has made a flying start to life in the Premier League, his slick passing style fitting nicely into AVB’s footballing philosophy. He has also found it easy to adapt to the lack of space often found in the top flight, establishing himself as one of Spurs’ top passers with 107 successful passes in the opponent’s half to his name, at an average rate of one every 3.1 minutes according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

A late winner from Carlos Tevez was enough to secure Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City a vital three points at home to Wigan on Wednesday evening as they maintained their challenge on Manchester United’s seemingly insurmountable lead at the top of the Premiership.

Despite looking out of sorts at times this season, Sergio Aguero has still managed to produce his quality when necessary. He’s managed to create a shot on goal on average once every 44.5 minutes he’s been on the pitch so expect him to be in the hunt this weekend.

The form of Carlos Tevez will be crucial to City maintaining their challenge on Man Utd’s lead at the top of the table and not least in this fixture against a organised Spurs defence. Tevez has contributed massively to City’s season thus far, with a goal or an assist to his name on average once every 87.3 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.

Midfielder David Silva is another who could likely play a pivotal role against Spurs, the Spaniard standing as one of City’s other main creative forces this season. He will also be expecting to break through the 1,000 successful pass in the opponent’s half barrier this weekend, Silva currently standing agonizingly close on 998.

Liverpool v Chelsea 16:00

Liverpool face Chelsea on the back of successive 0-0 draws against Reading and West Ham, and are now ten points off fourth place and a champions League spot.

Those back to back 0-0 draws don’t tell the full story though, as in the game against Reading Luis Suarez got five shots on target, more than any other player in the games taking place last week and in midweek, so this may be the game when those chances start hitting the back of the net again.

That was the fourth time this season that Suarez has had five or more shots in target in a game, taking his tally of shots on target for the season to 98, and putting him course to have his 100th shot on target against Chelsea.

Suarez is now just one goal ahead of van Persie in the race for this season’s golden boot on 22 compared to van Persie’s 21. The number behind those goals make interesting reading, as Suarez is the more accurate shooter (60.1% on target compared to van Persie’s 57.8%) yet he needs more shots for each goal than van Persie (7.4 shots per goal compared to 5.5 shots per goal).  That may suggest that Suarez has just been held up by inspired goalkeeping performances this season, as he gets his shots on target more but has not been reaping the rewards.

Chelsea should be especially wary of Liverpool regaining possession, as Lucas made 21 interceptions and Carragher 20 against Reading to rank second and third in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for interceptions in the last week of games.

Only two Liverpool players had made 20 or more interceptions in a game before Lucas and Carragher’s masterclasses against Ready – Skrtel with 31 against Southampton in March, and Agger’s 20 against Norwich in January.

Lucas is also ranked 7th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s midfielders for tackles won with 62, despite having played around half as many minutes of any of the players above him. Lucas has played 1,573 minutes this season, while the top tackling midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has won 80 tackles in 3,044 minutes. On his current average, if Lucas has played as many minutes he would have won 120 tackles this season.

Chelsea, on the other hand, hit three past Fulham in their last game, but all from their defence as John Terry scored a brace and David Luiz a goal of the season contender.
Luiz’s goal shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as the Brazilian has never been shy of a shot at goal. He’s had 43 efforts this season, more than any other defender in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with 51% on target.

Remarkably, Terry now has four goals this season from just 6 shots at goal. The only defender who can rival that conversion rate is Manchester United’s Jonny Evans who has thee goals from 7 shots at goal in the Premier League.

Fernando Torres has returned to his best this season after enduring a tough season last year, and will face his former club on Sunday. He’s won 25 tackles this season, the fifth highest by a striker in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and proof of his tenacity and desire to win the ball back.

Monday 22nd April

Manchester United v Aston Villa 20:00

Manchester United came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with West Ham in their midweek game, thanks to goals from Antonio Valencia and Robin van Persie.

After a long drought by his own high standards Robin van Persie has now scored in his last two Premier League games for Manchester United, breathing life into the golden boot race as he now has 21 goals compared to Suarez’s 22.

Van Persie has been the more efficient of the two strikers in getting to this tally, taking just 5.52 shots per goal compared to Suarez’s 7.4 shots per goal.

If Manchester United do go on to win their 20th Premier League title it will be down to their lethal and efficient attacking play which has allowed United to continue to dominate even during van Persie’s goal drought. United have three of the top five players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for minutes per goal or assist this season.

Hernandez leads the ranking, averaging a goal or assist every 71 minutes this season, while van Persie is ranked third with one every 84 minutes, and Rooney fifth with one every 93 minutes.

At the other end of the pitch, Patrice Evra won 8 tackles against West Ham, more than any other player in the matches taking place last weekend or in midweek. That made Evra’s tackling performance the best in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index by a United player so far this season, judged on the number of tackles won.

Aston Villa earned a vital point in their fight for survival in their last league game against Fulham, and have the benefit of not having played in mid-week when facing United today.

Ron Vlaar’s defensive performances will be key to Villa’s survival chances this season, and the Dutch defender has managed to put in a dominant defensive performance without giving away the fouls that can place a team in danger. Vlaar has attempted 51 tackles, giving away just 6 fouls, a rate of 8.5 tackles per foul conceded, the best in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index (excluding those players who have attempted less than 30 tackles)

Charles N’Zogbia scored for Villa against Fulham, just his second of the season, although he’s been more prolific at creating chances, clocking up six assists this season. That’s an average of one every 170 minutes while on the pitch, the sixth highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for player’s with more than one assist this season.

Fabian Delph has made a name for himself for being tough in the tackle this season. He attempted twelve against Fulham, more than any other player in the last round of games and just one short of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s record for tackles attempted in a game this season.

Nathan Baker also boasted impressive defensive stats against Fulham, contributing more defensively than all but one other Villa player has in a game this season. Baker contributed defensively 27 times across won tackles, clearances, interceptions and blocks, one every 3 minutes 20 seconds. The only Villa player to have done more in a game this season is Ciaran Clark against Sunderland in November.