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.
Sunday 19th May
Manchester City v Norwich 16:00
– Manchester City recorded their first win following the dismissal of Roberto Mancini on Tuesday night with a 2-0 win over Reading. Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko both got on the scoresheet as City begin their planning their title challenge for next season.
– Yaya Toure will likely end the a highly impressive season as Manchester City’s most influential midfield player, having now completed a staggering 1269 passes in the opponent’s half. This places him second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index but he has the best minute per pass ratio of any player in the league, completing one on average every 2.30 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.
– Despite struggling to hold down his place in the team this season, Joleon Lescott has made a healthy contribution to the Manchester City cause this term. He’s made a solid 124 defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions and successful tackles) at a squad-best rate of, on average, one every 12.9 minutes.
– After some turbulent moments under Roberto Mancini, Carlos Tevez has shown his worth with some excellent performances this season. The Argentinian’s footballing ability has never been in doubt and he has knuckled down as the season has progressed to record a combined 25 goals and assists, a squad best.
– A free-flowing Norwich performance saw them record one of their biggest wins of the season with a 4-0 victory over West Brom. Goals from season standouts Robert Snodgrass and Grant Holt, as well as a top drawer strike from Jonny Howson, completed the rout for Chris Hughton’s side.
– Robert Snodgrass’ goal capped a fine season for the Scottish midfielder. Snodgrass has been one of the shining light for Chris Hughton’s side, regularly driving their play forward as well as helping out in defence. He’s completed a massive 726 passes in the opponent’s half as well as contributing defensively 147 times, a figure surpassed only by Bradley Johnson amongst Norwich’s other midfielders.
– Sebastian Bassong remains Norwich’s standout defender as the season draws to a close. He leads the Norwich squad across numerous categories according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, including clearances (83), interceptions (138) and blocks (21).
– Although the Norwich faithful will most often turn to Grant Holt when in need of a goal, Kei Kamara has also been a solid option for the Canaries up front. The striker has one of the best minutes per shot rate of any Norwich player this season, racking up an attempt on goal on average once every 41.9 minutes he’s been on the field of play.
Newcastle v Arsenal 16:00
– Newcastle fans will be breathing a sigh of relief as their Premier League status for next season was ensured following Wigan’s defeat by their opponent’s this weekend. They have also recently been back in the win column after a 1-2 win against QPR at Loftus Road.
– Alan Pardew will be desperate to retain the services of his captain Fabricio Coloccini for next season. The inspirational Newcastle leader has been his side’s defensive talisman this term and their defensive organisation and grit has notably faltered when he has been absent. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index Coloccini has amassed a quite superb 81.8% tackle success rate from 44 attempted challenges, as well as racking up a squad-high 183 defensive contributions.
– Another key member of the squad who must not be allowed to leave is Yohan Cabaye. The Frenchman has been the central man in almost all of Newcastle’s creative efforts this season, completing a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 4.9 minutes, as well as delivering 67 crosses, more than any other Newcastle player.
– Newcastle’s future in the Premier League may be secure but you can guarantee that the potential to spoil Arsenal’s season by preventing them qualifying for the Champions League will provide plenty of motivation. One man who never needs much motivating is the ever-committed Jonas Gutierrez. The Argentine midfielder has compiled a quite superb tackle success rate for a midfielder of 72% from 75 challenges.
– Arsenal showed both their grit and quality as they soundly beat Wigan 4-1 on Tuesday night to send the Lactics into the Championship. A brace from Lukas Podolski, as well as strikes from Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey, ensured a vital win for Arsene Wenger’s side. They go into this weekend knowing that only a win will definitively ensure Champions league football next season.
– Theo Walcott’s development continues apace after he signed a new contract in January. Despite still not being played through the middle as frequently as he would like, the pacy winger has been in devastating form this season, racking up 13 assists and 14 goals in the league. Such a prolific strike rate has been borne of his much improved accuracy in front of goal, Walcott hit the target with 73.2% of his 82 attempts on goal.
– Another young Englishman to have enhanced his reputation this season is Kieran Gibbs. He’s been in sterling form in all areas this term, not least in his primary defensive duties, having compiled a tackle success rate of 72.5% from 69 attempts. This represents this best rate in the Arsenal squad according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– His defensive colleague Laurent Koscielny is another who has stepped up to the mark for the Gunners this term. If reports are to be believed he is drawing admiring glances from some of Europe’s other big clubs, not surprising given his record of making a defensive contribution on average once every 14.8 minutes this season.
Swansea v Fulham 16:00
Swansea were not able to spoil Sir Alex Ferguson’s Old Trafford farewell. Despite yet another Michu goal, they fell to a 2-1 defeat on the great man’s final home appearance.
Wayne Routledge gave the United defence a torrid time last weekend utilising his pace and movement to excellent effect. Its therefore unsurprising to see him rack up such impressive figures on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Routledge having completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 4.4 minutes, as well as dribbling 27 times this season.
Michu was once again the man Swansea turned to get them out of trouble on Sunday, the Spaniard seeming to have an innate knack of popping up at crucial moments. He has been a sight to behold at times during his debut season in the Premier League, managing to work an attempt on goal on average once every 30.7 minutes this campaign.
At just 20 years of age Ben Davies has had a season to be proud of after being called up for an extended run in the first team. Not only does the youngster have the best tackle success rate of any Swansea player with 72.7% from 88 attempted challenges, Davies has also made 239 defensive contributions this term, the third highest in the Swans’ squad.
Fulham’s poor run of form continued as they were well beaten 1-3 by Liverpool at Craven Cottage, Dimitar Berbatov’s first half goal providing scant consolation.
– Berbatov’s goal will have come as a relief to the Bulgarian striker who was on something of a barren run before Sunday. Berbatov has not had the run of luck in front of goal he would have liked but has still managed to establish a solid shot accuracy rate of 61.8% from 76 attempts on goal this season. This combined with Berbatov’s talent meant it was only a matter of time before he got himself back on the score sheet.
– Full back Sascha Riether has been one of the real positives for Fulham fans this season, making an immediate impact and looking perfectly at home in the Premier League. He will likely also end the season as Fulham’s most successful defender, having so far come out on top with 76.7% of his 73 attempted tackles.
– Despite often being referred to as a striker, Bryan Ruiz has often been willing to drop off to receive the ball in deeper positions this season. Indeed his 659 completed passes in the opponent’s half, as registered by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, are indicative of his role as more of a number 10 this term. Swansea will be looking to cut off Fulham’s attacks at their source by limiting Ruiz’s time on the ball as much as possible.
West Brom v Manchester United 16:00
– A fine season for the most part is in danger of ending on something of a low for West Brom as they fell to a heavy 4-0 defeat at the hands of Norwich. They will be looking to end their season on a high in what will be an historic occasion against Manchester United.
– Steve Clarke may struggle to retain the services of Romelu Lukaku next season with the Belgian striker keen to experience European football as his development steps up a gear next year. Lukaku has been pivotal for the Baggies this term, not just with his strong hold-up play but with his eye for goal as well. He currently has an 64.6% shot accuracy rate from 82 attempts, meaning a shot on target on average once every 39.6 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.
– Shockingly though, Lukaku is nowhere near the club’s most accurate shooter this season, although admittedly Billy Jones has had far fewer attempts. Jones has been in remarkable form when presented with his chances in front of goal, seeing 91.7% of his 12 efforts hitting the target according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Whilst those in front of him have perhaps caught the eye a little more than Gareth McAuley, the big centre half has been just as crucial to West Brom’s success this season. He has been a defensive titan at times for Steve Clarke’s side, recording a squad-high 314 defensive contributions
– A typical Javier Hernandez strike and a rare Rio Ferdinand goal ensured that Sir Alex Ferguson’s last appearance at Old Trafford as Manchester Utd manager ended with, appropriately, victory. It will be an emotional afternoon for all concerned on Sunday as the greatest manager in British football finally retires at the end of this season.
– Despite limited opportunities this season, Chicarito has been as impressive as ever when given his chance to impress. The Mexican sharp shooter has managed to craft a shot on target on average once every 39.2 minutes, an excellent return given that most of his appearances in the league this season have been from the bench.
– It was fitting that it fell to one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s longest serving players in Rio Ferdinand to seal the win on his manager’s final appearance at the Theatre of Dreams. Despite rarely finding himself on the scoresheet, Ferdinand has still been dominating for Utd at the back this season, racking up a solid 63.6% tackle success rate from 33 attempts. His relatively low number of tackles shows his ability to read the game and therefore bypass the need to go to ground. He ranks fourth in the United squad for interceptions with 68.
– Now the only left of the old guard, Ryan Giggs shows no signs of slowing down even at 39 years if age. The Welshman continues to defies the odds and his figures on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows he has at least another year of top level football left in him. According to his data Giggs has completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 4.1 minutes this season, as well as delivery 22 crosses placing him 6th in the United squad.
Wigan v Aston Villa 16:00
– Wigan’s fate was confirmed on Tuesday evening as, just days after their remarkable FA Cup Final triumph over Manchester City, they were beaten 4-1 at the Emirates by Arsenal and relegated to the Championship.
– Wigan look to have unearthed a real gem in Callum McManaman but may struggle to hold on to him after a string of impressive performances. The youngster has quickly become Wigan’s most accurate shooter, with a on-target rate of 76.9% from 13 attempts according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Shaun Maloney is another who may well find himself plying his trade in new pastures next season, with a number of Premier League clubs interested in taking him off the Wigan books. The Scottish international ranks third in the Wigan squad this season for attacking contributions (assist, cross, dribble, on target shot) with 104, at an average rate of one every 29.3 minutes.
– Whether he could have helped stave off relegation is unlikely but Wigan have certainly missed the defensive influence of Maynor Figueroa in the final few games of the season. The Honduran international still leads the Lactic squad for defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, successful tackles) with 295 for the campaign.
– Despite Christian Benteke’s well-taken goal, Aston Villa were not able to spring a surprise result as Chelsea fought back to claim a 1-2 win through two Frank Lampard goals.
– Matthew Lowton will have been desperately disappointed to have missed out on the England squad for the upcoming friendlies due to injury but should he continue his form into next season then another national call-up can’t be far away. Lowton is one of only two players to have made more than 100 tackles to have a success rate of more than 70% (75.2%), the other being Nathaniel Clyne.
– His captain Ron Vlaar is the only member of the Villa squad able to surpass him in the tackle stakes so far this season, ‘Concrete Ron’ currently sitting on 81.9% according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He also leads the Villa squad for clearances with 63.
– Any summary of Villa’s season would not be complete without discussing the mammoth contribution made to their cause by Christian Benteke. The Belgian striker is part of a select group of players to have had more than 100 shots (105)(Suarez, Bale, Ba, Tevez, Van Persie, Defoe, Michu, Cazorla) has managed to carve out one of those chances on average less than once every 30 minutes (28.7). Paul Lambert will be going all out to ensure Villa do not lose out on his services come next season.
Chelsea v Everton 16:00
– Frank Lampard scored twice against Aston Villa at the weekend to become Chelsea’s all time leading goalscorer. He has scored 13 times against Aston Villa in his career, more than any other opponent.
– Lampard has 15 goals this season from 71 shots at goal. He’s hit 67.8% of those on target and needed just 4.7 shots and 131 minutes per goal. Only Chicarito, Daniel Sturridge and Robin van Persie have scored more frequently while on the pitch this season, while of the 25 players to have hit ten or more goals this season Lampard has the 6th best shooting accuracy.
– Eden Hazard contributed both assists for Chelsea against Aston Villa, the second time he has provided more than one assist in a game this season. He also now leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles completed with 56.
– He’s formed an impressive partnership this season with Juan Mata, with Mata having made 1114 passes this season, the fifth highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and the most by a player outside of Manchester City or Arsenal.
– While much of the talk around the Chelsea squad this season will be around the midfield creativity of Mata and Hazard, Petr Cech has again proved the difference that a top class keeper can make. Cech has made an incredible 191 saves this season, the 4th highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Compare that to Manchester City’s Joe Hart, who has made just 123 saves, and De Gea and Lindegaard’s combined saves for United of 158.
– Everton will have a new manager at the helm next season after David Moyes confirmed he will take over as Manchester United manager next season. He can instantly endear himself to the Manchester United faithful by beating Chelsea in his final game at Everton.
– His penultimate game in charge saw Everton beat West Ham 2-0 thanks to goals from Kevin Mirallas.
– Mirallas scored twice and set up an incredible six goal scoring chances in the game – no other player has scored two plus goals and created so many goal scoring chances in a game this season.
– Everton’s dominance of attacking possession was such that they had three times as many touches in the box as West Ham in the game, and 28 shots at goal, the most they have had at Goodison Park this season. Steven Pienaar was at the heart of that, completing 48 passes in the opposition half, the second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for last weekend.
– While Pienaar’s attacking play is rightly praised, one part of his game that may surprise some is his tough tackling. Pienaar is one of 25 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have attempted over 100 tackles.
– Most impressive defensively this season, however, has been Phil Jagielka, who has contributed 335 times defensively this season across tackles won, interceptions, blocks and clearances – the 6th highest by a defender in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Liverpool v QPR 16:00
– Daniel Sturridge scored his first ever professional hat trick in Liverpool’s last league outing to see off Fulham 3-1.
– That took Sturridge’s goal tally for the season to 11. He’s one of 25 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have scored ten of more Premier League goals this season, and he’s done it in the least amount of minutes on pitch (1248 minutes, averaging a goal every 113 minutes 27 seconds).
– Sturridge converted his hat trick from 7 shots at goal with 5 on target – more than any other Liverpool player has in either category this season. Sturridge plagued the Fulham defence, exploiting space by taking 15 touches in the opposition box. He also completed 8 dribbles, more than any other player in the last round of games.
– Sturridge’s attacking play was complimented by a tough midfield performance from Lucas and Jordan Henderson. Lucas attempted ten tackles in the game, winning six, the most of any player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, while Henderson was the only player in the Premier League to commit four fouls in the last round of games.
– Lucas is now ranked 5th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles attempted with 121, an incredible feat given he has played just 1957 minutes this season. To put it in context, 4th ranked Robert Snodgrass has taken 3126 minutes to attempt 127 tackles.
– Jamie Carragher will wave farewell to his beloved Anfield on Sunday before retiring. He showed what his team mates will be missing in the game against Fulham, completing 64 of 67 passes in the game.
– QPR went 1-0 up in their last game against Newcastle before falling to a 2-1 defeat.
– QPR did well to disrupt Newcastle’s passing game though, limiting them to a 66% success rate, their lowest of the season. Jermaine Jenas, meanwhile, completed 64 passes in the game, more than any other player on the pitch.
– QPR defender Clint Hill has been one of their most impressive performers this season. He has been the fifth busiest defender in the league this season, contributing defensively 342 times across tackles, clearances, blocks and interceptions.
– Christopher Samba joined in January and has the best minutes per defensive contribution rating in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, averaging one every 7 minutes 12 seconds.
Southampton v Stoke 16:00
– Southampton will finish an impressive first season in the Premier League by hosting Stoke, after previously earning a 1-1 draw against Sunderland thanks to a Jason Puncheon goal.
– Southampton had an incredible 64% of possession against Sunderland, their best in an away game this season.
– Key to their possession this season has been the tough tackling performances of Morgan Schneiderlin. Schneiderlin has attempted 150 tackles this season, winning 88, both of which are the highest in their respective categories in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Nathaniel Clyne has also had an incredibly impressive first season in the Premier League. The 22 year old defender has attempted 103 tackles and won 75.7% of them, the second best tackles won percentage of the 25 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have attempted 100 tackles or more this season.
– Also impressing in the Southampton back line have been Maya Moshida and Jose Fonte. They are ranked 7th and 8th respectively in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for interceptions having made 197 and 194 respectively.
– An early Steven Nzonzi goal from a Charlie Adam free kick wasn’t enough to prevent Stoke from falling to a 2-1 defeat to Spurs in their last game.
– Amazingly, Stoke have scored one or fewer goals in 29 of their 37 games this season. Stoke committing men defensively has meant they have one of the healthiest ‘goals against’ columns in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. However, Matt Etherington must wish that more of his colleagues had committed to hitting the box this season, as he has delivered 39 crosses and completed 284 passes in the opposition half without being credited an assist.
– However, they have excelled defensively. Ryan Shawcross has made 43 blocks, ranking second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Tottenham v Sunderland 16:00
– Spurs came from a goal behind to win 2-1 against Stoke in their penultimate Premier League outing thanks to goals from Clint Dempsey and Emmanuel Adebayor. They come into this final game one point behind North London neighbours Arsenal in the race for fourth place.
– Despite his name unusually not appearing on the score sheet, Bale has 8 shots at goal with 5 on target against Stoke, the joint highest of the last round of games.
– Bale’s season will end with some of the most impressive stats in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He’s had 151 shots at goal getting 62.9% on target and converting 20 goals. He’s ranked third for dribbles completed with 48 so far this season, and 4th for crosses delivered with 114.
– Bale has taken the headlines this season, but Jan Verthongen has also excelled. He’s attempted 102 tackles this season, winning 79% of them. That’s the highest tackles won percentage of the 25 players who have attempted 100 or more tackles in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this season.
– Jermain Defoe hit fine goal scoring form earlier in the season, but has struggled for goals of late. Of the nine players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have had over 100 shots at goal Defoe has the lowest goal tally with 11 (joint with Carlos Tevez).
– Sunderland come into the game knowing they are safe from relegation after Arsenal beat Wigan in midweek. Their last league outing saw them draw 1-1 with Southampton thanks to a Phil Bardsley goal.
– Paolo di Canio singled out Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and John O’Shea as players that he knew were “exciting” when he signed as Sunderland manager, but has promised wholesale changes elsewhere in the team.
– O’Shea once again showed his impressive reading of the game against Southampton, making 15 interceptions, the second highest by a player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in the last round of games. He is ranked fourth overall for interceptions this season with 217.
– O’Shea’s defensive contributions overall across tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks number 361 – the third highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– O’Shea, and the rest of the Sunderland back four, have been shown impressive protection by the tough tackling of the Sunderland midfield this season. James McClean and Craig Gardner are ranked second and seventh respectively among the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s midfielders for tackles won, with McClean wining 76 and Gardner 66. Gardner has made the third highest number of defensive contributions of any midfielder this season, totaling 242 across tackles won, clearances, interceptions and blocks.
– Not named by Di Canio but undoubtedly vital to Sunderland’s survival this season has been the performance of Simon Mignolet. Mignolet made 13 saves against Southampton, the joint highest by a goalkeeper in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in the last round of games and the third highest in a game all season. Mignolet has been the busiest goalkeeper in the Premier League this season making 224 saves in total.
West Ham v Reading 16:00
– West Ham may have been forgiven for thinking they were extras to the David Moyes show in their last outing, as the Hammers lost 2-0 to Everton in Moyes’ last home game in charge of the Toffees. However, Kevin Nolan twice went close to raining on the soon to be Manchester United manager’s parade.
– Andy Carroll has been a handful for defences all season, and the game against Everton was no different. He won 8 duels, more than any other player on the pitch.
– That aerial prowess combined with Matt Jarvis’ frequent deliveries (he contributed six crosses against Everton, the most of last weekend in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index) suggests that if both stay at Upton Park next season, and stay fit, then Hammers fans can expect that partnership to start delivering more goals next season.
– At the other end of the pitch, James Collins made six clearances in the game, the most by any player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this weekend.
– Reading were on the receiving end of Man City’s FA Cup final payback on Tuesday night, losing to them 2-0. Reading won just 37% of duels in the game, their lowest of the season so far, as City took out their frustration on the Royals.
– Alex McCarthy’s palms will also be stinging from City’s strikers taking their revenge on the Reading goal mouth. He made 13 saves in the game, the joint highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for the last round of games and the third highest of the season.
– Adrian Mariappa, meanwhile, made four blocks, the most by a player in the last round of games. Mariappa sits second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for interceptions this season, having disrupted opposition play with 221 interceptions this season.
– Mikele Leigertwood, meanwhile, is the second highest ranked midfielder for defensive contributions this season having made 242 across tackles won, blocks, clearances and interceptions.
– Adam le Fondre hit an excellent run of goal scoring form early in the season but has had fewer opportunities as the season has gone on. However, he looks likely to end the season with some of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s most impressive goal scoring stats. Of the 25 players who have scored ten or more goals this season Le Fondre has taken the fewest efforts at goal (45) to do so.