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 welcome return of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index arm you with enough stats to impress everyone but girly girls.

Saturday 31st August

Manchester City vs Hull 12:45

The most stunning result of the season so far saw Manchester City fall to a shock 3-2 defeat following a stunning fightback by Cardiff. Edin Dzeko’s second-half strike looked to have sent City on their way to victory but Cardiff scrapped their way to a deserved win. Manuel Pellegrini will be demanding an immediate bounceback to form from his team on their return to the Etihad this weekend.

Despite a revival in his fortunes thanks to the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini, Edin Dzeko will have to find greater levels of accuracy if he wishes to remain in favour with his new boss. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the big centre-forward leads the league for attempts on goal (10), but only 16.7% of these have been on target.

David Silva became the fourth player to surpass the 100 pass barrier for completed passes in the opponent’s half last weekend, suggesting a return to form for the diminutive Spanish midfielder. Perhaps even more crucially, these have come at a rate of 1.7 minutes on the field per pass, the lowest of any player in the league who has completed more than 60 passes.

Silva also currently stands as City’s sharpest shooter in front of goal this season, with 75% of his 4 attempts on goal testing the keeper. Silva is 13/5 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.

Gael Clichy looks to be continuing where he left off last season as one of City’s most exemplary defenders, leading the squad on a tackle success rate of 77.8% as well as defensive contributions (16).

Robbie Brady tucked away a penalty as Hull battled to a 1-0 win against Norwich, their first win since their return to the top flight.

Brady is evidently going to be a central figure for Hull this season. The young Irishman leads the squad for attacking contributions by a distance (29) and has also completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 5.48 minutes he’s been on the field. You can find as an industry-best 10/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time.

Yannick Sagbo’s sending off could have easily cost his side all three points last weekend and he will have been extremely relieved to see his side escape the match with all three points. His defensive discipline certainly needs to improve though as, despite being yet to win a tackle this season, he’s already given away three fouls.

Egyptian midfielder Ahmed Elmohamaday’s reading of the game continued to be in excellent form against Norwich. Elmohamady has so far racked up 10 interceptions this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, 5 of which came last weekend representing the joint second highest total of any player in the league last weekend.

Arriving on a free transfer, Maynor Figueroa looks to have been a very smart summer acquisition by Steve Bruce, especially when you consider the experience and work rate he brings to the table. Tellingly, Figueroa also already leads the Hull squad for tackles successfully completed, having come out on top in 71.4% of his 9 challenges so far this season.

Cardiff vs Everton 15:00

On a sunny afternoon Cardiff fans were treated to a performance by their team that they would have scarcely believed possible at the start of the day. Frazier Campbell stole the show with a late brace to send Malkay Mackay’s side on to an historic 3-1 victory over the former Premier League champions.

Campbell’s goals will perhaps have come as a surprise to some of the Cardiff fans in attendance on Sunday. Although there is no doubting the striker’s quality, Campbell had yet to register an attempt on goal before his heroic exploits. However his 80% accuracy rate from 5 attempts last weekend means he’ll be chomping at the bit to kick on against Everton. Campbell is an industry best 14/5 with 888sport.com to score at any time.

Despite the euphoric scenes come the end of the match Cardiff did not find their victory easy to come by. Ben Turner’s 15 clearances against City was the highest of any player on the winning side last weekend according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Steven Caulker’s move to Cardiff came as a surprise to many who had expected him to be a mainstay in the Tottenham defence in seasons to come. Cardiff has acquired an imposing and technical centre-half though, one who so far maintained a 100% tackle success rate from his 3 challenges this season and closely follows the impressive Turner in total defensive contributions with 19.

Expect Gary Medel to be central to Cardiff’s season in the coming months, the tough midfielder putting in an excellent showing against City. He leads the Cardiff squad for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 39, with a squad-best average rate of one every 4.6 minutes.

Only a stunning display from Ben Foster managed to keep Everton at bay as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park. A dominant display by Roberto Martinez’s side in the end failed to bear fruit as Foster repeatedly shut out a host of Everton attempts on his goal.

Ross Barkley’s growing confidence is great news for Toffee’s and England fans alike, the gifted midfielder being widely touted as a future star of the game. At present the fearlessness of youth is enabling the 19 year old to take the game to opposition defences seemingly at will, the 19 year old currently sitting 4th on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles with 8.

It’s no surprise that Manchester Utd are continuing in their pursuit of Leighton Baines given the versatile left-backs ability to adapt to both defend and attack. As well as a tackle success rate of 83.3% from 6 attempted challenges, Baines has also completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 2.5 minutes this season.

Seamus Coleman is another who’s stock continues to rise at both ends of the field. Toffees fans are already well aware of his tackling ability but it is his eye for a shot that has impressed so far in this campaign. Coleman’s on-target accuracy rate of 75% in front of goal represents the highest of any defender in the league to have had more than 1 attempt.

Fellow defensive stalwart Phil Jagielka is another who has picked up exactly where he left off last season. Once again the England centre-back has proved his sense of timing will be crucial when it comes to stifling Everton’s opposition given that he has already quickly racked up a squad-high 20 clearances.

Newcastle vs Fulham 15:00

As the uncertainty around star midfielder Yohan Cabaye’s future continued, his Newcastle teammates could only see their way to a 0-0 draw with West Ham, their first point of the season.

Alan Pardew’s search for an extra striker to bolster his squad is clearly something of a priority and so it should be. His entire squad between them have so far only mustered 1 on target attempt on goal.

Hatem Ben Arfa continues to be one of the few bright spots in what has been a turbulent and disappointing start to the season for Newcastle.  He currently sits joint second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for attacking contributions with 14. You can find Ben Arfa at 40/17 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.

Hard-tackling midfielder Cheick Tiote looks to have curbed his tendency towards giving away fouls this season, with a much more measured approach to his defensive work. The Ivory Coast international has so far given away no fouls this season and has won 60% of his five attempted challenges.

A consolation goal from new signing Darren Bent was not enough to stop Fulham from dropping to a 1-3 defeat on a wet afternoon at Craven Cottage last Saturday.

The acquisition of Scott Parker from Tottenham appears to have been a solid piece of footballing business by Fulham. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Parker has already completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 2.1 minutes this season, a better rate than anyone else in either the Fulham or Tottenham squad.

Adel Taarabt looks like he is in the mood to take much of the creative pressure off the shoulders of Dimitar Berbatov this season, having already racked up a squad-high 11 attacking contributions for his new side (cross, assist, dribble, shot on target).

Aaron Hughes’ 12 clearances was the 5th highest total of anyone in the league last weekend, the Northern Irishman taking on much of the burden of repelling the waves of Arsenal attacks last Saturday.

Norwich vs Southampton 15:00

Despite holding a man advantage over Hull for over an hour, Norwich were not able to capitalize and found themselves on the end of 1-0 defeat to the Premier League newcomers. Record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel had only one chance of any real purpose on goal and Chris Hughton will be hoping his summer squad additions will be able to generate more opportunities against a Southampton side which has conceded in it’s last two fixtures.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel may have been brought in for his clinical finishing but Chris Hughton will be expecting much greater discretion from him in defense as the season progresses. He is joint first on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for fouls committed with 8.

Midfielder Jonny Howson has been the lynchpin through which Norwich’s attacking play has functioned this season, establishing an impressive average rate of a pass in the opponent’s half once every 3.2 minutes.

Nathan Redmond has been one of the surprise packages for the Canaries so far this campaign. The 19 year old leads the Norwich squad for attacking contributions (cross, assist, dribble, shot on target) with 14.

A late header from centre-back Jose Fonte rescued a point for Southampton as they scraped to a 1-1 draw at home to Sunderland. Mauricio Pochettino’s side dominated the match for large periods but will be expecting much more clinical conversion of chances from his side this weekend.

Despite clearly knowing how to put the ball in the back of the net on last week’s evidence, Jose Fonte certainly knows how to perform his primary role equally as effectively. He leads the league for defensive contributions (clearances, interceptions, blocks, tackles won) so far this season.

Rickie Lambert looks to have taken tremendous confidence from his recent England call-up, so far ranking joint second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total attempts on goal with 9. A relatively solid 55.5% of these have been on target. You can find Lambert at 16/11 to score at any time with 888sport.com.

It surely won’t be long before James Ward-Prowse starts to grab the attention of the England management team after his roaring start to the season for the Saints. The young midfielder currently tops the league for crosses delivered with 7. With his Southampton teammate, and aerial presence, Rickie Lambert already in the England setup, Roy Hodgson may well see the value in having another solid provider of the ball in the ranks.

Saints fans will be excited to see how Calum Chambers develops in the coming seasons, as despite being the joint youngest player in the squad along with Luke Shaw, he has  quickly established an excellent tackles success rate of 75% from 4 challenges.

West Ham vs Stoke 15:00

Despite creating the better chances, West Ham were unable to break their deadlock with Newcastle last weekend and could only leave Tyneside with a point for their efforts. Winston Reid was one of the standout performers on the day, further cementing his position as one of the most effective fullbacks in the league.

Guy Demel looks to have the bit between his teeth this season, the imposing defender establishing a tackle success rate of 83.3% from 6 challenges so far according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Indeed, the Hammers look to have a solid back four ahead of a long campaign, with Demel’s defensive colleague Winston Reid once again positioning himself as a key part of their backline. The New Zealand international ranks 4th in the league for clearances with 24.

Jussi Jaaskelainen will be more than happy to sit behind what has been a rock solid defence so far this season. Not only have West Ham yet to concede a goal but Jaaskelainen has only had to make 1 save in his 180 minutes on the pitch. West Ham are 6/1 to win by 1-0 with 888sport.com this weekend.

At the other end of the park though, Sam Allardyce will be looking for more potency in front of goal at home this weekend, having seen only two of his players (Maiga and Cole) manage to establish a shot accuracy rate in front of goal of 50% or more.

Mark Hughes’ Stoke fought back from a goal down to register their new manager’s first home win of his tenure thanks to goals from Charlie Adam and Ryan Shawcross.

Mark Hughes will be looking for his defense to start providing Asmir Begovic with more protection this weekend. His keeper currently leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for saves with 14, 5 ahead of David De Gea in second place.

Midfield enforcer Steven N’Zonzi looks to have been working hard on his technique over the summer, quickly racking up a tackle success rate of 91.7% from 12 attempted challenges. Along with Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward, this represents the joint highest success rate of any Premier League player who has attempted more than 5 challenges.

N’Zonzi has also proved more than adept with the ball at his feet, leading the Stoke squad for passes in the opponent’s half with 50.

Crystal Palace vs Sunderland 17:30

It may be only the second weekend in the Premier League, but this clash at Selhurst Park could already be billed as a six-pointer with neither side able to muster a win as of yet. and with both teams only scoring one goal apiece in the league thus far, upping their accuracy in front of goal will be paramount.

The Black Cats task will not be made any easier by the presence of Joel Ward in Crystal Palace’s backline. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index the English right-back has made 11 tackles – the most of any defender. This sort of dogged determination is exactly what the Palace faithful will be yearning for, as they brace themselves for the relegation scrap that they have in store.

On the opposite flank, Dean Moxey is certainly putting in his own defensive shift making 8 tackles in the first two games, second only behind his team mate.

Crystal Palace’s defensive feats have also been aided by the contribution of Damien Delaney. He has made 23 clearances so far this season, the eighth most in the league.

Midfield general Mile Jedinak has also made his fair share of defensive clearances.He cleared the ball 14 times against Stoke, showcasing his ability to protect the back four.

Sunderland have struggled for goals in the first couple of games of the season, and midfielder Cabral will have to up his game to improve Sunderland’s fortunes. Of the 4 shots he has attempted, he has failed to hit the target once. Only Hatem Ben Arfa has a worse ratio.

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has invested in foreign talent this Summer, with 10 foreign players arriving to bolster the ranks. Jack Colback is one of the English players to remain, and he’s certainly proving his worth withb a 100% tackle success rate. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he has won all 5 of his tackles.

Adam Johnson may have considered himself unlucky to have missed out on Roy Hodgson’s England squad, as, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, his 4 crosses are the second most in the league. His battle with the Eagles’ outstanding fullbacks is something to really wet the appetite ahead of Saturday.

Hodgson may have been looking at Johnson’s shooting so far this season, as the former Manchester City wideman has had 3 shots and failed to hit the target once. Only Hatem Ben Arfa, Cabral and Nacer Chadil have had more efforts without working the keeper.

At the other end of the pitch, Sunderland defender Ondrej Celustka has much to work on following the opening two games of the season. Of the thirteen tackles he attempted, he only managed to complete 7 of them.

Sunday 1st September

Liverpool vs Manchester United 13:30

David Moyes is well accustomed to high profile clashes with Liverpool , and the match on Sunday will not be any different with both teams desperate to set the tone for the rest of the season.

Tom Cleverley appears to be a player Moyes thinks he can rely on, as he has played every minute in the league for the Red Devils this year. On the back of his performance at the weekend it is easy to see why Moyes rates him so highly, as, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Cleverley completed 43 passes in the opposition half – more than any other English player.

Wayne Rooney still tops the assists charts with the 2 goals he created against Swansea. Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Gabriel Agbonlahor match him, but all have had at least half an hour more playing time than the Manchester United man.

Wayne Rooney’s hit the headlines for his committed performance against Chelsea on Monday, and he proved to be a thorn in Chelsea’s side throughout the 90 minutes  on Monday – hitting the target 3 times. Only Frazier Campbell and Rickie Lambert registered more shots on target with 4. Rooney is 11/5 with 888sport.com to score at anytime this weekend.

Patrice Evra’s position in the Manchester united team has been questioned, but on the back of his attacking prowess his year it would be hard for David Moyes to drop him. Evra is tied second in the number of crosses swung in, with his 4 only bettered by James Ward-Prowse.

Michael Carrick picked up where he left off last week, by producing another stellar defensive performance. Over the course of opening two fixtures he has made 10 interceptions – the second most in the league.

Steven Gerrard has shown how adaptable he can be by playing in a slightly more withdrawn role this season. However, this hasn’t affected his pass completion rate, with the Liverpool skipper completing 84 passes in the opposition half according to EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The ‘Golden Generation’ are still showing their class, as Frank Lampard is the only Englishman who has completed more.

Gerrard has been at his best at both ends of the pitch, as he’s certainly had an impact in defence too. Liverpool’s talisman has won 7 tackles so far this season, Fabian Delph and Joel Ward are the only Englishmen who have managed more.

The brilliance of Daniel Sturridge and Phillippe Coutinho has made all the headlines for Liverpool so far this season with their dazzling forward play. However Lucas Leiva’s defensive contribution should not be underestimated. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index has shown that the holding midfielder has won 13 tackles so far this season. This is more that any other player in the Premier League.

It was always going to be a tough task for Simon Mignolet to step into the shoes of Pepe Reina, however so far this season he has made a big impression. Both he and Hugo Lloris have each made 8 saves without conceding, no other keeper has made more saves whilst maintaining their 100% defensive record.

West Brom vs Swansea 13:30

Neither of these two teams have had the best of starts to the season, with neither team managing to get any wins on the board. Swansea’s Jose Canas shouldn’t shoulder too much of the blame for this, as, according to EA Sports Player Performance Index, he made 6 interceptions against Tottenham – only Fabian Delph made more.

Swansea may have struggled for goals so far this season but it is difficult to say that they have been short of service. The Spaniard Pablo Hernandez has whipped in 3 crosses so far this season, the third most of any midfielder.

Ashley Williams may have gained most of the plaudits over the last couple of seasons for his ability to marshall the Swansea defence, but credit shouldn’t be taken away from his centre half partner Chico Flores. Over the course of the first couple of games, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index has shown that Flores has made 25 clearances. Tied third in the league.

West Brom may have conceded only one goal in their opening two fixtures, but Graham Dorrans will have to improve his tackling to ensure that this solid defence is maintained. The Scottish midfielder has lost 7 tackles this season, the third most in the league.

Last season the big boys came knocking for Jonas Olsson, and his defensive contributions so far this season demonstrate why. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Swede has made 25 clearances, tied with Swansea’s Chico Flores.

It is not only the heart of the Baggies defence which has proved resilient this year, as Billy Jones made his mark on Saturday too. His total of 4 blocks was more than any other player in the league.

The news that Ben Foster is out for 3 months is a catastrophic blow to the Baggies chances of improving on their eighth place finish that they achieved last year. The English number 2 has made 9 saves so far this season, with only Asmir Begovic making more.

Sitting in front of the back four, Claudio Yacob has also played his part in ensuring that West Brom’s defence has remained resolute. Winning a total of 10 tackles has meant that he has made the fourth most in the league, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Arsenal vs Tottenham 16:00

These fierce rivals could not have had more contrasting fortunes during this Summer’s transfer window. Spurs have brought in a total of six players, and it appears that they have settled into life in North London rather quickly.

Central midfielder Paulinho may not have hit the back of the net so far this season, but on the back of his performance last week it seems that this may change rather quickly. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Brazilian took 6 shots against Swansea; only Ricky Lambert mustered more.

Who needs Gareth Bale when you’ve got Andros Townsend? The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates exactly why Roy Hodgson opted to call him up to the England squad, as his total of 5 dribbles was tied with the most in the league.

The player to share this accolade with Townsend was his Belgian teammate Moussa Dembele. The Belgian midfielder also completed 5 dribbles at the weekend.

In Spurs’ match against Crystal Palace on the opening weekend of the season, defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue managed to make more interceptions than any other player – despite being on the pitch for only thirty-three minutes. He continued his fine defensive work against Swansea by winning 6 tackles, the most in the league.

French captain Hugo Lloris has made himself pretty much indispensible to AVB’s side, and the white half of North London will be delighted to see that he is still adding to his glowing reputation. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Spurs’ stopper has made 8 saves this season – tied with Simon Mignolet as the most of any keeper who is yet to concede a goal.

Spanish maestro Santi Cazorla is known for his creativity and ability to play defence splitting passes, and this was on show on Saturday as he was one of only 17 players who managed to register an assist. On the other hand, so far this season he has failed to win a tackle – this is despite attempting 10.

The news that Lukas Podolski is out for up to ten weeks will be a bitter pill to swallow for Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal faithful. The 100-capped German international has had 2 shots this season, and, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, both shots have resulted in goals.

Polish shot-stopper Wojciech Szczesny had his fair share of critics last season, but if he continues to perform like he did on Saturday these critics will soon disappear. He made 6 saves on Saturday, the second most in the league.

Theo Walcott’s performances on the flank will prove critical to the Gunners chances of success this year, and it appears that his pace was causing Fulham headaches at the weekend. His total of 4 dribbles was equal-second in the league. Walcott is 19/10 at 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.


Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate Team for FIFA 14.