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 and 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 5th October
Manchester City vs Everton 12:45
Despite dominating the first half, Manchester City somehow found themselves on the wrong side of yet another shock result, following their loss to Cardiff earlier in the season, as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Aston Villa. Goals from Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko looked to have secured the win but Manuel Pellegrini’s men were stunned by two goals in three minutes at Villa Park to see their lead slip from their grasp.
Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping for greater accuracy in front of goal from Edin Dzeko as the season progresses. Although usually solid in and around the box, Dzeko currently sits third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for off-target attempts on goal with 8, giving him a shot accuracy rate of 47.1% from 17 total attempts.
Dzeko’s lack of accuracy at times may well have come back to haunt City in a match which they should have won, with the Bosnia & Herzegovinian striker managing an accuracy of just 40% from 5 shots last weekend. This total also represents the joint highest number of attempts from any player in the last round of fixtures.
Despite continuing to be City’s top scorer in the league this term, Yaya Toure has also remained in his role as their main midfield fulcrum this season. He is hot on the heels of Michael Carrick, who remains top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes completed in the opponent’s half (246), with 241. Toure is an industry best 16/5 with 888sport.com to score again at any time this weekend.
Pablo Zabaleta has continued in his role as City’s most effective defender this season, attempting more challenges than any other City player (32), as well as also having the best tackle success rate of any of his colleagues (87.5%).
Summer arrival Fernandinho hasn’t taken long to start imposing his physical style from the heart of the City midfield. He leads the City squad for fouls with 14 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
In a first-half brimming with intensity and ambition, Everton put Newcastle to the sword on their way to a 3-2 win. Despite conceding two second-half goals, Roberto Martinez will have been exceptionally pleased with the hunger of his side, with young duo Romelu Lukaku, who grabbed a brace on his home debut, and Ross Barkley both putting in stellar shifts.
Seamus Coleman has started the season in fine form and his performance up and down the right flank on Monday night exemplified this. Despite seeing his side 3-0 up at half time, Coleman still won the joint highest number of tackles in the last round according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 7. He also did so with better success than any other player on that total, completing 77.7% of the challenges he was involved in.
Martinez was full of praise for Romelu Lukaku after a superb performance from the youngster which saw him grab two well-taken goals on his debut for the Toffees. Unsurprisingly, Lukaku had the joint highest number of on-target attempts on goal with 3, giving him an overall accuracy rate of 75% from the chances which fell his way. Lukaku is 28/13 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Ross Barkley has continued to repay the faith shown in him by his new manager this season, the young midfielder showing the kind of physical and tactical maturity you would expect from a player 10 years his senior. Barkley continue to league the lead in dribbles, having racked up 26 so far this term according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
There has been an effervescence to Barkley’s all-round attacking play this season, so much so that he sits in a lofty second in the league for total attacking contributions (crosses, assists, dribbles, shots on goal) this term with 40.
Cardiff vs Newcastle 15:00
A stunning injury-time strike from Jordon Mutch secured yet another win for Malkay Mackay’s Cardiff, after Steven Caulker powered home a header early in the first half against Fulham. Mackay will be especially pleased with the fact that his side continue to look increasingly comfortable in their Premier League surroundings.
Steven Caulker’s willingness to throw himself at the ball isn’t limited to the opposition’s box, he has a similar mentality when it comes to the more familiar terrain of his own half. He once again leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for blocks with 11.
Ben Turner was another who was put through his paces in Cardiff’s eventual victory last weekend. He was forced to repeatedly track back and his 12 clearances was the joint highest of any player in the league last weekend.
Mackay’s side have strung together a series of impressive all-round performances so far this season, all despite having failed to fully hit top form in from of goal. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, no player in the Cardiff squad has a shot accuracy rate of greater than 50%. If Cardiff can marry their evident tactical organization and commitment to some greater composure in front of goal they could possibly break the top 10 by the end of the season.
Cardiff certainly possess the players required to compete in the Premier League, particularly in midfield. In Kim Bo-Yyung (102), Peter Whittingham (112) and Guy Medel (102) they have three players who have now broken the 100-barrier for passes completed in the opponent’s half. They are the only one of this season’s three promoted teams to have so far achieved this distinction.
After appearing to be on the brink of a heavy defeat, Newcastle somehow rallied at the break to keep the scoreline to a respectable 3-2 at Goodison. An increase in desire and urgency will not have placated the Geordie faithful though and they will be expecting a win when Premier League new boys Cardiff travel north this weekend.
Cheick Tiote’s defensive strength was tested to the limit during a first half where Everton ran riot on Monday evening. The Ivory Coast international committed the joint highest number of fouls of any player in the last round of fixtures according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 4.
Newcastle’s defensive frailties were exposed at times against Everton but Magpie fans should be encouraged by the quality their back four have displayed at times this season. Two of their four starting defenders on Monday have a tackle success rate of 79% or more (Debuchy and Yanga-Mbiwa) and have combined for a total of just 22 fouls this season. That works out at an average of just one every 91.9 minutes they have collectively been on the pitch this season.
Despite appearing to lack a cutting edge in the first half against Everton, Newcastle are certainly not devoid of players with the requisite skill or desire to make a difference in a Premier League match. In Moussa Sissoko and Hatem Ben Arfa they have two players in the top 5 on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles, with 36 between them.
Indeed in Ben Arfa, they have a man capable of slicing open any defence with a moment of magic and the Frenchman has certainly not been found wanting in terms of effort this season. He has provided the third-highest number of attacking contributions (crosses, assists, shots on goal, dribbles) of any player in the league with 39. Ben Arfa is an industry best 13/4 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Fulham vs Stoke 15:00
Yet more pressure was heaped on Fulham manager Martin Jol last weekend as his side lost 1-2 at home to Cardiff as their poor run of league form continues. Despite a fine goal from Bryan Ruiz, Fulham fans will be hoping for a turnaround in fortunes this weekend.
Goals have been relatively hard to come by for Martin Jol’s side so far this season, but he will be keen to see his players simply start to get more attempts on goal before anything else. So far no Fulham player has broken into double-figures for shots on goal, with the entire squad combining for 39 shots with a collective return of 4 goals. You can find last weekend’s goalscorer Bryan Ruiz at an industry best 19/5 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com though.
Despite being 32 years old, Scott Parker may prove to be one of Fulham’s most important signings of recent times with the stability he brings to the Cottager’s midfield. He’s been showcasing the old adage that class is permanent, his 124 completed passes in the opponent’s half making him the joint second oldest player in the league to moved beyond the 120-pass barrier so far this season.
Midfielder Patjim Kasami may have given away the joint 4th highest amount of fouls of any player in the league this season (14) but according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he also has a tackle success rate of 81.2% from 22 attempted challenges. One can only assume that if he stayed on his feet more, and was perhaps more measured in his approach when rushing opponents, his success rate would be even higher.
Steve Sidwell is once again at the heart of Fulham’s defensive efforts this season, leading the squad for total defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, tackles won, clearances) with 48 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
A relatively lacklustre performance from Stoke saw them fall to a 0-1 defeat at home to Norwich, in a game where they managed to muster just one shot on target.
Steven N’Zonzi is undoubtedly an integral component of the Stoke midfield and has the stats to prove it. So far this season he’s completed 206 passes in the opponent’s half, making him the only player in the top 12 of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in this category to come from a team outside of the top ten in the league.
Defender Geoff Cameron has been showcasing some excellent form so far this season, the American international seemingly willing to adapt to Mark Hughes’ philosophy and push higher up the pitch when the opportunity presents itself. Only one other defender in the Premier League (Everton’s Seamus Coleman) has attempted more dribbles than Cameron’s current total of 11.
Marc Wilson’s commitment to the Stoke cause is most certainly not in question with 39 tackles attempted so far this season, the third highest total in the league and an average of one every 13.8 minutes he’s been on the park. However he could perhaps do better to time these challenges better as he currently has the lowest tackle success rate of any player in the top ten on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total tackles attempted with 56.4%.
Normally relatively reliable in front of goal, Jonathan Walters has been surprisingly off-form when it comes to his shooting so far this season. So far only 37.5% of his 8 shots this term have tested the opposition keeper. You can still find Walters at a healthy 14/5 to score at any time with 888sport.com though.
Hull vs Aston Villa 15:00
A disputed penalty from Robbie Brady gave Hull a 1-0 victory over West Ham last weekend in a result which propelled them to 7th in the Premier League.
Despite pulling off the win last weekend, it was a mark of how hard Hull were made to work for the victory that Allan McGregor made the joint highest number of saves of any stopper in the league last weekend with 5.
Curtis Davies has shone at the back so far Hull this season, and has even over-taken Southampton’s Jose Fonte to now lead the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total defensive contributions this term (block, clearance, interception, tackles won) with 89.
On the subject of defense, midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady boasts some of the best tackle statistics of any player in the league. He’s successfully completed an excellent 90.9% of his 11 attempted challenges so far this season.
Steve Bruce must be bracing himself for several potential bids for Sone Aluko when the next transfer window rolls around, such has been the forward’s form this campaign. He leads the Hull squad for attacking contributions (shots on goal, dribbles, assists, crosses) with 25 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Aluko is 3/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Aston Villa provided one of the upsets of the season so far as Andreas Weimann’s 75th minute goal gave his side a quite remarkable 3-2 win over Manchester City. In a first half where their opponent’s found themselves on top for large periods, and even after conceding twice, Villa showed tremendous spirit to fight back for deserved, if surprising, victory.
Although noted for his talent for being on the receiving end of assists, Gabriel Agbonlahor is apparently now equally comfortable in playing the role of provider. He sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for assists with 3 to his name already this season. Agbonlahor is an industry best 37/13 to do what he does best this weekend though and get himself on the scoresheet with 888sport.com.
Fabian Delph’s form this season continues to be nothing less than outstanding in all areas of his game. He has racked up the highest number of defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, tackles won, interceptions) of any player to have completed 10 or more dribbles (15).
Paul Lambert must be very pleased with the current defensive form of Karim El Ahmadi, the midfielder racking up an impressive tackles success rate of 83.3% from 30 attempted challenges so far this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Despite the fact that his side managed to put 3 goals past Man City last time out, Lambert will also undoubtedly be keen for star striker Christian Benteke to make his return from injury sooner rather than later. At present, no other Villa player has a shot accuracy rate of greater than 50% except for the powerful Belgian, who boasts a 77.8% on-target rate from 9 attempts on goal.
Liverpool vs Crystal Palace 15:00
Luis Suarez announced his return to the Premier League with a well-taken brace as he spearheaded Liverpool to a 1-3 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Daniel Sturridge grabbed the first goal as he continues his impressive goal-scoring form this season and Liverpool fans will be delighted at the prospect of ‘SAS’ reuniting to lead the line for the Reds.
Daniel Sturridge’s willingness to have a go when in sight of goal is the sign of a striker with confidence in his own ability. Sturridge has been shooting with abandon this season, with 15 attempts on goal, the joint 4th highest in the league, with 53.3% of those finding their way on-target.
Indeed, Brendan Rodgers will surely be incredibly excited at the prospect of both Sturridge and Suarez operating in tandem now that the Uruguayan’s ban is over. Together the pair have now combined for 7 goals this season, giving them a goal on average once every 2.9 strikes they’ve had on goal. You can find Sturridge and Suarez at 11/17 and 11/21 respectively to find the net at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Lucas Leiva continues to quietly go about his work this season, winning the joint highest number of tackles in the league with 32 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Simon Mignolet remains the busiest keeper in the league, with a total of 29 saves so far this term. For all the Reds’ good form, Brendan Rodgers will be keen to see his back four provide him with greater protection to stifle more attempts on his goal as the season moves forward.
Crystal Palace once again failed to score as they lost 2-0 away to Southampton last time out. Ian Holloway will be desperate for his side to find some form this weekend as they look to work their way out of the Premier League’s bottom 3.
Mile Jedinak looks like being an increasingly crucial player for Ian Holloway’s side this season. So far he is the only Palace player to have broken the 100-barrier for passes completed in the opponent’s half (104).
To add even further weight to this argument, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Jedinak also leads the Palace squad for total defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) with 79.
Dwight Gayle is living the dream at the moment after playing non-league football a few seasons ago. His shooting accuracy could do with improving now that the season is in full swing though, as so far he has also managed to muster a 28.6% on-target rate from 7 attempted shots.
Fellow forward Marouane Chamakh was criticised by Ian Holloway for apparent simulation last weekend, but his manager will no doubt still have been impressed at Chamakh’s willingness to work hard and track back. He currently has the best tackles success rate of any forward in the league to have made more than 5 attempted challenges. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he’s won 92.3% of his 13 attempted challenges so far this season. Chamakh is 6/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Sunderland vs Manchester United 15:00
The Red Devils travel to the Stadium of Light on Saturday, with both managers desperate for a win for very different reasons. Kevin Ball will be hoping that a victory over the Champions will improve his chances of landing the Sunderland job permanently, whilst David Moyes will be hoping to relieve some of the pressure that has built up on him.
Sunderland succumbed to a 3-1 loss to Liverpool on Sunday, and, predictably, old boy Simon Mignolet thwarted their efforts. No other keeper made more saves than Mignolet’s 5 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Adam Johnson will feel particularly aggrieved by the performance of his former teammate, as the winger had 4 shots at the weekend – the second most in the league. You can find Johnson at 23/2 with 888sport.com to open the scoring on Saturday.
In Ball’s first match in charge he handed Carlos Cuellar his first start of the season, and it appears that this was a masterstroke by Sunderland’s caretaker manager. The former Aston Villa centre half made 20 defensive contributions (based on tackles won, clearances, blocks and interceptions), which was more than anyone else in the league.
This figure is even more impressive when examining the total number of defensive contributions other Sunderland players have made all season. Modibo Diakite leads the way, making 53 defensive contributions this season – only 23 more than Cuellar despite playing four times as many minutes.
Former Black Cats manager Paulo di Canio was criticized for the number of signings that he made this Summer, but one new boy who shone on Saturday was midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the midfielder made 35 passes in the opposition half, more than any other Sunderland player.
Despite Wayne Rooney producing another stellar performance, Manchester United suffered a shock defeat at home to West Brom in the last round of Premier League fixtures.
However, their dominance throughout the fixture is evident in the performance of midfielder Michael Carrick. The midfield general completed 58 passes in West Brom’s half on Saturday, which was more than any other player in the league.
Carrick’s ability to boss the middle of the park was also on show by the number of interceptions he made on Saturday. The England international made 5 interceptions at the weekend, more than anyone else in his team and the most in the league.
The decision to award winger Nani a 5 year contract was greeted with scepticism by many, but the Portugese winger dribbling ability was evident on Saturday. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he completed 8 dribbles on Saturday – the most in the league.
Nani also swung in 3 crosses on Saturday, which was the joint most in the league. The Portugese winger is 17/2 to score the first goal of the match with 888sport.com.
Sunday 6th October
Norwich vs Chelsea
Both teams will be looking to pick up momentum after positive results last weekend. Jonny Howson’s strike gave Chris Hughton’s team a much needed boost at the Brittania Stadium last weekend.
Norwich’s resilience in defence can partially be attributed to defender Ryan Bennett. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the centre half made 11 clearances at the weekend – the most of the Norwich defence.
Bennett’s efforts were supported by full back Martin Olsson. The former Blackburn man completed the most tackles in the Blackburn team, at a success rate of 88%.
Norwich have only managed to score 4 goals so far this campaign, and it appears that striker Ricky Van Wolfswinkel is becoming frustrated with the situation. The Dutchman has commited 19 fouls this term, more than any other player in the league.
Norwich’s lack of goals can’t be attributed to a lack of service from Robert Snodgrass. The Scottish international has swung in 9 crosses this season, which is the second most in the league according to the EA SPORTS Player performance Index.
Jonny Howson scored the winner for Norwich on Saturday, but so far this season his primary contribution to the team has been his passing. One of Norwich’s ex-Leeds contingent, the Morley-born man has completed a pass in the opposition half every 2 minutes this season. Howson is 21/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal of the match on Saturday.
John Terry scored a header in Chelsea 1-1 draw with London rivals Spurs, and on the balance of play, each side will be fairly satisfied with a point.
A player who was experienced something of a rejuvenation this season is Chelsea midfielder Ramires. Injuries, uncertainty of his best position and a slight loss of form have hampered Ramires’ potential, but he seems to be suiting the defensive midfielder role that Mourinho is currently giving him. Ramires made 13 tackles against Tottenham, the most in the league.
Chelsea’s tenacity in midfield on Saturday is also evident through Frank Lampard completing 12 tackles, which was the second most in the league.
Chelsea appear to have been keen to pass the ball out from the back against Tottenham, as centre half John Terry led the charts in number of passes completed in the opposition half.
The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Chelsea aren’t short of pass-masters in midfield either, as Eden Hazard has completed a pass in the opposition half once every 3 minutes this season. Hazard is 11/2 with 888sport.com to score the last goal of the game on Saturday.
John Terry got himself on the scoresheet on Saturday, but it is his defending that makes him an indispensible member of the Chelsea team. His defensive ability has been shown this season by the number of clearances he has made. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows the former England skipper has made 37, more than any other Chelsea player.
Southampton vs Swansea 16:00
Swansea are likely to find the going tough against Southampton, with Pochettino’s team keeping their tightest defence since 1984.
By examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it isn’t hard to spot how impressive Southampton’s defence was against Crystal Palace. ‘Keeper Artur Boruc didn’t have to make a save the whole match.
Celtic’s former shotstopper will thank his central defenders for his lack of action on Saturday, as Jose Fonte made 10 clearances against his former club – the third most in the league.
Daniel Lovren was also impressive on Saturday, making 5 interceptions – the second most in the league.
Ricky Lambert’s partnership with Pablo Osvaldo looked like it might be starting to click on Saturday, but England new boy Lambert will have to ensure he ups his shooting accuracy. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Southampton journeyman has taken 19 shots this season, but only scored twice. 888sport.com are backing Lambert to rediscover his goalscoring touch, by offering 7/2 for him to score the first goal of the match against Swansea.
Despite a late rally from the Swans, Michael Laudrup’s men continued their indifferent start to the season with a 2-0 loss at home to Arsenal.
Swansea are renowned for their attractive, passing game, and this was no different on Saturday. Both Jonathan de Guzman and Jose Canas were in the top 6 of players for passes completed in the opposition half, with de Guzman completing 44 and Canas 37.
De Guzman’s statistics are particularly impressive, as he completed a pass in the opposition at an average of every 2.04 minutes. De Guzman is 23/2 with 888sport.com to score the final goal of the match on Sunday.
Swansea’s defence hasn’t been at its best this season, with the Swans conceding the fourth most goals in the league, but defender Chico shouldn’t be blamed for this. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the Spaniard has made 79 defensive contributions this season (judged on clearances, blocks, tackles and interceptions), which is more than any other Swansea player.
Tottenham vs West Ham
As Tottenham move on from one London derby to another, they will be looking to improve on a disappointing second half display against title contenders Chelsea.
After dominating proceedings in the first half, Tottenham were put under pressure in the second period and they have keeper Hugo Lloris to thank for keeping them in the fixture. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the French skipper made the second most saves in the league on Saturday.
Much of the credit for keeping Chelsea at bay on Saturday, and interrupting their rhythm, should go to defender Kyle Walker. The Sheffield-born full back made 5 interceptions against Chelsea, the second most in the league.
When Luka Modric departed Spurs for Real Madrid a couple of seasons ago there was a big worry amongst Tottenham fans that they wouldn’t be able to replace him, but Belgian midfielder Moussa Dembele has certainly done much to fill the void. Dembele completed 29 passes in Chelsea’s half on Saturday, the most of any Tottenham player.
The Belgian’s dribbling ability was also evident against Chelsea, as he completed 8 dribbles – the most in the league. You can find Dembele at 23/2 with 888sport.com to score the first goal of the match on Sunday.
Andre Villas-Boas hasn’t done much wrong since walking in the door at White Hart Lane, but he could have made a terrible mistake if he’d let Michael Dawson leave the club. Dawson has underlined his importance to Tottenham by clearing the ball 41 times this season – more than any other Tottenham player.
West Ham’s disappointing start to the season continued with a 1-0 loss away to Hull.
James Tomkins made his first League start for West Ham at the weekend, and despite the team losing, he made his mark defensively completing 5 tackles – more than any other West Ham player.
Fellow West Ham academy graduate Mark Noble was also impressive on Saturday, as he completed 36 passes in the opposition half, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. This was the most in the West Ham team, and the eighth most in the league.
Mark Noble’s passing ability should not be underestimated, as the former England U21 captain has completed 54 more passes in the opposition half than any of his teammates. The central midfielder is 18/1 with 888sport.com to score the last goal of the game on Sunday.
Sam Allardyce has placed emphasis on his widemen in seasons gone by, encouraging his wingers to cross whenever possible. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that this hasn’t occurred this season, as with the exception of Matthew Jarvis, no player has crossed the ball more than 3 times.
Mohammed Diame has been a central figure for West Ham over the past couple of years, and it isn’t difficult to see why. The midfielder has been very impressive for West Ham defensively this season, completing 81% of his challenges.
West Brom vs Arsenal 15:00
Both teams come into this fixture on the back of impressive away victories, after West Brom won away at Old Trafford, and Arsenal beat Swansea at the Liberty Stadium.
Morgan Amalfitano opened the scoring with a delicate chip over David de Gea, but the West Brom midfielder was equally impressive with his passing. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he completed a pass in Manchester United’s half every 2.8 minutes.
Jonas Olsson underlined his worth to the West Brom side against Manchester United, as he made the third most clearances in the league with 10.
Olsson also leads the way in the league this year for number of clearances made, with the Swede having made 64.
West Brom fans could be forgiven for cursing their luck when Ben Foster suffered a foot injury near the start of the season, but on the back of Boaz Myhill’s performance on Saturday, the England shotstopper may struggle to regain his place. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that no other keeper made more saves than Myhill’s 5.
West Brom manager Steve Clark may have pulled off a major coup by completing the signing of Stéphane Sessègnon from Sunderland. The Beninese midfielder has always had great skill with the ball at his feet, and he showed off his skillset against Manchester United completing 6 dribbles, the second most in the league. Sessegnon is 10/1 with 888sport.com to score the final goal of the game on Sunday.
Aaran Ramsey scored again as Arsenal extended their record to eight consecutive away victories.
The Welsh midfielder has been in scintillating form all season, and this was no different on Saturday, as he managed to complete a pass in the opposition half every 2.8 minutes.
Ramsey’s dominance of the centre of the park was also evident in the number of interceptions he made. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that the 22 year old made 4 interceptions on Saturday – the third most in the league, and more than any of his teammates.
Rumours have been circulating Per Mertesacker is about to be offered a new contract by the Arsenal hierarchy, and after examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index it isn’t hard to see why. He has a tackle success rate of 100%.
Fellow centre back Laurent Koscielny has been in good form for Arsenal too, making 17 interceptions – more than any of his teammates.
At the other end of the pitch, a player who really seems to be finding his feet is striker Olivier Giroud. The French international has taken 16 shots so far this season, and found the back of the net 4 times. You can find him at 4/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal of the game on Sunday.