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 19th October
Arsenal vs Norwich 15:00
A second-half goal from Jack Wilshere saw Arsenal grab a point last time out against West Brom at The Hawthorns. The 1-1 draw saw the Gunners impressive string of wins come to a halt but Arsene Wenger will no doubt have been pleased at the level of grit and mental fortitude shown by his side to come back from a goal down at a notoriously difficult away venue.
Arsenal fans will have been sweating on the fitness of Mesut Ozil after the midfield maestro appeared to pick up a knock whilst on international duty with Germany. Ozil’s influence since arriving from Real Madrid has been enormous and he was once again near the top of the stats in the last round. He completed 51 passes in the West Brom half, placing him third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. This total also made him one of only three players (Michael Carrick, David Silva) to have an average minute per succesfull pass rate of less than 2 minutes (1.76).
Olivier Giroud will once again be looking for greater consistency in front of goal this weekend, despite a superb overall start to the season. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Giroud has had the second most off-target attempts on goal this season, with only 42.1% of his 19 efforts on goal testing the keeper.
Aaron Ramsey’s performances of late haven’t just been eye-catching for his willingness to drive at defenders and pop up with far more goals than in recent seasons, but also in the development of his all-round game. No player has won more tackles than the Welshman, with 34 successful challenges and an overall tackle success rate of 73.9% to his name.
Ramsey is hot on the heels of fellow contenders for most influential midfielders Michael Carrick and Yaya Toure, currently sitting third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 253. That works out as an average of one every 2.36 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season. Ramsey is 39/19 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Norwich found themselves on the wrong side of 1-3 loss at home to Chelsea during the last round of fixtures, a solitary Anthony Pilkington goal the sole bright spot on a difficult afternoon for the Canaries against a Blues side in full flow.
Jonny Howson has so far been one of the most pivotal members of the Norwich midfield this season, his 153 successful passes in the opponent’s half representing the highest total of any Canaries player this term.
Youngster Nathan Redmond continues to shine for Norwich this season, his emergence providing Chris Hughton with an extra creative outlet up front. Redmond tops the Norwich squad for both attempts on goal (10) and overall attacking contributions (32) (crosses, assists, dribbles, shots on goal). He may well force his way in Roy Hodgson’s thinking should he be able to maintain these impressive performance levels.
Robert Snodgrass will be hoping he can fashion more end-product from his runs forward for the rest of the campaign. The Scotsman so far has the second highest numbers of crosses to his name without registering an assist (9) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Snodgrass is 23/4 to get himself on the scoresheet at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Everton vs Hull 15:00
Despite grabbing the first goal of the game through Romelu Lukaku Everton were unable to prevent a resurgent Manchester City from forcing their way back into their contest, with the Toffees eventually falling to a 3-1 defeat.
Romelu Lukaku has been nothing short of superb since arriving on Merseyside, clearly arriving with a point to prove to Jose Mourinho after being allowed to go out on loan. The Belgian has been clinical for Everton, scoring four times from only six shots on target. Lukaku’s shot conversion rate of 44.4% is as good as any Premier League player with four or more goals this season, and is identical to that of his compatriot Christian Benteke. Lukaku is 7/8 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Midfielder Ross Barkley must surely be hoping that if his good form continues this season he may well be able to force himself into Roy Hodgson’s plans now that England have qualified for next summer’s World Cup. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he’s contributed the second highest number of attacking contributions (dribbles, assists, crosses, shots on goal) of any player in the league this season with 43.
Youngester Gerard Deulofeu will be desperate for more playing time following his loan from Barcelona, and the 19 year-old clearly has the ability to make an impression at this level. Deulofeu ranks second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for the average time it has taken him to work the goalkeeper during his limited minutes on the pitch, with an average of just 24 minutes passing between his shots on target.
After two highly accomplished performances, Leighton Baines appears to have jumped ahead of Ashley Cole in the England pecking order at left-back, something his club performances this season have warranted as well. Baines’ attacking talents are well-known, but even in defence he has been outshining Cole. The Everton man has successfully completed 86.9% of his 23 attempted challenges this season, conceding just 3 fouls along the way. By comparison, Cole can only boast a 68.4% success rate from 19 challenges, conceding 7 fouls.
Pretty it may not have been, but Hull managed to grind out a 0-0 draw against Aston Villa last time out to maintain their unbeaten record at home this season. Steve Bruce will know that such stubbornness at home will be crucial to his side’s chances of staying in the Premier League come the end of the season.Ahmed Elmohamady continues to be Hull’s standout all-round performer this season, turning in some excellent shifts in both defence and attack. As well as having the best average rate for minutes per pass in the opponent’s half (3.93), he’s also completed a very effective 86.6% of his 16 challenges this season.
Young forward Sone Aluko is another who has started the season in fine form but he will be looking for greater consistency in and around the box as he attempts to kick on for the rest of the campaign. So far he has only been able to muster a 50% shot accuracy rate from 10 attempts on goal. However, he can take confidence from the fact that he still leads the Hull squad for overall attacking contributions (crosses, dribbles, assists, shots on goal) with 25. Aluko is 23/4 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
James Chester may be inexperienced at Premier League level but he appears unfazed by his new surroundings and his statistics are shining through as a result. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Chester has the best defensive statistics of any player in the league to have attempted more than 20 tackles, with a superb overall success rate of 95%.
Chester’s defensive colleague Curtis Davies has also been chalking up some impressive defensive statistics of his own, racking up 73 clearances so far this season to place him joint second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He is also so far the only player in the Premier League to have broken the triple-figures barrier for defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) with 109.
Stoke vs West Brom 15:00
A late goal from Darren Bent saw Stoke leave London with nothing as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage. Mark Hughes will be hoping that his side can bounce back immediately on their return to Britannia this weekend.
Hughes will also be hoping for greater accuracy in front of goal from Marko Arnautovic this weekend, the forward topping the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total shots off target in the last round of fixtures with 4. Arnautovic is 7/3 to score at any time against West Brom with 888sport.com.
Arnautovic has been exceptional when called upon to defend this season though, something slightly out of the ordinary for Premier League strikers this season. He’s completed an excellent 81.8% of his 11 attempted challenges so far this term.
However Hughes will be looking for a general increase in the effectiveness of his players in front of goal this weekend. Still only one player (Marc Wilson) has a shot accuracy rate of 50% or more, with exactly half of his 6 attempts working the opposition goalkeeper.
Wilson will be looking for greater consistency from his defensive work as the season continues though. Wilson currently sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles lost with 17, giving him a overall success rate of 57.5% from 40 attempted challenges.
West Brom will have been disappointed they could not cling on for all three points after taking the lead against Arsenal, instead seeing their contest with the high-flying Gunners end with honours even at 1-1. The Baggies have been showcasing the kind of football their fans know they’re capable of in recent weeks and will be hoping for a continuation of their good form when they travel to Stoke on Saturday.
Saido Berahino has caught the eye of many with some excellent performances at the beginning of this campaign for the Baggies. There has been plenty to suggest he could figure in England’s World Cup squad next summer should he maintain this form and there is plenty of evidence to suggest he knows how to grab an opportunity when presented with one. He’s fashioned an on-target attempt on goal on average once every 48.8 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season, the best rate of any West Brom player. Berahino is 7/2 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Morgan Amalfitano has been in highly impressive form in recent weeks, highlighted by a superb solo goal against Manchester United a few weeks ago. The Frenchman has also proved himself equally adept at providing opportunities for others though, his 3 assists placing him on top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and also representing a higher total than any of the next 25 players behind him.
It’s clear Amalfitano has taken to the Premier League exceptionally well since his arrival on loan from Marseille, the Frenchman also leading the West Brom squad for overall attacking contributions (assists, dribbles, crosses, shots on goal) with 24.
When given the opportunity, James Morrison has excelled for Steve Clarke’s side this season. Out of West Brom’s midfielders, only Claudio Yacob and Youssuf Mulumbu can better his total of 27 defensive contributions, with both playing significantly more minutes than the Scottish international. Morrison can also boast the best average minutes per pass rate of any of his colleagues, completing a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 3.54 minutes.
West Ham vs Manchester City 17:30
A wondergoal from Ravel Morrison capped what has to be ranked as one of the biggest upsets of the season so far for West Ham, as they dismantled big-spending Tottenham to run out 0-3 winners at White Hart Lane.
Much has been made of the recent showings of Ravel Morrison, the sometimes troubled youngster appearing to be on the cusp of fulfilling some of the vast promise he showed at Manchester United. His stats suggest there is still much more to come though as he currently only sits third in the Hammer’s squad for attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, dribbles, crosses) with 15 but you can expect this total to rise rapidly the more minutes he racks up. Morrison is 6/1 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Free-flowing in attack the Hammers may have been last weekend but their performances of some of their defenders have been equally impressive so far this season. Standout Winston Reid currently sits in second place on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) with 98, with an overall tackle success rate of 84.2% from 19 challenges.
Teammate Kevin Nolan has been as equally committed to the cause for Sam Allardyce’s side this campaign, with a typically robust performance against Spurs. He attempted the joint second-highest number of tackles of any player in the Premier League that weekend (10), coming out on top in 40% of them.
Mark Noble continues to run the show in the centre of the park for the Hammers this season, boasting the best average passing rate of any of his teammates. On average Noble has completed a pass in the opponent’s half once every 3.96 minutes according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Manchester City looked to have rediscovered some of their best form against Everton last time out with a 3-1 victory over the Toffees at the Etihad. Goals from Alvaro Negredo and Sergio Aguero formed part of clinical but expressive victory, and City fans will be hungry for more this weekend.
City right-back Pablo Zabaleta once again top the defensive statistics this season, the attacking-minded defender excelling at the back for Manuel Pellegrini. Not only has Zabaleta won a table-topping 34 challenges this season, he’s done so with a quite incredible overall success rate of 85%.
Fernandinho still leads the Manchester City squad for defensive indiscretions this week, the Brazilian sitting third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for fouls this season with 16.
Sergio Aguero was clearly keen to prove a point against Everton after an indifferent season so far by his own lofty standards. The Argentinian perhaps lets his eagerness get the better of him though, with 3 fouls conceded against the Toffees, placing him joint second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for the last round of fixtures.
Summer signing Stevan Jovetic has been struggling for game time of late but will be hoping to force his way into Manuel Pellegrini’s thinking by taking his chances when they come along. So far he has an impressive record of creating a shot on target on average once every 39.5 minutes he’s been on the park, a noteworthy return when you consider the lack of league starts given to the Montenegro forward. Jovetic is 17/10 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Newcastle vs Liverpool 15:00
Both Brendan Rodgers and Alan Pardew may have been fretting over any injuries their players could have picked up in the international break, but their minds will have quickly turned to the threat that the opposing strikers hold in this weekend’s game.
By examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index it isn’t hard to see why Alan Pardew is so keen to sign up on-loan striker Loic Remy. Remy has scored the second most goals in the league, and at the weekend he took 4 shots – hitting the target every single time. No other player took as many shots without missing.
Mike Williamson has turned in some excellent performances recently. The centre half made 24 defensive contributions (based on tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks) against the Bluebirds, the third most in the league.
Alan Pardew has made his feelings clear on the mercurial nature of Hatem Ben Arfa, both brilliant but frustrating in equal measure. Ben Arfa has, however, shown his eye for goal this season, as no other Newcastle player has taken as many shots as Ben Arfa’s 15. Ben Arfa ia available at 9/1 with 888sport.com to score the opening goal of the match on Saturday.
Davide Santon’s move to Newcastle was one that surprised some, with many observers predicting a bright future for the Italian youngster. Inter Milan may have felt that Santon hadn’t progressed in the way they’d have liked, but their loss has most certainly been Newcastle’s gain. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the left back has made 18 interceptions this season – the fifth most in the league.
Sitting ahead of him in fourth is teammate Mathieu Debuchy. The French right back has made an impressive 20 interceptions so far this campaign.
Brendan Rodgers’ creative 3-5-2 formation looks to be a real winning formula, with the Sturridge/Suarez pairing combining to guide Liverpool to a 3-1 victory against Crystal Palace.
Sturridge leads the goalscoring charts in the Premier League this season, and this is partly down to his shooting accuracy. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the striker has hit the target in an impressive 60% of his attempts.
Steven Gerrard gained plaudits for his leadership in England’s final two qualifying fixtures, and his ability to lead from the front was also evident against Crystal Palace as he made a total of 47 attacking contributions (based on shots, crosses, dribbles and passes in the opposition half). This was the fourth most in the league.
The Liverpool skipper’s passing was particularly impressive, as he completed a pass in the opposition half every 2 minutes. You can find Gerrard at 8/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal of the match on Saturday.
A key attribute to Luis Suarez’s swashbuckling style of play is his ability to glide past defenders. He may have returned to Liverpool’s team a short time ago, but he evidently isn’t rusty in this department as he completed 5 dribbles against Crystal Palace, the third most in the league.
A real selection headache for Brendan Rodgers is who to select at the heart of his defence, with numerous centre backs making a case for inclusion. Martin Skrtel need look no further than his clearing statistics, as the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows he has made 53 clearances – more than any other Liverpool player.
Chelsea vs Cardiff
Chelsea entertain Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge, and will be looking to continue their 3 match unbeaten run.
Although traditionally renowned for his late surges into the opposition box, Lampard has refined his game slightly to combat his ageing legs, and adopted a deeper position in the middle of the park. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates the seamlessness of Lampard’s transition, as the former Hammer has won 17 tackles this season.
The success rate of these tackles has been impressive, with the England man winning a perfectly respectable 60% of his challenges.
Lampard’s midfield presence has allowed other players more offensive freedom, something that both Oscar and Eden Hazard have thrived on. The pair have completed 203 and 198 passes in the opposition half respectively.
A selection dilemma for Jose Mourinho this season is who to start at centre half, with Gary Cahill and David Luiz chopping and changing all season. A constant presence, however, is skipper John Terry. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index underlines his importance to the Chelsea team, as he has made 48 clearances so far this term – the most in the Chelsea team.
Branislav Ivanovic, however, has been the real rock in Chelsea’s defence so far this campaign. The Serb has made 70 defensive contributions (based on clearances, tackles, blocks and interceptions), which is the most in the Chelsea squad. If you think Chelsea will maintain this form, head over to 888sport.com who are offering 5/1 for Chelsea to win 2-0.
Malky Mackay bemoaned Cardiff’s slow start in their outing against Newcastle, as the Bluebirds fell two goals behind the opening 38 minutes.
One player who Mackay identified as making a decisive contribution in their second half fightback was central midfielder Jordan Mutch. After coming on at the interval Mutch started dictating play, playing the decisive ball for Peter Odemwingie’s goal. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights the impact that the U21 international made, as he completed a pass in the opposition half every 2.25 minutes. This was a better rate than any other player on the pitch. You can find Mutch at 39/1 to score the final goal on Saturday, with 888sport.com
Gary Medel also showcased his passing ability against the Magpies, as he completed 39 passes in the opposition half – the tenth most in the league.
Medel’s all round ability is also evident in the number of interceptions he has made this season. The Chilean international has made 13 interceptions – the second most in the Cardiff team.
With World Cup places up for grabs, Roy Hodgson has pledged to give youth a chance to stake their claim. An outside bet for some is Ben Turner, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index certainly gives weight to the arguments of his admirers. The Englishman has made 83 defensive contributions this season (based on blocks, tackles, interceptions, and clearances), which is more than anyone else in the Cardiff squad.
Man Utd vs Southampton
One of the major talking points for English football fans this season has been the resurgence of Wayne Rooney, and David Moyes will certainly hoping that the former Everton man can lead the Red Devils to victory against seventh placed Southampton.
Adnan Januzaj produced a superb performance to guide Manchester United to victory against Southampton. The pressure clearly didn’t get to the 18 year old in his first League start for the champions, as he completed 5 dribbles against Sunderland – the third most in the League. You can find the youngster at 7/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
At the other end of the spectrum, stalwart midfielder Michael Carrick emphasised his innate ability to thread a pass through the eye of a needle. The perennially underrated midfielder completed 66 passes in the opposition half – the most of any player in the league.
Michael Carrick’s passing has been majestic all season, as he has completed 312 passes in the opposition half so far this term – more than anyone else in the league. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index also highlights that Carrick has the best record in the league for interceptions made. The former Spurs man has made 31 interceptions, with his closest competitor Mile Jedinak making 25.
Everton full back Leighton Baines produced a stellar performance for England in midweek, which would have attracted the attention of David Moyes as he continues his pursuit of his former pupil. Patrice Evra, however, is clearly determined to showcase his offensive worth to the Manchester United team, as he has swung in 9 crosses so far this season – more than any other defender in the league.
Two promising English players in Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriquez hit the back of the net in Southampton’s victory over Swansea before the international break.
Another player hoping to break into the international scene is French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. The former Strasbourg midfielder showcased his creative ability against Swansea, completing 23 passes in the opposition half.
Schneiderlin’s all round ability has also been evident in the number of tackles he’s made this season. He’s completed 35 tackles so far this season – more than any of his teammates. The Frenchman is 27/1 with 888sport.com to open the scoring against Manchester United.
Southampton’s success so far this season has been built on a resolute defence, and Jose Fonte should receive much of the credit for this. The centre half has made 95 defensive contributions this season, based on tackles, blocks, clearances and interceptions.
Likewise, right back Nathaniel Clyne has shown how impressive he is in the tackle. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the full back has attempted 26 tackles, and won 22 of them.
Swansea vs. Sunderland
Sunderland travel to Swansea hoping that Gus Poyet can transform their season, with the Black Cats only taking 1 point from their opening 7 games.
One player who Poyet’s men will have to deal with is tricky winger Nathan Dyer. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the former Southampton man swung in 5 crosses against Southampton – this was more than any other player in the league.
Nathan Dyer is very much in the classic winger mould, as in addition to his eagerness to deliver the ball into the box, he is keen to take on opposition defenders whenever possible. He has completed 9 dribbles this season – more than any other player in the Swansea squad. This is a particularly impressive figure when one considers that he has only played 386 minutes so far this term. Dyer is 33/10 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Saturday.
Another Swansea player who has impressed this season is midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. The former Liverpool man has been a creative force for the Swans, completing a pass in the opposition half every 2.8 minutes.
Nial Taylor will certainly have his work cut out when trying to oust left back Ben Davies. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the academy graduate has made 172 attacking contributions so far this campaign (based on crosses, passes in the opposition half, dribbles, and shots), and also 74 defensive contributions (based on clearances, interceptions, tackles and blocks). Only 1 Swansea player has made more attacking contributions, and 2 more defensive contributions.
Michael Laudrup’s teams are renowned for their offensive possession based game, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights the emphasis that he places on his full backs bombing forward. Ben Davies and Angel Rangel have completed 161 and 147 passes in the opposition half this season, the third and fourth most of any defenders in the league.
Gus Poyet should look towards Craig Gardner in his quest to improve Sunderland’s defensive fortunes. Despite only featuring in 350 minutes this campaign, the midfielder has made 21 tackles – the second most in the team.
Gardner’s passing has also been incredibly impressive, as he’s managed to complete a pass in the opposition half every 2.6 minutes. 888sport.com are offering an industry best 17/1 for him to open the scoring on Saturday.
Valentin Roberge is a new arrival at Sunderland this year, and he’s certainly got stuck in since his arrival. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he has attempted 14 tackles, and been successful in 93% of them.
Adam Johnson will be integral to Sunderland’s hopes of avoiding the drop due to his ability to deliver the ball into the box. The former Manchester City winger has delivered 10 crosses this season, the second most in the league.
Johnson has also completed 12 dribbles this term, the most in the Sunderland squad.
Sunday 20th October
Aston Villa vs. Tottenham
Aston Villa welcome Tottenham to Villa Park looking to continue their 3 match unbeaten run. Tottenham, on the other hand, will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat at home to West Ham
One player Roy Hodgson may look to experiment with in the forthcoming international friendlies is midfielder Fabian Delph. The former Leeds man has been in scintillating form this season, which can be evident in his tackling. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the central midfielder has attempted 38 challenges, and been successful in 71% of them.
Delph’s defensive dependability is also clear in the number of interceptions he has made this term. In making 17 interceptions he doubles the tally of his nearest competitor Antonio Luna, who has only managed 8. The former Leeds man is 27/1 with 888sport.com to score the final goal on Sunday.
Defender Matthew Lowton has been a near ever-present for Aston Villa since Paul Lambert took the reins, and his ability to find a man in the opposition half has certainly been impressive. The former Sheffield United right back has completed a pass in the opposition half every 2.9 minutes.
Credit should be given to Ciaran Clark for helping the Villains secure a draw for away to Hull. The Irish centre half made 23 clearances against the Tigers – more than any other player in the league.
This season, however, skipper Ron Vlaar has overshadowed Clark’s performances. The Dutchman has made 79 defensive contributions (based on clearances, blocks, interceptions and tackles), the most in Paul Lambert’s squad.
Tottenham succumbed to a disappointing defeat at home to West Ham in the last match before the international break.
Andros Townsend has certainly made the headlines over the past week for his stellar performances for England, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates how influential he’s been for Tottenham this campaign. The silky winger has completed 33 dribbles this season, more than any other player in the league.
The youngster’s hardworking mentality has been praised recently, following his willingness to ply his trade in the lower leagues and develop his game. His positive attitude was on show against West Ham on Saturday, as the team may have been disappointing, but he was still willing to take his full back on – he completed more dribbles than any other player in the league.
Lewis Holtby might have only been given a proper chance to impress in Europe this year, but he has certainly shown his ability to pass the ball in the few minutes he has played for Spurs in the league. Despite only featuring for 49 minutes, he has completed 39 passes in the opposition half, at an average of a pass every 0.2 minutes.
Michael Dawson will be desperate to maintain his form this year to try and force his way back into the England fold. The former Nottingham Forest man has made 77 defensive contributions this campaign (based on clearances, blocks, tackles and interceptions). The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that this is more than any other player in the Spurs squad.
Christian Eriksen has made a positive start to his Tottenham career, with his passing exploits gaining particular recognition. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index also demonstrates that his shooting accuracy has been impressive, as he has hit the target with 80% of his shots. Find Eriksen at an industry best 10/1 with 888sport.com to open the scoring on Sunday.
Monday 21st October
Crystal Palace vs Fulham
Crystal Palace could not find the performance necessary to halt a very strong Liverpool outfit during the last round, as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at Anfield. Despite Dwight Gayle grabbing a second-half consolation goal Palace were unable to contain a Liverpool side full of attacking intent and bolstered by Luis Suarez on his return to Anfield.
Jason Puncheon has been a smart acquisition for Palace following his arrival on loan from Southampton. So far this season he’s racked up 113 successful passes in the opponent’s half, the highest total of any Palace player.
He’s also been Palace’s most effective attacker, compiling a squad-leading total of 18 attacking contributions (assists, crosses, dribbles, shots on goal). Puncheon is 4/1 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Mile Jedinak was once again the defensive stalwart for Palace last weekend, as he has been for much of the season to this point. Only Aaron Ramsey has attempted more tackles that the Australian this season (43) and even he cannot match Jedinak’s impressive success rate of 74.4%.
However, even Jedinak cannot compete with Danny Gabbidon’s physical commitment to the cause, leading the Hammers squad as he does for blocks with 10 which also places him second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
A vital goal from Darren Bent secured all three points for Fulham and relieved the pressure on embattled manager Martin Jol, as they produced a 1-0 home win over Stoke. Fulham fans will be hoping that this is the turning of the tide and will be looking for Jol’s men to capitalize on their newfound momentum against Palace this weekend.
Adel Taarabt continues to impress when give the chance this season, boasting the best accuracy rate in front of goal of any Fulham player this season with 80% of his 5 attempts on goal testing the opposition goalkeeper. Taarabt is 4/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time against Palace.
Martin Jol will be hoping that last weekend’s clean sheet will be the first of many to come, especially with David Stockdale currently sitting as the third busiest ‘keeper in the league with 27 saves according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Captain Bred Hangleand continues to lead from the front in defence this season, the giant centre-half racking up a squad-leading 69 defensive contributions. He will looking to improve his current tackle success rate though, 44.4% from 9 attempted challenges representing far too low a rate for a defender of his quality.
The goals have not flowed as easily as Martin Jol would have hoped at the beginning of this season, but his players must start getting more attempts on goal away if this is to improve. So far no Fulham player has broken into double-figures for total attempts on goal according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.