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 9th November
Aston Villa vs Cardiff 15:00
Aston Villa entertain a Cardiff side on Saturday buoyant following their victory over South Wales rivals Swansea.
Andreas Weimann has been a pivotal figure for Aston Villa this season, featuring in all but 60 minutes of the campaign so far – registering two assists in the process. On Saturday, however, his shooting was slightly wayward, as according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Austrian took 5 shots at goal – but failed to hit the target once. No other player in the league took as many shots without managing to hit the target. If you fancy Weimann to reverse his fortunes head over to 888sport.com as they have him at 5/1 to open the scoring.
With the Hammers lineup boasting talent such as Stewart Downing, Ravel Morrison, Matt Jarvis and Kevin Nolan, managing to keep a clean sheet was a fantastic achievement for Paul Lambert’s men. Credit should be given to holding midfielder Karim El Ahmadi, who totally dominated the midfield. The Moroccan made the second most tackles in the league on Saturday (8), and completed 75% of them.
Central midfield partner Ashley Westwood ably assisted the defensive efforts of El Ahmadi, as no other player in the league made as many blocks as the Cheshire-born midfielder’s 4.
Fabian Delph was absent for the Villains on Saturday, and looking at the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it appears that Villa missed his creativity in the centre of the park. The former Leeds man has made more attacking contributions (based on passes in the opposition half, shots, dribbles, and crosses) than any other Villa player with 223. To put this into perspective, Ashley Westwood sits second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance table with 164.
A Steven Caulker header against his former club handed Cardiff all three points on Sunday.
Peter Whittingham is not best known for his tackling, more for his ability to thread a perfectly weighted through ball, but the thrill of derby day must have affected him as he certainly got stuck in against the Swans. The former Villa man was successful in 5 of his 6 challenges on Saturday – a very impressive success rate. Whittingham is 9/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal of the match on Saturday.
Manager Malky Mackay paid tribute to Gary Medel following his impressive performance on Sunday, and looking at the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it isn’t hard to see why the manager was quick to praise the former Sevilla man. Medel marshalled the centre of the park on Sunday, completing a pass in Swansea’s half at an impressive rate of a pass every 3.1 minutes.
Another Summer recruit who has settled into life well in South Wales is centre back Steven Caulker. Mackay has handed the former Spurs man the captain’s armband, and so far this season he has certainly shown a willingness to get stuck in, and put his body on the line for the sake of the team. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that Caulker has made 18 blocks this term – more than anyone else in the league.
The modern full back has become a key component in a team’s offensive play, with many encouraged to overlap their wingers and swing crosses into the box. When thinking of these sort of full backs in the Premier League, players such as Leighton Baines and Kyle Walker spring to mind. It may be surprising to see then, that Cardiff full back Kévin Théophile-Catherine has swung in the second most crosses of any defender this season. His 11 crosses are only bettered by Patrice Evra’s 12.
Crystal Palace vs Everton 15:00
Manager-less Crystal Palace host Everton in desperate need of a win to kick start their season.
Former manager Ian Holloway claimed that the large influx of new players was a key reason behind his departure from the club, but one stalwart who has remained in the first team is defender Dean Moxey. This is the former Derby man’s first season in the top flight, and on the basis of his performance on Saturday, it appears he’s completed the transition rather well. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he attempted 6 challenges on Saturday, and won an impressive 4 of them.
For Palace to stay in the division they will need their older players to use their wise heads, guide the younger ones through the difficult times, and keep them grounded when they win. Danny Gabbidon is one of the more experienced members of the Palace side, and this experience was on show on Saturday as he managed to clear the ball 11 times – this was the fourth highest number of clearances oin the league.
Jason Puncheon’s loan move to Crystal Palace surprised many, with the winger having only signed a new deal at St Mary’s a short time before. The former Plymouth man scored goals for the Saints last season, and his attacking prowess was on show again on Saturday as he managed to complete a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 2.3 minutes. Puncheon is 13/1 with 888sport.com to score the last goal of the match on Saturday.
Puncheon’s passing statistics have been impressive all season, with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index showing that he has completed 152 passes in the opposition half this term. He is, however, overshadowed by skipper Mile Jedinak who has managed to complete 188. It appears that the form of the Australian will be integral to the Eagles’ chances of maintaining their Premier League status.
Despite strong claims for a penalty on Seamus Coleman, Everton held big-spending Spurs to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard should be given credit for helping to keep Andre Villas-Boas’ men at bay on Sunday. The former Manchester United man made 6 saves on Sunday – which was the most in the league.
Ahead of him, centre backs Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin also produced stellar performances to quell the attacking threat of Tottenham’s front line. Between them, Jagielka and Distin made a total of 26 defensive contributions (based on clearances, interceptions, tackles won, and blocks).
Ross Barkley has been a real star so far for Everton this term, with the youngster earning a call up to the international scene. Barkley started on the bench against Spurs, but when he entered the fray he certainly impressed. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the youngster completed a pass in the opposition half at a rate of a pass every 3 minutes. You can find Barkley at 9/1 with 888sport.com to score the final goal of the match on Saturday.
With Chelsea’s woes in front of goal this year, Romelu Lukaku’s appearances for Everton might well be a kick in the teeth for Chelsea fans. So far this season, the Belgian has managed to hit the target with an impressive 72% of his efforts in front of goal. In contrast, no Chelsea striker has a success percentage over 55%
Southampton vs Hull
Southampton secured a point away at Stoke, but the real talking point from the game was Asmir Begovic’s freak goal in the first minute.
A draw away at Stoke has been seen as a good result over recent years, with the Brittania becoming renowned for being a bit of a fortress. If anything, however, the Saints may have come away slightly disappointed with only a draw – such was their level of dominance. The performance of Adam Lallana sums this up perfectly, as the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he completed a pass in the opposition half every 3 minutes.
Lallana’s excellent dribbling has also been evident this season, as the academy graduate has completed 14 dribbles – more than any of his teammates. Lallana is an industry best 15/2 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Compatriot James Ward-Prowse has been earning plaudits this season for his successful transition into the first team, and he was a thorn in Stoke’s side again on Sunday. In total, he managed to make 33 attacking contributions (based on passes in the opposition half, crosses, dribbles and shots on target).
Victor Wanyama made history this year by becoming the first Kenyan player to feature in the Premier League, and his swashbuckling style of play has been integral to Southampton’s success this season – as the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has an impressive tackle success rate of 70%. However, Wanyama is in danger of making history for all the wrong reasons too, as no player in the league has committed more fouls than the Kenyan’s 29.
A Carlos Cuellar own goal handed Hull all three points against Sunderland, but the game was overshadowed by two Sunderland dismissals.
Summer transfer Tom Huddlestone could be a surprise contender for signing of the season following his impressive start to life at the KC Stadium, and the former Spurs man was in fine form again on Saturday. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that Huddlestone completed 60 passes in Sunderland’s half, at a rate of a pass every 1.5 minutes.
Hull’s attacking intent on Saturday was also evident in the performance of defender Liam Rosenior. The full back completed 34 passes in Sunderland’s half on Saturday, which was the fifth most of any defender in the league.
Roy Hodgson has pledged to give youngsters a go in the upcoming international friendlies ahead of the World Cup next year, and he would be wise to look at Hull centre half Curtis Davies. Davies has had a wonderful year on Humberside, topping the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in the number of defensive contributions made (blocks, tackles won, clearances and interceptions) with 144. Davies is also the only Hull player to have featured in every minute of the campaign so far.
David Meyler may have only featured in 237 minutes for Hull so far this term, but he has certainly made his mark in this short time frame. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that of the 14 tackles he has attempted, he has been successful in 13 of them – at an impressive success rate of 93%. Meyler is 18/1 with 888sport.com to the first goal on Saturday.
Chelsea v West Brom
After a run of nine games without defeat, Chelsea suffered a shock 2-0 loss to Newcastle United in their last Barclays Premier League outing.
Debate continues to rage around Chelsea’s midfield, with 22 year old Brazilian sensation Oscar keeping out more experienced players. Oscar has had more attempts at goal this season than any other Chelsea player, with 16 to date. While his accuracy could improve, with just 44% on target, Oscar clearly has luck on his side at present as one in four of his shots has hit the back of the net to give him a tally of four in the Premier League so far this season.
In comparison, Eden Hazard has got 61% of 13 efforts at goal on target but has a smaller goal tally than Oscar, with three goals to his name. Hazard is 19/10 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Saturday.
Much has been made of Fernando Torres’ differing styles of play in the Premier League compared to Europe, and a telling statistic is that Torres has had just nine shots at goal in the league this season. Defenders Branislav Ivanovic (13), and John Terry (10), have both troubled goalkeepers more than Torres this season.
In contrast, West Brom’s form took a turn for the better in their last league game. Having gone five games without a win the Baggies beat Crystal Palace 2-0 thanks to goals from Saido Berahino and Gareth McAuley.
If Chelsea want to get back to winning ways they’ll have to find a way around Claudio Yacob. The West Brom midfielder has won 35 tackles so far this season, the 9th highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and 64.8% of those he’s attempted.
Youssuf Mulumbu has been equally effective alongside Yacob, but via different means. Mulumbu has stayed on his feet to make 35 interceptions, the third highest in the Barclays Premier League, to compliment Yacob’s tackling.
They will also have to work around West Brom’s commanding centre back Jonas Olsson. Olsson finished last season as the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s most frequent clearer of the ball, and he is top of the Index again so far this season having made 97 clearances.
Morgan Amalfitano has quickly settled into the West Brom team this season, and leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for crosses delivered with fourteen, resulting in three assists to date. He’s 23/2 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Saturday.
Liverpool v Fulham
Liverpool scintillating start to the season came to an abrupt halt in their last league outing. Unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League in their first nine games the reds were unable top make it a perfect ten after falling to a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal.
That game was just the second time this season Liverpool have been prevented from scoring as the prolific ‘SAS’ strikeforce have 14 goals between them.
Sturridge is the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s most prolific shooter, with 32 shots at goal showing a player full of confidence under Brendan Rodgers. Last season’s most prolific shooter Luis Suarez has seemingly take a step back this season a Sturridge takes the goal scoring pressure off him. Suarez is ranked 9th for shots at goal with 22. That’s an average of 4.4 shots per game, compared to the 5.1 per game he averaged last season. Sturridge is 37/13 to score the first goal on Saturday with 888sport.com
At the other end of the pitch, Liverpool’s excellent string of results have as much to do with the form of their goalkeeper Simon Mignolet as their strikeforce. Mignolet has made 39 saves this season, the second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Lucas has also dominated defensively, winning 44 tackles, the second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Lucas is one of only seven players in the league to have attempted more than 50 tackles, and has the best tackle success rate of those players with 78.6%.
Lucas’ defensive work has freed up Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to return to his imperious best with the ball at his feet. Gerrard has completed 365 passes in his opponent’s half, the fourth highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
After enjoying back to back wins last month, Fulham have now suffered three defeats in a row after losing 3-1 to Manchester United in their last match. A consolation goal from Alex Kacaniklic was not enough to get a result for Fulham, who conceded three in 25 minutes at the start of the game.
Fulham can rest assured that they don’t need to create many chances for Darren Bent this season, as he will convert those he receives. Bent has had just five attempts at goal this season, getting four on target and scoring two. Only four players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index have scored two or more goals from fewer shots.
Patjim Kasami’s season may be defined by his wonder goal against Crystal Palace, but his defensive work deserves equal plaudits. Kasami has won 29 tackles this season, the 14th highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Likewise, team mate Steve Sidwell will strike fewer sweeter volleys than he did against Palace, but has been putting in the unglamourous work this season as well making 25th interceptions, the 9th highest in the Barclays Premier League, and 9 blocks, the sixth highest.
Norwich vs West Ham 17:30
Norwich were on the receiving end of a 7-0 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, a result that Chris Hughton and his team will be keen to forget. Despite not playing at their best, Norwich were simply caught out by a Man City side brimming with quality and confidence at the Etihad.
Martin Olsson has wasted little time in establishing himself following his arrival at Carrow Road. He already has the best tackle success rate of any Norwich player, coming out on top in 92.3% of his 13 attempted challenges so far this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Scottish midfielder Robert Snodgrass has been the Canaries’ most effective passer this season, becoming the platform from which many of their attacks are being launched. He’s completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 3.74 minutes he’s been on the pitch.
No Norwich player has been reading the game better than Alexander Tettey this term. He leads the Canaries squad with 22 interceptions according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Despite being perhaps a less heralded signing than Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Gary Hooper has made excellent use of the chances given to him so far this season. He is Norwich’s most effective player in front of goal, seeing 75% of his 4 shots hit the target. You can find Hooper at 39/19 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
West Ham ended their poor run of home with a point after their 0-0 draw with Aston Villa last time out. Sam Allardyce will be keen for his men to start doing the business at the other end of the pitch though and begin to test opposition defences.
A lack of attempts on goal continues to be a perennial problem for the Hammers this season. Only three players in their entire squad (Morrison, Nolan, Diame) can boast ten or more shots on goal according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Of these players, Morrison has the best shot accuracy rate with just 27.2% of his attempts working the opposition ‘keeper.
Guy Demel currently boasts the best tackle success rate of any West Ham player so far this term. A superb 94.1% of his 17 attempted challenges to date have been successful, and he has conceded just 3 fouls along the way.
In the defensive stakes though, it is difficult to see any West Ham player surpassing the level of influence that Winston Reid has been exerting so far this season. The New Zealand international has made a quite superb 144 total defensive contributions (tackles won, blocks, clearances, interceptions), placing him joint first with Hull’s Curtis Davies on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Mark Noble continues to be the crucial lynchpin in this West Ham side this season. He leads the Hammers squad for both passes completed in the opponent’s half (274) and total attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, dribbles, crosses) (25) this season. Noble is an industry best 8/1 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Sunday 10th November
Tottenham vs Newcastle 12:00
Spurs missed the chance to go up to second in the Premier League when they drew away to Everton, and they host a Newcastle side buoyant following their victory over Chelsea.
Despite being an advocate of squad rotation, Andre Villas-Boas has been reluctant to chop and change his defence, with Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker and Hugo Lloris all completing every minute of the campaign. By examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index it isn’t hard to see why AVB refuses to budge from these key players, as Michael Dawson made 11 clearances against Everton – the fourth most in the league.
Andros Townsend continued his sparkling form on Sunday, as he managed to complete 4 dribbles – the third most in the league. Townsend’s dribbling has been outstanding this season, evident in the fact that he has completed 50, 19 more than any other player. Townsend is 9/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Sunday.
Sandro has come back into the fold for Tottenham in recent weeks, with the midfield powerhouse playing the enforcer role, shielding the back four. Moussa Dembele, however, may feel slightly aggrieved to be replaced by the Brazilian, as his tackling this season has been absolutely outstanding. The Belgian has been successful in 22 of his 24 tackles this term, with a success rate of 92%.
There have been calls for Jermaine Defoe to come back into the Tottenham lineup as the team continue to struggle for goals. This, however, shouldn’t be at the expense of Roberto Soldado. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the Spaniard has made 6 goalscoring contributions, based on goals and assists. He has scored 4 times, and assisted 2.
Newcastle come into this match against Spurs having recorded an impressive victory against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has come in for criticism at times this season, but the Frenchman certainly silenced any sceptics with his performance on Saturday. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that the Frenchman made 13 clearances – the second most in the league. Yanga-Mbiwa also made the second most blocks in the league on Saturday, with 3.
Chelsea dominated possession on Saturday, with Newcastle holding onto the ball for only 39% of the game. When they did have the ball, Yohan Cabaye proved to be the focal point of the attacks as he made a total of 27 attacking contributions (based on passes in the opposition half, crosses, dribbles and shots). This was more than any other Newcastle player.
Many Newcastle fans were relieved when Cabaye’s proposed move to Arsenal fell through, as many consider him the lynchpin of Newcastle’s offensive play. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, however, shows that their worries could have been allayed when looking at the performances of Moussa Sissoko. Sissoko has made 244 attacking contributions this season, 66 more than Cabaye. You can find Sissoko at 7/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Saturday.
Upon first arriving in England, Cheick Tiote developed a tendency to pick up yellow cards at regular intervals, but this was the price to pay for the volume of tackles he was required to make. This season, though, it has been the best of both worlds for Newcastle fans, as not only has the Ivorian picked up only one booking, but he has also won an impressive 67.5% of his challenges.
Sunderland vs Manchester City 14:05
The Black Cats welcome a Manchester City side who have scored 12 goals in their last 2 games.
Sunderland were reduced to 9 men in their defeat to Hull, meaning that the other players had to up their workrate even more to remain competitive. Sebastien Larsson certainly managed to do this, as he completed all 6 of his attempted tackles at the weekend. Only Mikel Arteta managed to complete more.
With only 9 men on the field in the second half, Sunderland were always going to suffer from an attacking barrage and they have Carlos Cuellar and John O’Shea to thank for keeping the Tigers at bay. The pair each made 15 clearances on Saturday, topping the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index clearances table.
Sunderland’s hopes of avoiding the drop will be contingent on the performances of striker Steven Fletcher. The Scottish international has scored goals at every club that he’s played at, and he’s managed to score twice this season despite only making 4 appearances, and only registering 6 shots. Fletcher is 3/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Sunday.
Midfielder Charalampos Mavrias was one of a host of new signings made by former Sunderland manager Paulo Di Canio, and despite a disappointing season so far for the Black Cats, the Greek midfielder has shown his ability to pick a pass. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he has completed a pass in the opposition half every 4.8 minutes. This is an impressive rate for a midfielder who is only 19 years of age.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team enter this fixture on the back of a 5-2 victory in the Champions League, and a 7-0 victory over Norwich in the last round of Premier League fixtures.
The man of the moment for Manchester City is striker Sergio Aguero, who appears to be getting back to his best. Of the players to rival Aaron Ramsey as the player of the season so far, Aguero arguably comes closest, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has made 15 goalscoring contributions so far this season (based on goals and assists). Ramsey is second behind Aguero, but interestingly has made 4 less contributions.
Manchester City’s victory over Norwich turned into a bit of a whitewash, with the Citizens knocking 7 goals past the East coast side. City’s dominance is best demonstrated by the fact that they boasted the three players who completed the most passes in the opposition half in the last round of fixtures. Samir Nasri, David Silva and Yaya Toure completed 70, 69, and 67 passes in Norwich’s half respectively.
Samir Nasri looks to finally be getting back to top form, and his performance against Norwich was arguably his best of the season so far. In addition to completing a pass in the Canaries half at a rate of a pass every minute, the Frenchman also completed 5 dribbles – the second most in the league. Nasri is 8/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Sunday.
Pablo Zabaleta has become an integral player for Manchester City since his arrival from Espanyol 5 years ago, and by examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, one can see why he has successfully managed to keep Micah Richards out of the team. No other defender in the league has completed as many tackles as Zabaleta’s 39.
Manchester United vs Arsenal 16:10
Manchester United look like they might finally be coming accustomed to the workings and methods of manager David Moyes, and they play host to table-toppers Arsenal.
Centre half Nemanja Vidic may not be getting any younger, but he does continue to produce world class performances. The Serb cleared the ball 11 times against Fulham – which was the fourth most clearances in the league.
Wayne Rooney’s performances this season have wetted the appetite of Manchester United and England fans who are delighted to see him back to his best form. The former Everton man has scored 5 goals this term, but part of the brilliance of Rooney is not only his goalscoring exploits, but his passing ability. He showcased this excellent skill of his on Saturday, as according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he completed 32 passes in Fulham’s half. No other striker managed to complete the same number in an opposition half. Rooney is 11/2 with 888sport.com to score the final goal of the match on Sunday.
Patrice Evra has suffered something of a rejuvenation under David Moyes, with the former Everton manager encouraging the Frenchman to bomb forward at every possible opportunity. This attacking intent of Evra’s is evident in both his crossing and also his passing. Evra has completed a pass in the opposition half every 3.8 minutes this season, and he has also swung in 12 crosses – which is more than any other defender.
David Moyes has been quick to praise the strike partnership of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney, stating that they are the best duo in the league. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights the cogency of Moyes’ claim, as Rooney has made 10 goalscoring contributions this season (based on goals and assists), and Van Persie 8.
Goals from Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla gifted Arsenal the victory against Premier League title contenders Liverpool.
Whilst at Everton, Mikel Arteta was very much seen as a primary playmaker for the team, fashioning chance after chance for his teammates. Arsene Wenger has, however, converted the Spaniard into a defensive midfielder – and looking at the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it appears to have worked. On Saturday, the Arsenal skipper won 7 tackles, which was more than anyone else in the league. With Arteta proving himself a very competent penalty taker, 888sport.com have him at a good price of 15/1 to score the first goal on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger has expressed his belief that Mesut Ozil has the capability to win the Ballon d’Or whilst he remains at Arsenal, and the German was at his brilliant best against Liverpool on Saturday. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the German completed 61 passes in the opposition half – this was the fifth most in the league.
Arsenal’s attacking midfielders have been gaining plaudits for their outstanding form this season, which has meant that the performances of Wojciech Szczesny have been overlooked. He may have had his critics last season, but the Polish international has made 34 saves this term – this is the third most in the league. Perhaps the arrival of Emiliano Viviano has forced Szczesny to up his game?
Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen has found it tough to get into the Arsenal side this term, and looking at the performances of Laurent Koscielny, it isn’t difficult to see why the Belgian has found starts hard to come by. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Frenchman has made 85 defensive contributions this season (based on clearances, interceptions, blocks and tackles won). This is the most in the Arsenal squad.
Swansea vs Stoke 16:10
A header from old boy Steven Caulker condemned Swansea to defeat in the Welsh derby at the weekend.
Michael Laudrup’s misery would have been compounded by the news that star striker Michu has been ruled out with injury for at least a month. Swansea are likely to miss the Spaniard’s ability to find the net, as no other player in the Swans squad has taken as many shots as the Spanish international (21).
Nathan Dyer’s guile and trickery has meant that he’s become an essential component of the Swansea lineup, as his foraging runs down the flank cause headaches for full backs. It is therefore unsurprising that he has completed more dribbles than any other Swansea player (15). What is surprising, however, is that the former Southampton man also has one of the best tackle completion rates in the squad. Of the 17 tackles he has attempted this season, he has been successful in 71% of them. Dyer is 9/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Sunday.
With the news that Michu will be out for up to a month, manager Michael Laudrup may look to alter his formation to accommodate record signing Wilfred Bony, and one of the beneficiaries could be midfielder Álex Pozuelo. Pozuelo is a new signing for the Swans, and despite only featuring for 170 minutes this season, he’s adapted very well to Swansea’s possession based style of play. The EA SPORTS PlayerPerformance Index highlights that he has completed a pass in the opposition half every 2.3 minutes.
Since joining Swansea in 2011 Angel Rangel has become a real fan favourite, producing a number of high quality performances to establish himself as a top class right back. His attacking intent is evident in the fact that he has made the third most attacking contributions, (based on passes in the opposition half, shots, crosses, and dribbles), of any defender in the league this term with 253.
At a windswept Brittania stadium, Stoke were held to a draw by high flying Southampton. The real talking point, however, will be the bizarre goal scored by ‘keeper Asmir Begovic after only 13 seconds.
Robert Huth has become one of the first names on Stoke teamsheet since his arrival from Middlesborough in 2009, and he produced another stellar performance on Saturday to underline his worth to the Stoke team. The German made 6 interceptions on Saturday, the most in the league, and also made the most defensive contributions (based on clearances, blocks, tackles won and interceptions) in the Stoke team with 16.
The importance of Robert Huth is also evident in the number of minutes that he’s played this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows which players Mark Hughes have decided to mould his team around, as Huth, Shawcross, N’Zonzi and Begovic are the only players to have featured in every minute of this campaign.
Asmir Begovic has been linked to a number of big clubs over the last few transfer windows, and wth a young Jack Butland waiting in the wings, it isn’t implausible to think that Stoke will offload him for a large transfer fee. In addition to his goalscoring exploits at the weekend, Begovic has been in scintillating form in his regular goalkeeping duties this season making 33 saves – this is the third most in the league.
Geoff Cameron must be a dream for Mark Hughes due to his ability to play in a number of positions, and this versatility has rubbed off in his all-round contributions to Stoke’s cause. In the Stoke squad he leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index charts in dribbles completed (17), and is third in the number of tackles attempted. His tackle success rate has also been very impressive, as he has been successful in 76% of them. Cameron is 29/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Sunday.