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 30th November
Aston Villa vs Sunderland 15:00
In an enthralling Midlands derby, Villa came from two goals down to secure a draw against West Brom, and host a Sunderland side livid from a contentious red card awarded to Wes Brown.
A product of the highly acclaimed Crewe Alexandra youth academy, Ashley Westwood has become a vital member of Paul Lambert’s side with his ability to recycle possession. This ability was on show on Monday, as in addition to his decisive equalizer, Westwood completed 30 passes in West Brom’s half – this was the most of any Villa player.
Aston Villa may be struggling for goals, but this is in total contrast to their success at the other end of the pitch. Paul Lambert’s men have only conceded 14 goals this term, less that Manchester United, which is particularly impressive when you consider that that they’ve played Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Spurs.
A rock at the heart of the defence has been skipper Ron Vlaar, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights precisely how effective he has been. In addition to featuring in every minute of the campaign so far, the only Villa outfield player to have done this, Vlaar has maintained an incredibly impressive tackle success rate – attempting 28 challenges and winning 25 of them.
In recent weeks Paul Lambert has compared Gabriel Agbonlahor to Ryan Giggs in that he is a one-club man, Villa through and through. Agbonlahor holds Aston Villa’s record for the number of goals scored in the Premier League era, but this season he appears to have reinvented himself as more of a provider rather than a scorer. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has registered 3 assists, the most in the Villa team, but he has only taken 8 shots. You can find Agbonlahor at 8/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Karim El Ahmadi started the comeback on Monday night scoring the crucial first goal that set Villa on their way. It was a rare goal from El Ahmadi, who is best known for his willingness to do the dirty work for Aston Villa by breaking up play, and stemming the flow of opposition attacks. This is evident in the fact that he’s been successful in an impressive 80% of his challenges this term.
Gus Poyet was left fuming after a controversial red card to Wes Brown helped condemn the Black Cats to a defeat against Stoke.
Sunderland will have felt particularly addrieved to lose the game, as they dominated for periods of play despite Stoke’s numerical advantage. Sebastien Larsson was integral to this, as he completed an impressive 36 passes in the opposition half – this was the third most in the league.
Likewise, Ki Sung-Yueng demonstrated his passing credentials. In Lee Cattermole’s absence the on-loan Swansea man completed 34 passes in the Stoke half.
It must be pleasing for Sunderland supporters to see one of their academy graduates performing so admirably in the first team. Jack Colback has become a mainstay of the Sunderland lineup since stepping up to the first team – probably best demonstrated by the fact he has completed 983 minutes this term, the most in the Sunderland squad. Colback is 34/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Manager Gus Poyet showed his ruthless side by dropping Adam Johnson from the team against Hull a few weeks ago, but he has restored Johnson to the lineup since. It isn’t hard to see why Poyet was keen to thrust the former England man back into the action, as no other player in the Sunderland squad matches Johnson’s 218 attacking contributions (based on crosses, shots, passes in the opposition half and dribbles).
Everton vs Stoke
In arguably the game of the season so far, Everton drew against rivals Liverpool 3-3 in an enthralling Merseyside derby.
Romelu Lukaku scored twice against Liverpool to continue his impressive start to the campaign, and looking at his shooting statistics on Saturday, it isn’t difficult to see why Lukaku hits the back of the net on a regular basis. Lukaku took four shots on Saturday, and in addition to scoring twice, he also tested the keeper every time. Only Sergio Aguero had a better record than the Belgian. Lukaku is evens with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Roberto Martinez has encouraged an offensive, possession based style of play this term, and this was certainly on show against Liverpool in a classic end-to-end encounter. Steven Piennar’s performance encapsulated this philosophy that Martinez has instilled, as he completed an impressive 25 passes in Liverpool’s half on Saturday.
Kevin Miralles may have been at the centre of an unwanted row at the weekend following a slightly reckless challenge on Luis Suarez, but this should take nothing away from his overall performance – as he scored one goal, and was involved in the other two. The Belgian has thrived under Martinez this term, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates how influential he has been through his assist tally. Miralles has registered 4 assists this term, which is more than any other player in the Everton squad.
Leon Osman may have felt slightly aggrieved by Roy Hodgson’s decision to discard him from the international fold, as he performed perfectly respectively in the 2 matches he featured in. Osman has always had an eye for a pass, and this knack has been evident this season, as he has completed a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 2.8 minutes.
Stoke ended their 9 match winless run with a victory over Sunderland last weekend, with goals from Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi helping them on their way.
Erik Pieters has been in impressive form all season, and he produced another stellar performance to keep Sunderland at bay on Saturday. The former PSV man attempted 6 challenges, and won an impressive 5 of them.
Steven N’Zonzi scored Stoke’s second goal on Saturday, which was just one part of an impressive offensive performance. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Frenchman made a total of 34 attacking contributions on Saturday (based on shots, passes in the opposition half, crosses and dribbles). This was the most in the Stoke team.
Charlie Adam has shown how determined he is to cement his place in the Stoke lineup by shedding half a stone. Adam has always had great striking ability, and this skill of his has been on show this season, as he has managed to hit the target with 71% of his shots – a better rate than any of his teammates. If you fancy Adam to score again, head to 888sport.com who are offering 23/5 for him to score at any time.
Mark Hughes has hinted in recent weeks that Glenn Whelan is in pole position to become the anchorman in Stoke’s midfield, and by looking at his performance against Sunderland, it is clear to see why Hughes sees the Irishman as an integral part of his team. Whelan completed a pass in Sunderland’s half at an impressive rate of a pass every 2.8 minutes, demonstrating how competent he is at maintaining possession.
West Ham vs Fulham
2 goals from old boy Frank Lampard condemned West Ham to a disappointing home defeat to Chelsea, and they host Fulham in what can be billed as a real ‘six-pointer’.
West Ham conceded three times in their defeat to Chelsea, but were it not for James Collins it could have been so much worse for the Hammers. The Welshman made 4 blocks at the weekend, the most in the league, and also made a total of 20 defensive contributions (based on blocks, clearances, tackles and interceptions). This was the third most in the league.
Ravel Morrision was impressive again for the Hammers, producing a dynamic performance as part of West Ham’s no-strikers formation. The former Manchester United trainee demonstrated his distribution ability, as he completed a pass in Chelsea’s half at an impressive rate of a pass every 3.2 minutes. Morrison is 15/2 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Stewart Downing may have had a tough time at Anfield, but his ability to deliver the ball has never been questioned. This season he has swung in a total of 14 crosses – the third most in the league.
Fulham suffered a disappointing defeat at home to Swansea at the weekend, and need a win to overturn this concerning downwards momentum. A small consolation for Martin Jol would have been the performance of defender Fernando Amorebieta. Amorebieta made an impressive 25 attacking contributions at the weekend, based on passes in the opposition half, crosses dribbles and shots.
Fulham fans have been quick to jump on Bryan Ruiz’s back this season, unhappy with what they perceive as a number of abject performances. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, however, goes some way to provide a rebuttal to Ruiz’s critics, as it demonstrates that he has made 5 goalscoring contributions this term (based on goals and assists). You can find Ruiz at 14/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Steve Sidwell has been a mainstay in Fulham’s midfield since his arrival from Aston Villa two years ago. His importance is evident in the number of minutes he has featured in this term, as no other player in the Fulham squad matches Sidwell’s 1004. The former Villa man has also made more interceptions than any other player in the Fulham team, with 29.
Roy Hodgson appears to have thrown Scott Parker into the international wilderness, and appears that Parker’s World Cup dream may well be over. However, if Hodgson was looking for a hard tackling central midfielder, then he would be wise to consider the Fulham man as Parker has won an impressive 80% of his challenges this season
Cardiff vs Arsenal 15:00
Kim Bo-Kyung came off the bench to score a last gasp equaliser and grab a point for Cardiff as they drew 2-2 with Manchester Utd last weekend at Cardiff City Stadium. Controversy was abound after Wayne Rooney lashed out at Jordan Mutch before scoring the game’s opening goal, but goals from former Utd man Fraizer Campbell and substitute Kim saw Malkay Mackay’s side record a brave draw.
Cardiff’s Ben Turner will most likely be integral to Cardiff’s defensive efforts against Arsenal this weekend. He currently ranks second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for clearances with 125.
David Marshall will no doubt find his goal under attack a few times this weekend against a highly creative Arsenal outfit, but the Cardiff stopper has proved himself more than up to the challenge of the Premier League so far this season. He’s made more saves than any other ‘keeper in the league with 54.
Kevin Theophile will need to mind his tackling technique this weekend against an Arsenal side which will likely dominate possession for large periods of the game. He gave away more fouls than any other player in the last round of fixtures with 6.
Despite being known more for his abilities in front of goal, Frazier Campbell has been showcasing some impressive technique when recovering possession for his team. The hard-working striker has been successful with a superb 82.4% of his 17 attempted challenges this season. Campbell is 3/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Two goals from Olivier Giroud saw Arsenal cement their place at the summit of the Premier League with a 2-0 win over an impressive Southampton side at the Emirates. Southampton ‘keeper Artur Boruc’s over-complication of what should have a been a simple clearance saw Giroud pounce for his first goal, and a late penalty from the Frenchman secured the win for the Gunners.
By his own lofty standards, most would agree that Mesut Ozil has not been quite at his best in recent weeks. It is perhaps therefore even more worrying for the Gunners’ rivals than in spite of this, the German maestro has still completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 1.87 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season. A return to his devastating best is surely not far away, a prospect that no Arsenal opponent will be looking forward to. Ozil is 11/4 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
The desire of the Arsenal fans for their club to retain the services of Bacary Sagna is well-founded according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He’s won an excellent 85.7% of his 14 attempted challenges this season, as well as completing 237 passes in the opponent’s half during his marauding raids down the right flank.
Reports this week suggested that fan favourite Per Mertesacker is on the verge of signing a new deal with the Gunners, have established himself as part of a consistent back four. The giant German has played with composure and intelligence this season, as evidenced by the fact that he has given away just 3 fouls this season, a lower total than any of his regular colleagues at the back in Gibbs, Koscielny and Sagna.
Mathieu Flamini generated some controversy in midweek after he went against club tradition and wore short sleeves against Marseille in the Champions League. Observation of tradition aside, you can’t argue with his impact on this Arsenal midfield, his ability to organise and communicate providing the platform for some of his more attacking-minded colleagues. Flamini has the best tackle success rate of any Arsenal midfielder so far this season, successfully completing 78.6% of his 14 attempted challenges.
Norwich vs Crystal Palace 15:00
A spirited second half display from Norwich was not enough to prevent them from falling to 2-1 defeat away to Newcastle last weekend, with a solitary Leroy Fer goal late in the second half providing scant consolation for the Canaries’ travelling fans.
Nathan Redmond continues to turn in a series of incredibly impressive performances this season, a run of form that will no doubt bring him to the attention of a host of clubs in the summer. The young forward leads the Canaries squad for attacking contributions (crosses, assists, dribbles, shots on goal) with 47 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Midfielder Leroy Fer will have no doubt been pleased to get on the scoresheet last weekend, even if it proved only to be a consolation header for his side. However, it has been in winning the ball back for his team that Fer has shone the most this season, attempting more tackles than any other Norwich player with 54, and winning 72.2% of them.
Jonny Howson remains the conduit for much of Norwich’s work in the middle of the park this season. He currently has a squad-leading 283 successfully completed passes in the opponent’s half to his name. Howson is an industry best 11/2 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Tony Pulis will take charge of a Crystal Palace side with renewed momentum this Saturday after a late Barry Bannan strike saw Palace to a 0-1 victory away to Hull last time out.
Palace captain Mile Jedinak’s reading of the game continues to be superb this season, complementing a physical style of play in the Eagles’ engine room. Jedinak currently leads the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for interceptions with 50.
No player contributed more to their team’s defensive efforts in the last round than Palace’s Danny Gabbidon. He recorded a superb total of 22 defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, clearances, tackles won) against Hull.
Dwight Gayle has been one of Palace’s most effective attackers this season, racking up a squad-high 13 attempts on goal. Unfortunately only 30.7% of these have been on-target, he will no doubt be hoping to make more of his opportunities moving forward for the rest of campaign. Gayle is 11/4 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Newcastle vs West Brom 17:30
Newcastle secured a third successive league win with a 2-1 victory over Norwich last time out, with goals from Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran helping the Magpies towards all three points against their former manager Chris Hughton.
Striker Loic Remy has added some much needed impetus to the Newcastle forward line this season. His activity alone in front of goal has been highly impressive, the Frenchman attempting more shots on goal than any other Newcastle player with 23. Remy is 5/4 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Cheick Tiote may be well-known for his destructive abilities in the midfield but on the evidence of last weekend he still has some work to do on his work around the opposition goal. He ranks joint first on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total off-target attempts during the last round of fixtures with 4.
Mathieu Debuchy continues to turn in some stellar defensive performances this season, establishing himself as one the Magpies most effective defenders. He’s won a superb 82.5% of his 40 attempted tackles so far this term.
Perhaps surprisingly, it is not Yohan Cabaye who leads the passing stakes for Newcastle but Moussa Sissoko. His fellow Frenchman leads the Magpies squad with 235 passes completed in the opponent’s half, at a very solid average rate of one every 4.2 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.
An incredible fightback from Aston Villa saw West Brom surrender a 2-goal advantage and see honours split in the West Midlands derby. Steve Clarke will have been massively disappointed to see all his side’s good work and Shane Long’s brace cancelled out and will be looking for an immediate response this weekend.
Jonas Olsson continues to put in a titanic effort for West Brom at the back this season providing the bedrock of his team’s efforts. He currently sits third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) with 157.
Baggies striker Shane Long will have felt particularly disappointed not to get more from their game last weekend, with a superb solo display and a brace for his efforts. Long was amongst the best performing forwards in the league last weekend, recording 4 on-target attempts against Villa, the joint second highest total from the last round. Long is 5/2 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Youssuf Mulumbu is proving himself to be a truly vital cog in the Baggies machine this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He’s racked up an impressive 306 passes in the opponent’s half, a full 110 ahead of his nearest squad rival in Liam Ridgewell.
Fellow midfielder Claudio Yacob has been showcasing his value in disrupting opposition possession this season, leading the Baggies’ squad as he does for total tackles attempted with 62.
Sunday 1st December
Tottenham vs Manchester United
Tottenham host Manchester United on Sunday, hoping to fare better than last weekend, when they suffered a humble defeat at the hands on United’s rivals Manchester City.
Andre Villas-Boas has thrust Sandro back into the action since the Brazilian’s return from injury, and Sandro has repaid this faith shown in him by producing a number of swashbuckling displays. He may have been on the wrong side of a 6-0 drumming against City, but Sandro certainly showed his commitment to the cause throwing himself into 10 challenges – the third most in the league.
Moussa Dembele entered the fray with only 29 minutes remaining on the clock on Sunday, and although he couldn’t stop the rot, he will have given Villas-Boas some food for thought when he comes to selecting his lineup for this weekend. The Belgian managed to complete a pass in Manchester City’s half at a staggering rate of a pass every minute. Dembele is 7/1 with 888sport.com to score at any point on Sunday.
If rumours are to be believed, then Tottenham will have lost a top class forward in Jermaine Defoe following his heavily touted move to Canada. Defoe may not have featured on a regular basis in the league for Spurs, but he has certainly shown his shooting prowess whenever given the opportunity. Defoe has hit the target with an impressive 80% of his shots this term.
Jan Vertonghen has been predominantly featuring at left back for Spurs this term following an injury to Danny Rose, and despite his preference to play centre half, he has performed extremely well. This is partly evident in the number of dribbles he has completed, with his 12 dribbles the sixth most of any defender in the league.
Manchester United enter this fixture with Spurs in fine form, following their incredible 5-0 victory over Leverkusen.
Moyes handed Jonny Evans a start against Cardiff at the weekend, and he repaid his manager’s faith in him with a goal. Evans, however, earns his money through his defending rather than his goalscoring exploits, and the Northern Irishman was incredibly successful in the number of clearances he made (14). This was more than any other player in the United squad.
Wayne Rooney has been in scintillating form this season, with many fans claiming that he’s in his best ever form. His passing has been a joy to behold, and this was no different on Sunday as he completed 23 passes in the Cardiff half – more than any of his teammates.
Rooney registered another assist at the weekend, taking his overall assist tally to 7. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that no other player has managed as many as the former Everton man.
Shinji Kagawa produced an inspirational performance against Leverkusen, giving manager David Moyes a very welcome selection headache. Kagawa feels that the number 10. role is his best position, as it is where he can showcase his undoubted passing ability. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights the cogency behind Kagawa’s claims, as he has completed a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 2.7 minutes this term. You can find Kagawa at 13/2 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com
There was period when former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson would rotate between ‘keepers David De Gea and Anders Lindegaard, but so far this term David Moyes has put his faith in the Spanish shotstopper. De Gea is the only player in the United squad to feature in every minute of the campaign to date.
Chelsea vs Southampton 16:10
Chelsea welcome Southampton to Stamford Bridge off the back of an impressive 3-0 victory away to West Ham.
Oscar tucked away another goal to continue his stunning start to the season. Jose Mourinho sees the Brazilian as his first choice number 10, with his ability to thread a cute through ball integral to Chelsea’s offensive play. He is, however, less renowned for his defensive play – but this was one area where he was incredibly successful on Saturday. Of the 8 challenges Oscar attempted, he won 7 of them.
Ramires is another player who has impressed for Mourinho’s men this term, and he continued this form on Saturday, completing a pass in West Ham’s half at a rate of a pass every 2.9 minutes. You can find Ramires at 23/2 to score the first goal on Sunday with 888sport.com.
There have been calls for John Terry to return to the international fold, as he looks to be returning back to his best form. The Chelsea skipper has marshaled his defence superbly this term, and this was evident again on Saturday as he made 10 clearances – more than any other Chelsea player.
Eden Hazard has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons at points this season, but what has never been questioned is his outstanding offensive ability. So far this term, no player in the Chelsea squad has made as many goal scoring contributions (based on goals and assists) as Hazard’s 9.
Southampton produced a spirited performance, but ultimately succumbed to a disappointing defeat to Arsenal.
Victor Wanyama’s status as a powerhouse of Southampton’s central midfield was cemented on Saturday, as he produced another barnstorming display. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he attempted 9 challenges, and won every single one.
Teenage sensation James Ward-Prowse produced another impressive display on Saturday, highlighting his excellent passing ability. He completed 32 passes in Arsenal’s half, more than any of his teammates.
Jay Rodriguez may not have performed to the best of his ability when given his chance on the international stage, but he was back on form against Arsenal showcasing his ability to beat defenders with ease. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he completed 5 dribbles on Saturday, the most in the league. Rodriguez is 10/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Sunday.
Jose Fonte has become an essential component of the Southampton lineup, establishing himself as a rock at the heart of the Southampton defence. His importance is underlined by the fact he is the only outfield player in Southampton’s squad to have featured in every minute of the campaign so far.
Hull vs Liverpool 14:05
Steve Bruce pointed to a lack of creativity after his side succumbed to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last time out. They will face a much sterner test of their Premier League credentials when they host Liverpool this weekend.
An ability to rack up enough attempts which really test the opposition goalkeeper continues to be a problem for Hull this season. Of the two Hull players who have registered more than 10 attempts on goal this term (Aluko – 11; Huddlestone – 12), neither have managed to achieve an on-target rate of more than 50% (Aluko – 45.5%; Huddlestone – 41.7%)
Midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady has so far been one of the focal points in the Hull engine room this season. He currently leads the Hull squad for passes completed in the opponent’s half this term, with 255 to his name.
Defender James Chester is currently ranked as one of the most effective defenders in the league according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. So far this season he’s won an outstanding 93.3% of his 15 attempted challenges.
Defensive colleague Curtis Davies has also been one of the league’s outstanding performers at the back this season, something which indicates the amount of work Steve Bruce’s defenders have had to go through this season. Davies has certainly been willing to through his body into the cause though, with 13 blocks to his name which places him joint third in the league.
A quite incredible Merseyside derby saw honours divided at the final whistle, with a late header from substitute Daniel Sturridge claiming a point for the Reds in a 3-3 draw. Luis Suarez’s customary goal, as well as a fine finish from Phillippe Coutinho contributed towards a result which kept them in touch with Arsenal at the top of the table.
Despite being one of the league’s most in-form strikers, you wonder just how many more goals Daniel Sturridge might have been able to conjure had he been a touch more accurate with his overall shooting. He currently ranks joint second in the league for most off target number of attempts on goal, with 17 of his attempts (47.3%) failing to test the keeper.
However, in ‘SAS’, Liverpool undoubtedly still have the form strike partnership in the league. They both currently rank joint second for attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, dribbles, crosses) with 64 apiece to give them a joint total of 128. This is 26 more than the collective total of their rival partnership of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Suarez is 11/13 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Lucas Leiva might have been pulled up for a foul 25 times this season, but such is the territory for one of the league’s most destructive midfielders. The Brazilian has completed an excellent 77.7% of his 72 attempted tackles this season, with this tackle total also representing the second highest in the league. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, only Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey can boast more defensive attempts with 75.
Steven Gerrard continues to exert an incredible amount of influence on this Liverpool midfield, his stats showing that he remains the dominant box-to-box force that he has been for the last decade. He currently ranks joint second in the league for assists with 5 and of the players in the top 10 in this category, he has completed the highest number of passes in the opponent’s half with 439.
Manchester City vs Swansea 16:10
Manchester City were once again back to their best form on their return to the Etihad as they put Tottenham to the sword with a 6-0 thrashing. City fans will have seen this as a clear marker of intent that their side are more than capable of sustaining a challenge for the title this season and will be hoping for more when Swansea come to town on Sunday.
Sergio Aguero’s form of late has been nothing short of incredible, both scoring and creating for his teammates. His shooting statistics match up to the plaudits, with the little Argentinean having the best shot accuracy rate (71.95%) of any player in the top 15 in the league for total number of shots according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
As predicted Yaya Toure did indeed surpass a major landmark last weekend as he became the first player to surpass 500 passes in the opponent’s half. He currently finds himself on a total of 517, coming at an excellent average rate of one every 2.1 minutes. Toure is 2/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Summer signing Fernandinho continues to show that it has not taken him long to adapt to the physical rigours of the Premier League with another robust performance against Tottenham. He attempted the second highest number of total tackles in the last round with 12, winning a solid 66.6% of them.
Jesus Navas shone against Tottenham, his pace and close control providing constant problems for a disorganised Spurs defence. The Spaniard has proven himself more than willing to do the hard graft in tracking back as well this season though, with an excellent tackles success rate of 81.8% from 11 challenges to his name.
Jonjo Shelvey came on in the second half to strike the definitive blow in a 1-2 win for Swansea against Fulham last time out.
Wilfried Bony has certainly shown himself to be keen to grab any possible opportunity to impress manager Michael Laudrup this season. The big Ivorian has registered more attempts on goal than any other Swansea player this term with 25. Bony is 7/2 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Although City will provide a tough barometer of Swansea’s progress to date, they should certainly not expect to have it all their own way this weekend, particularly in terms of possession. In Angel Rangel and Jonathan de Guzman, the Swans had the league’s two most effective passers last weekend, between them racking up a huge total of 99 completed passes in opposition territory according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Even at the Etihad, City will have to be accurate in possession or risk losing it to a technically comfortable Swansea outfit.
Roland Lamah was another to turn in an excellent shift against Fulham. He ranks second in the league for total attacking contributions (assists, shots on goal, dribbles, crosses) during the last round with 8.
Chico Flores has been a mainstay of the Swansea defence this season, providing stability and positional intelligence at the back for Michael Laudrup’s side. No other Swansea player can match his 131 defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) this term.