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 7th December
Manchester Utd vs Newcastle Utd 12:45
Manchester Utd are not used to having Old Trafford viewed as anything less than impregnable so Newcastle can expect a backlash following Utd’s 0-1 defeat at the hands of Everton on Wednesday.
Michael Carrick’s reading of the game continues to been excellent this term, unsurprising given that his exceptional footballing brain has been one of his main weapons throughout his career. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he currently ranks third in the league for total interceptions with 42.
Wayne Rooney’s form this season has been nothing short of superb with England’s talisman looking revitalised and back to his lethal best under his new manager after some indifferent form at times last season. As if to showcase his versatile range of talents, Rooney has racked up 7 assists this season, the joint highest in the league, as well as 326 completed passes in the opponent’s half (2nd highest in the Utd squad) and 39 total defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, tackles won, clearances) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Despite being injured for part of the season, captain Nemanja Vidic has been leading the way for Utd this season in terms of defensive statistics. He has the highest tackles success rate in the squad, winning an exceptional 94.1% of his 17 attempted tackles this season, as well as compiling 145 total defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, tackles won, clearances), the highest in the Utd squad.
Adnan Januzaj was recently shortlisted for the Young Sports Personality of the Year Award and the gifted teenager is so far enjoying a season that could see him worthy of the accolade. The 18 year old is the youngest player in the league to have dribbled more than 10 times this season, with his current total sitting at 16. Januzaj is 12/5 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Newcastle’s strong run of results came to an end in midweek as they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. They will not view a trip to Old Trafford with the same trepidation of recent seasons though so expect the travelling support to be in full voice from the off on Saturday.
Despite Newcastle’s eventual loss, Cheick Tiote certainly didn’t stop trying to disrupt Swansea’s elegant passing game in the middle of the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday night. The Ivory Coast international attempted the joint fourth highest number of tackles in the last round of fixtures with 8. He will need to be at his combative best this weekend at Old Trafford to stop the effective supply of the ball to the space in between the defensive and midfield lines which Wayne Rooney loves to occupy.
Newcastle fans will be hoping to see Hatem Ben Arfa fit and firing sooner rather than later this season given that the talented Frenchman remains one of their best attacking outlets according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He’s made more attacking contributions (shots on goal, crosses, dribbles, assists) than any other Newcastle player this season with 50.
Given his recent performances it is perhaps no surprise that Moussa Sissoko’s stats show him becoming one of the most important players in the Newcastle engine room. He’s completed 252 passes in the opponent’s half this season, the highest in the Magpies squad.
Newcastle stalwart Shola Ameobi has been called upon frequently in recent games to provide some experience and physical presence to the Newcastle forward line. He’s also established some solid statistics this season, possessing the best shot accuracy rate (57.1% from 7 attempts) in the squad. Ameobi is an industry best 21/4 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Liverpool vs West Ham 15:00
A virtuoso solo performance saw Luis Suarez bag four goals and assist another in a 5-1 demolition of Norwich at Anfield on Tuesday evening. A solitary consolation goal from Bradley Johnson took very little sheen off of what was a quite incredible performance by Liverpool’s mercurial Uruguayan, with two of his four goals looking to be immediate contenders for goal of the season.
Aside from wonderful technique and balance, perhaps one of Suarez’s most devastating qualities is his tenacity and relentless pursuit of goals, his almost perpetual movement bewildering defences and creating numerous scoring opportunities. He currently sits joint top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total attempts on goal with 44 to his name so far this season.
Unsurprisingly Suarez also leads the league in numerous categories for the last round of fixtures, including total on target attempts on goal (6) and total attempts (7). Suarez is 8/15 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Lucas Leiva continues to provide a selfless platform for the likes of Suarez to shine this season though, pulling in some quite superb defensive statistics. Not only has he won more tackles than any other player in the league with 59, giving him a quite incredible total tackle success rate of 78.6%.
Summer signing Simon Mignolet has perhaps settled into life at Anfield the quickest of any of his fellow new recruits, stringing together some excellent performances for the Reds. He’s had a fair bit of work to do though this term, as evidenced by the fact that he currently sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total saves with 55.
Steven Gerrard continues to stamp his mark on Liverpool’s season with a series of excellent performances. The standards of the England captain rarely, if ever, seem to dip and once again he has the statistics to prove it. Following Wednesday evening’s fixture against Norwich, Gerrard became one of only four players in the league this season to surpass the 500-barrier for passes completed in the opponent’s half, with 504 now to his name.
West Ham became the first casualties of the Tony Pulis era at Selhurst Park as they lost 1-0 to the Eagles on Tuesday evening. Sam Allardyce will be looking for an immediate response from his side but they face a tough task to starve Luis Suarez & co of possession at Anfield this weekend.
West Ham have found goals hard to come by for the majority of this season, especially in the absence of star frontman Andy Carroll. The Hammers have not helped themselves at times though, with some wayward shooting also contributing to the problem. Mohamed Diame ranks joint third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total off-target attempts on goal with 18 to his name this season. He also has the lowest total shot accuracy rate of any player in the top 25 in this category (25%).
Guy Demel’s defensive work in the middle of the park has been exceptional for West Ham so far this term, the Ivory Coast bringing steel to the Hammer’s midfield. He’s won an exceptional 91.3% of his 23 attempted tackles so far this season.
Midfield colleague Mark Noble continues to drive forward West Ham’s play as well this campaign, racking up a squad-high total of 413 completed passes in the opponent’s half at an average rate of one every 3 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Goals may be difficult to come by this season for West Ham, but that certainly doesn’t appear to have stopped Kevin Nolan from letting fly when he’s in sight of goal. He has 19 attempts on goal to his name, the joint highest in the West Ham squad. Nolan is 5/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time with 888sport.com.
Stoke vs Chelsea 15:00
Stoke secured an important point at home to Cardiff on Wednesday as they played out a 0-0 draw ahead of a weekend visit from a dangerous Chelsea side.
No Stoke player can compete with Steven N’Zonzi this season when it comes to midfield influence this season. He’s completed a huge 424 passes in the opponent’s half this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, a full 213 passes ahead of his nearest rival in Geoff Cameron.
Once again defender Ryan Shawcross continues to lead the way in terms of Stoke’s defensive statistics. The big centre half has racked up a very impressive 135 total defensive contributions (tackles won, blocks, interceptions, clearances) so far this season, the highest in the Stoke squad.
Charlie Adam remains Stoke’s most effective player in front of goal this season, working the opposition goalkeeper with solid regularity. He’s compiled a 62.5% shot accuracy rate from 16 total attempts on goal this term. Adam is an industry best 6/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
In a rollercoaster of match, Chelsea eventually emerged as 3-4 winners at the Stadium of Light to take all three points back to London. Jose Mourinho will have been especially pleased with the performance of Eden Hazard who turned in his personal display of the season so far as he tormented the Sunderland defence all evening.
Ramires has found himself guilty of defensive indiscretions with more regularity than he would like this season, conceding the third highest amount of fouls in the league so far (29). However, this is probably unsurprising for such a combative defensive midfielder with his stamina levels and the joint highest number of attempted challenges this season with 81.
Talented winger Eden Hazard tormented Sunderland at times on Wednesday night with his mesmerising array of tricks and wonderful technique. Unsurprisingly, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he completed more dribbles than any other player in the league in the last round of fixtures with 12.
Chelsea fans will be hoping that Oscar recovers from his knock sooner rather than later given that the young Brazilian has been one of the Blues’ leading lights this season. He’s racked up an impressive 325 passes in the opponent’s half this campaign, at an average rate of one every 2.97 minutes he’s been on the pitch.
Frank Lampard’s hunger for goals appears not to be diminishing with age with Chelsea’s veteran still getting into great positions in and around the box. He’s joint first in the Chelsea squad for total attempts on goal with 25. He’s 27/11 to score at any time with 888sport.com this weekend.
Sunderland vs Tottenham 17:30
A thrilling game at the Stadium of Light saw Sunderland eventually succumb to a 3-4 defeat at the hands of Chelsea. A fine strike from Jozy Altidore, as well as goals from captain John O’Shea and Phil Bardsley, who also scored an own goal, saw Gus Poyet’s side push Chelsea all the way before coming up slightly short. Sunderland fans will have taken heart from what was a much-improved performance though ahead of Tottenham’s visit this weekend.
Jozy Altidore’s goal on Wednesday was a demonstration of the clinical finishing the American can display when he’s on his best form. He’ll be hoping that strike propels him forward for the rest of the season and he continues to improve upon his already solid statistics. He’s had 9 attempts on goal this season, and has the overall best shot accuracy rate of any Sunderland player (55.5%). Altidore is 31/10 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Sebastian Larsson may be more noted for his abilities with the ball at his feet, but the Swede has shown great appetite for the defensive side of his game so far this season. He’s attempted more tackles than any other Sunderland player this season, with 41 to his name according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, and a success rate of 63.4%.
Defender Phil Bardsley had an up and down game during midweek but his performances at the back have generally been highly consistent when he’s had the chance to play this season. He’s made a defensive contribution (tackle, block, clearance, interception) on average once every 10.4 minutes he’s been on the pitch so far this campaign.
Emanuele Giaccherini has surpassed Adam Johnson as the Black Cats most prolific dribbler this term with 15 to his name, just one ahead of his midfield colleague.
A fine strike from Lewis Holtby took the pressure off Andre Villas-Boas as Tottenham claimed all three points with a 1-2 win over London rivals Fulham in midweek. AVB will be hoping his side can capitalise on this momentum this weekend.
Holtby has found his chances to impress somewhat limited this season given the raft of new arrival at White Hart Lane. However when he has been on the pitch he’s clearly determined to get involved. He’s compiled 164 passes in the opponent’s half this season, giving him the lowest average rate in the Tottenham squad with one completed every 2.18 minutes he’s been on the park. Holtby is 19/4 with 888sport.com to get himself on the scoresheet again this weekend.
Given his fine form so far this season it’s unsurprising that Andros Townsend continues to lead the way in Spurs squad for total attacking contributions (assists, dribbles, crosses, shots on goal) with 93.
Although Paulinho has brought an extra dimension to the Tottenham midfield, one area in which he yet to fully find his feet is his work in the final third. With Roberto Soldado also enjoying a relatively slow start to his White Hart Lane career, Tottenham fans will be hoping the Brazilian and his other midfield colleagues start to help him more by working on-targets attempts on goal with more regularity. So far Paulinho ranks second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total off-target attempts on goal with 19, meaning only 42.4% of his total shots have worked the ‘keeper this season.
Roberto Soldado has endured a mixed start to life at White Hart Lane, with his stats showing that his movement and positioning is not letting him down, just his final shot. He’s had a solid 24 attempts on goal this season, but so far only 45.8% of them have worked the goalkeeper.
Crystal Palace vs Cardiff 15:00
A fantastic win over West Ham handed Tony Pulis a victory in his first home game in charge of the Eagles, and they host a Cardiff side who secured a solid 0-0 draw away at Stoke on Wednesday.
Damien Delaney is a critical member of the Crystal Palace defence, and he produced an imperious performance to prevent the Hammers from scoring on Tuesday. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he made 20 defensive contributions (based on blocks, clearances, interceptions and tackles won). This was the fourth most in the league.
Crystal Palace will have been boosted by the news that Mile Jedinak has signed a new deal with the club, extending his stay until 2017. The Australian has been an inspirational skipper for the Eagles this term as he and Dean Moxey are the only outfield players to have featured in every minute for Palace. Looking at the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this week, it isn’t hard to see why they have become such key components in the Palace team. The duo won every single challenge that they attempted on Tuesday.
Marouane Chamakh scored the winner on Wednesday night, a goal which sent Selhurst Park into ecstasy. It was only his second goal for the Eagles, but interestingly, these two goals have come from only 4 shots. This is an incredibly impressive shots to goal ratio, and suggests that the Moroccan should back himself more in front of goal! Chamakh is 3/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Saturday.
Jose Campana is a player that Palace have high hopes for, having featured for Spain at all age groups from U16 upwards. He’s only figured in 6 games for Palace this term, but he’s demonstrated his excellent passing ability in this short space of time. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Campana has completed a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 3.8 minutes.
Cardiff travelled to Stoke on Wednesday night, and unsurprisingly given the fixture’s history, drew 0-0 in a far from classic encounter. It was the fifth occasion that the teams have met in the top flight, and every time they have played out goalless draws.
Pundits are starting to run out of superlatives to describe Steven Caulker’s performances this term, as he has produced top quality performances time and time again. He was impressive on Wednesday, making a total of 20 clearances – the most in the league.
Peter Whittingham has become a stalwart for Cardiff since his arrival from Aston Villa six years ago, registering nearly 300 appearances. Looking at his performances so far this season, it isn’t hard to see why he’s such a critical member of the Cardiff team. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he has completed a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 4.2 minutes. Whittingham is 4/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Saturday.
Whittingham is also one of only 3 players in the Cardiff team to have made 4 goalscoring contributions this season (based on goals and assists). He tops the EA SPORTS Player Performance table, alongside Jordan Mutch and Frazier Campbell.
David Marshall’s quest to establish himself as Scotland’s number one will have been done no harm by his impressive performances so far this term. No other ‘keeper in the league has made as many saves as Marshall’s 58.
Southampton vs Manchester City
Following their impressive start to the campaign, Wednesday’s home defeat to Aston Villa came as a shock to Southampton’s system. They host free-scoring Manchester City, who will be looking to close the gap on league leaders Arsenal.
Jay Rodriguez scored Southampton’s first goal on Wednesday, guiding in Nathaniel Clyne’s cross. He was a thorn in Villa’s side all evening, registering a total of 6 efforts – the second most in the league.
Pochettino tactically replaced James Ward-Prowse with Dani Osvaldo 38 minutes into Wednesday’s game, but looking at the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Ward-Prowse may have considered himself unlucky to have been the man sacrificed. Ward-Prowse completed a pass at an incredible rate of a pass every 1.2 minutes.
His passing, however, was overshadowed by fellow midfielder Steven Davis. Davis completed a phenomenal 82 passes in Aston Villa’s half on Wednesday, staking his claim for a regular starting berth in the team. Davis is 27/1 to score the first goal on Saturday with 888sport.com
By examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it is clear to see why Roy Hodgson decided to call upon Southampton trio Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez. The three players have been instrumental in Saints’ success this term, and have registered 8,6, and 6 goalscoring contributions respectively (based on goals and assists).
Sergio Aguero was on the scoresheet again for Manchester City as they beat West Brom in a classic encounter at the Hawthorns.
Manuel Pellegrini has had something of a selection headache this season when it’s come to the left back spot. In Gael Clichy and Aleksander Kolarov, the Chilean has two quality full backs at his disposal, and each with their own unique traits – Kolarov’s key attribute is his offensive ability, whereas Gael Clichy’s strength is his defence. On Wednesday, Pellegrini opted for the more offensive Kolarov, and he was certainly rewarded with a scintillating display, as Kolarov laid on two goals for the Citizens.
Samir Nasri has suffered something of a rejuvenation under Manuel Pellegrini this season, something that Yaya Toure claims is down to the increased freedom that is given to the Frenchman. Nasri has always had a fantastic eye for a pass, and this ability was on show on Wednesday as he completed a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 3.1 minutes.
In total, Nasri has completed 485 passes in the opposition half this term, which is the fifth most in the league. This impressive figure, however, is not enough to put him at the top of the Manchester City table as Yaya Toure has completed 583. This is more than any other player in the league. Nasri is an industry best 12/1 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Matija Nastasic has made a considerable impression since his arrival at the Etihad a year or so ago, showing a maturity that is far beyond his 20 years. His awareness and ability to read the game is evident in his tackle win percentage – with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlighting that he has won an impressive 85% of his challenges.
West Brom vs Norwich
West Brom may have considered themselves unlucky to have succumbed to a defeat at the hands of Manchester City, particularly as they produced a resilient fight back once three goals down.
With their silky and intricate playmakers, City boasted an impressive 59% of possession in the fixture, but the efforts of the West Brom midfield to win the ball back cannot be questioned. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that Claudio Yacob and, surprisingly James Morrison, won 13 and 10 tackles respectively – this was the most in the league.
It was a pity for Saido Berahino that he couldn’t celebrate his new contract with a goal. In fact, considering Berahino’s record and high standards, his shooting was slightly more wayward than usual against the Citizens as despite taking three shots at goal (the most in the West Brom squad), he failed to hit the target once. Berahino is 21/4 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Youssuf Mulumbu was suspended for West Brom against Manchester City, and considering the Citizen’s dominance of possession, it appears that the Baggies missed him. Mulumbu has a terrific ability to break up and slow down play, which is evident in the number of interceptions he has made this season (45).
James Morrison has only featured in 590 minutes for West Brom this term, but he has showcased his fantastic passing ability in this short time frame. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has completed a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 3.4 minutes.
It’s tough being a Norwich fan when facing Liverpool, as it seems that time and time again they are victims of the Suarez effect – Suarez has now scored 11 goals in four games against Norwich.
Things may not have totally gone to plan for Norwich on Wednesday, but a bright spark was winger Nathan Redmond. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that Redmond was a menace down the flank, swinging in 3 crosses and registering an assist.
Alexander Tettey may have only played in 7 fixtures for Norwich so far this season, but in these games he has demonstrating his excellent defensive awareness. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has completed 22 interceptions – the most in the league. Tettey has also won an impressive 72% of his challenges.
‘Super’ Gary Hooper came to Norwich with an outstanding reputation, following his impressive goal record at Celtic. Although he hasn’t scored as many goals as he’d have liked this term, he still has a fantastic shots on target percentage of 75%. This does suggest that the goals will soon start to flow for Norwich’s number 11.
With the rise of Fraser Forster it will be interesting to see who Roy Hodgson regards as his number 2 goalkeeper. John Ruddy will be hoping to head to Brazil in this position, and the stats from the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index provide weight to the former Everton ‘Keeper’s case. Ruddy has made 48 saves this term, more than any other Englishman.
Sunday 8th December
Arsenal vs Everton 16:00
Arsenal continued their fine run of form as they beat Hull 2-0 at the Emirates on Wednesday night, with a rare goal from Nicklas Bendtner early in the game and a tidy finish from Mesut Ozil securing the points for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Aaron Ramsey’s reverse pass assist to Mesut Ozil on Wednesday night was perhaps the pass of the round, another shining example of the Welshman’s vision and fast-developing partnership with his German colleague. It is still within his defensive contributions that Ramsey continues to separate himself from the other leading midfielders in the league this term though. He’s won a superb 70.4% of his 81 attempted challenges, as well as 87 total defensive contributions (tackles won, blocks, clearances, interceptions).
Ramsey also remains the Gunner’s most accurate player in front of goal so far this term, racking up a solid 67.9% shot accuracy rate from 28 attempts. Ramsey is 11/5 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
There were warning signs that Mesut Ozil is starting to kick on towards his best form again, not least his well-taken goal against Hull. He completed 72 passes in the opponent’s half during that game, the third highest in the league during the last round, at an average rate of one every 1.25 minutes.
Thomas Vermaelen will be desperate to try and regain his position in the starting XI for the Gunners, but the club captain continues to face an uphill challenge given the form of current centre-back pairing Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. The pair have tackle success rates of 78.1% and 75% respectively, as well as an excellent combined total of 243 defensive contributions (tackles won, blocks, interceptions, clearances) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Everton secured a famous 1-0 win at Old Trafford in midweek, with a late strike from Bryan Oviedo seeing Roberto Martinez achieve a notable scalp with the defeat of his predecessor in his new backyard.
Romelu Lukaku has quickly established himself as a key member of a young and dynamic attacking outfit being established by Martinez. The on-loan Chelsea striker has shown some great touches this year, combining his explosive power particularly well with the vision of Ross Barkley. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Lukaku has the best shot-to-goal ratio of any player in the top 30 for total shots attempted. The Belgian hitman has managed to find the net on average 3.1 shots he’s had on goal this season.
No player in the league has been more adept at removing danger for his team this season than the Toffee’s Phil Jagielka. He’s racked up an impressive 138 clearances so far this season, helping to provide strong solidity at the back for Everton with his partner Sylvain Distin.
Indeed, no two players have contributed more defensively this term than Jagielka and Distin, with each compiling 189 and 184 total defensive contributions (tackles won, interceptions, clearances, blocks) respectively. For all the attacking skill of the players in front of them, without this platform the more attack-minded players in Everton’s squad would not be able to flourish as they have been this season.
Gerard Deulofeu has been in strong form following his arrival from Barcelona on loan, the youngster clearly keen to impress his parent club during his time in Premier League. His ability in front of goal has had the Goodison Park faithful on their feet on more than one occasion this season, the young Spaniard testing the opposition ‘keeper with 92.3% of his 13 shots on goal so far this term. Deulofeu is 15/4 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Fulham vs Aston Villa 13:30
In Rene Meulensteen’s first game in charge, Fulham could have considered themselves unlucky to have succumbed to defeat against London rivals Tottenham.
Scott Parker totally bossed the midfield against Spurs, winning an incredibly impressive 88% of his challenges. Parker is an industry best 23/2 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Sunday.
Fresh from claims from his agent that Berbatov is looking to leave Fulham, the Bulgarian produced one of his most impressive displays in recent weeks, showcasing his undoubted skill and talent. The Bulgarian hit the target with an impressive 75% of his shots on Wednesday, and made a total of 21 attacking contributions (based on passes in the opposition half, dribbles, crosses and shots on target). This was the second most in the Fulham squad.
It is fairly surprising that Darren Bent has only scored twice for Fulham this term, as he has showcased his impressive shooting ability. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has hit the target with a solid 63% of his shots this term.
Paul Lambert hailed his team’s away victory at Southampton as ‘massive’, and it was an important victory that moved them into a perfectly respectable 10th place in the table.
Fabian Delph scored an outstanding winner last night which summed up his overall performance. In addition to his goal, the former Leeds man also won all four of his challenges, and registered an assist.
Paul Lambert brought Libor Kozak into the Aston Villa starting lineup, at the expense of Christian Benteke on Wednesday and the Czech rewarded his manager with a goal. It is interesting to compare the form of the two strikers so far this term, as despite hitting incredible highs last year, Benteke hasn’t been able to replicate that form this year. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates the Belgian’s woes, as he has only hit the target with 50% of his efforts this term. In comparison, Kozak has hit the target with 71%. Kozak is 11/5 to score at anytime with 888sport.com
Gabby Agbonlahor scored a classic counter-attacking goal on Wednesday, which surprisingly was his first goal in the league this season. He has, however, been contributing in other areas as he has registered 4 assists – more than any other Villa player.
It was a shame for Jores Okore that he suffered a season-ending injury just a few weeks into the campaign, as he had certainly been making a positive contribution. Interestingly, he still has the best tackle win percentage in the Villa squad, as he has been successful in 83% of his challenges this term.
Monday 9th December
Swansea vs Hull 20:00
Swansea ended Newcastle’s four game winning streak with a convincing 3-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium.
Jonathan de Guzman was integral to the victory, as he totally bossed the centre of the park. The Dutchman completed a pass in Newcastle’s half at an outstanding rate of a pass every 1.6 minutes, registering an assist in the process.
Considering his displays so far this term, it is unsurprising to see that Chico Flores made the most defensive contributions for Swansea on Wednesday (based on blocks, clearances, tackles won and interceptions). His 22 was more than any other player in the Swansea squad, and meant that any Newcastle forays into Swansea’s third of the pitch were dealt with ease.
Jonjo Shelvey may have scored twice on Wednesday, but to just mention his goals would do a disservice to his outstanding contribution when the ball was at his feet. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he completed an outstanding 43 passes in Newcastle’s half on Wednesday – the second most in the Swansea squad.
Nathan Dyer completed another three dribbles against Newcastle to take his overall tally this term to 20. It is unsurprising to see the silky winger topping the EA SPORTS Player Performance for dribbles completed, but it might surprise some that he sits second in Swansea’s goalscoring charts with 3. Dyer is 7/2 to score at anytime on Monday.
Steve Bruce has been a big fan of Maynor Figueroa since bringing him to England 6 years ago. Whilst manager of Sunderland he tried to sign the Honduran, and now at Hull, he finally has his man. Figueroa has started the season well and he maintained this impressive form on Wednesday, making a total of 16 defensive contributions (based on clearances, interceptions, blocks and tackles won). This was more than any other Hull player.
Liam Rosenior joined Hull in a bid to get back playing at the top level, after a successful Premier League stint with Reading. He believes that he’s a Premier League player and so far this season, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index adds weight to his argument – as it shows that he has won an impressive 86% of his challenges.
Tom Huddlestone thought he’d scored his first goal for Hull last weekend, but the dubious goal panel is likely to register it as an own goal. The talented midfielder is desperate to reclaim his place in the England squad and if he maintains his current level of performance, he’ll be in with a shot. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he has completed a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 4.2 minutes.
Robbie Brady will be integral to Hull’s hopes of staying in the division this year, as he has a fantastic ability to both score and create goals. So far this term, he has made 5 goalscoring contributions (based on goals and assists), which is more than any other Hull player. Brady is 6/1 to score at any time with 888sport.com.