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.
Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars with at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate team.
Crystal Palace vs Chelsea
Crystal Palace welcome Chelsea this weekend to what is sure to be a noisy Selhurst Park and will be hoping the crowd can act as a twelfth man as they did last year when Palace beat Chelsea 1-0. Chelsea are now the only unbeaten Premier League side remaining after beating Arsenal, the only other team that were yet to fall to defeat, before the international break. Chelsea are 20/1 with 888sport to go the season undefeated but face a tough task this weekend at Palace.
The Eagles’ stand out star this season has been midfielder Mile Jedinak. The Australia captain has made the most tackles in the division with 35 and according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance also ranks first in the Premier League for interceptions, having cut out opposition passes 26 times. The central midfielder is key to the Palace side remaining resolute on Saturday and he will be hoping to keep up his early season form and contain the attacking talent Chelsea possess in midfield.
One of the players to benefit from Jedinak’s defensive shield is centre back Damien Delaney. Delaney has performed well in defence so far this season, and has made 61 clearances according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. This ranks him among the top ten in the Premier League for clearances, and it would be no surprise to see Delaney climb further up the rankings this weekend.
Another player on form is Fraizer Campbell, having scored two goals in his last three games. The pacey forward could put the Chelsea defence to the test having run the eighth fastest speed in the entire Premier League. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Campbell has been clocked running at 35.3km/h and it is certainly something that the likes of Terry and Cahill need to watch out for. Campbell is 11/1 with 888sport to score first against Chelsea.
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has made the second greatest number of passes in the Premier League with 511, behind only Yaya Toure. The Spaniard has reaped the rewards, laying on seven assists for his teammates. 333 of his passes were in the opposition half, which again is only beaten by Yaya Toure, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Fabregas’ midfield partner Nemanja Matic has played every minute so far this season, and has covered a lot of ground in the process. The Serbian has run the fourth furthest distance out of anyone in the Premier League, having covered a total of 82.8km so far this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Diego Costa has got a remarkable 84.2% of his shots on target this season, and that has been translated in to nine goals from his seven appearances so far. After getting through the international break unscathed, Costa will be eager to continue his goalscoring form, and if he plays to his full ability, he may well prove too hot to handle for the Palace defence. Costa is 3/1 to score at least two goals this weekend with 888sport.
Man City vs Tottenham
Saturday’s early kick off sees Tottenham pay a visit to the home of the champions in a game that ended in a 6-0 Man City win last year at the Etihad. Mauricio Pochettino will be hoping that his side can come away with a far better result this season, but will know that it will be a tough test. It is 66/1 with 888sport for there to be a repeat 6-0 scoreline this weekend.
Yaya Toure is a doubt for Saturday’s clash, and it would be a huge blow for City if he were to miss out. The Ivorian has completed more passes in the opposition half than any other player in the league (343), pipping Cesc Fabregas (333), according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Sergio Aguero is continuing his form and sits second in the scoring charts behind Diego Costa on five goals. Aguero also has the second most shots on target of any player, with twelve. The City striker has got 60% of his shots on target according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, and is likely to pose the biggest threat to the Spurs goal on Saturday. Aguero is 3/1 with 888sport to score first against Spurs.
James Milner has enjoyed a mini-revival recently. After only starting twelve Premier League games last year, his fortunes look to have changed this season. Milner was arguably the man of the match against Chelsea, and was again outstanding against Aston Villa in the last round of fixtures. Milner covered the second highest distance of any player in a single match this season against Villa (12.95km), and it is difficult to see him anywhere but in the starting XI against Spurs.
Tottenham’s attacking midfielder Erik Lamela has covered the most ground out of the Spurs squad. So far this season, Lamela has run a total distance of 75.97km, and has an average speed of 7.2km/h over the course of the first seven games, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Captain Younes Kaboul is now the only outfield Spurs player to have played every minute of Premier League football this season. The skipper has made more clearances than the rest of the squad, with 49, and has also won 83.3% of his tackles, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Eric Dier has been Tottenham’s fastest player so far this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The versatile defender has been recorded running at 35km/h, which ranks him among the top 20 fastest players in the season so far. Dier has made a bright start to his Tottenham career, but should he play on Saturday, he is likely to face his toughest task yet by way of City’s attacking talent.
Everton vs Aston Villa
Roberto Martinez’s Everton welcome Aston Villa, whose form has slipped recently, being defeated in their last three games – albeit against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. Paul Lambert will be hoping his side can bounce back to their form in the early games and get back to winning ways. Meanwhile, Everton are also without a win in three too, so it is important for both teams to get back to form this weekend.
A statistic that may surprise many is that Phil Jagielka has recorded the fastest sprint speed of any player in the Premier League this season. The central defender ran at 36km/h, which is 0.1km/h faster than closest challenger, Joe Ledley. He has also made 69 clearances, which is more than any other Everton player and fourth best in the division, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Romelu Lukaku impressed in his loan term at Everton last year and managed a return of 15 goals. So far this season, he has only netted two goals according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and has also got a single assist to his name. Lukaku will hope to use his physical presence to get at the Villa defence and combined with his top speed of 35.4km/h, he has the potential to trouble any defence. He is 16/5 to score first with 888sport.com.
Stephen Naismith continued his goalscoring form, now with four goals in seven games. The hard working Scot has covered 74.21km so far this season, which is more than anybody else in the Everton squad according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Villa have conceded eight goals in their last three games, despite only conceding one in the four games prior to that. It could have been far more than the nine goals conceded this season but for Brad Guzan. The American has made 19 saves so far this season, and he alone is likely to win Villa several points this season. It is 19/2 with 888sport.com for Villa to win with a clean sheet.
Right back Alan Hutton’s reintroduction to the side looks to be paying dividends, as the Scotsman has won 93.3% of his tackles (14/15) and has put in some strong defensive performances, despite being regarded as an attacking fullback.
The only player to have made more successful tackles in the side than Hutton is Tom Cleverley. The midfielder has made 19 tackles so far this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, which is an impressive total bearing in mind he has only featured in five of the seven games so far.
Stoke vs Swansea
Stoke City are experiencing a varied start to the Premier League season. Victory over champions Manchester City and Newcastle United has been followed by defeats at the hands of Leicester City and most recently Sunderland. High flying Swansea travel to Stoke in fifth place in the Barclays Premier League despite a run of four league games without a win, most recently a 2-2 draw with Newcastle United.
Charlie Adam was on target for the Potters in that game with his first Premier League goal of the season. Adam has had four efforts on goal this season, all on target.
Stoke fans will be buoyed by the news that Peter Crouch is looking to commit his future to the club. Crouch has netted twice in the Premier League this season, though his shooting accuracy could be improved as the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows he’s got just 44% of his 13 shots at goal on target so far.
Stoke City will feel equipped to deal with the aerial prowess of Swansea’s Wilfried Bony, as in Ryan Shawcross (65) and Marc Wilson (63) they have two of the top ten players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for clearances. Shawcross is also ranked third for blocks with ten.
With Victor Moses ranked third for successful crosses this season (nine), Stoke are likely to pose Swansea problems of their own in defending the ball in the air.
Much has been said about Stoke’s defensive play over the seasons but credit is due to Mark Hughes for transforming their style of play, if not the widely cited perception of it. Steven N’Zonzi was ranked 7th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes completed in the opposition half against Sunderland 38.
Wilfried Bony scored his first Premier League goal of the season in the game against Stoke to put an end to an uncharacteristically lean spell in front of goal. He was one of only three players to have three shots on target in the last game week as he pushed to break his duck for the season. Bony is 37/20 to score at any time with 888sport.
Overall Bony has had 17 efforts at goal this season with ten on target. Only Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero have had more, and in comparison have scored nine and five goals respectively. If his goal against Newcastle means Bony’s fortunes are turning then Stoke may be next to fall victim to the Ivorian striker.
Ashley Williams has continued the season in fine defensive form, and is currently ranked third in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for clearances with 75. Williams is also ranked fourth for blocks with nine.
Williams stats also show how comfortable he is playing the ball out of defence. He is ranked ninth overall in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for accurate passes, second only to Phil Jagielka in the Premier League’s defenders.
In fact, in the last round of games Swansea had three players in the top ten for total accurate passes, Ashley Williams (75), Jonjo Shelvey (73) and Ki Sung-Yeung (73)
Newcastle vs Leicester
Newcastle United remain without a win this season, and will be hoping for a result against a newly promoted Leicester City who have so far performed admirably on their return to the Barclays Premier League. Leicester City’s bright start to the season stumbled briefly before the international break with a defeat at Crystal Palace followed by a draw with Burnley. Jeffrey Schlupp and Riyad Mahrez were on target for the Foxes in that game to ease the pressure on top goalscorer Leonardo Ulloa.
Papiss Cisse scored twice for the Magpies to earn the point against Swansea, and was one of only three players to have three shots on target in the last round of games.
Jack Colback has been working hard to win over the Newcastle United fans since his controversial move from Sunderland in the transfer window. Colback is ranked 7th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for distance covered this season having covered exactly 50 miles.
Another new signing, Daryl Janmaat, has also impressed in work rate with the fourth highest number of sprints in the league this season with 444.
Daniel Drinkwater also impressed against Burnley, completing 35 passes in the opposition half, the 9th highest in the last round of Premier League games.
Only Diego Costa has scored more Premier League goals than Ulloa’s five this season. Ulloa sits level with Aguero and Berahino in the goal scoring charts but notably the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows he has needed just ten efforts at goal, with six on target, compared to Aguero’s 20 and Berahino’s 16. It is 19/4 for Ulloa to score in a Leicester victory with 888sport.
At the other end of the pitch, Ritchie de Laet is ranked 7th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles won with 25, an impressive 75.8% of those attempted. While his defensive colleague Liam Moore has an even more impressive 92.8% tackle success rate, having lost out on just one of his 13 attempted tackles. De Laet is also ranked second for interceptions with 25, and equally dangerous getting forward having hit the fastest top speed of any Leicester player so far this season with 34.4km/h.
If any Newcastle player is likely to break through the Leicester City defence it may just be Moussa Sissoko, who has completed 14 successful dribbles, the 9th highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
If Newcastle elect to avoid the tackling prowess of de Laet and Moore by putting the ball into the box, they will find another obstacle in Wes Morgan who is currently ranked fourth in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for clearances with 69, a huge 15 of which came in the game against Burnley. Morgan is also ranked second for blocks with 12.
And should Newcastle break through this tough defence to goal they will face the final hurdle of goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who has made the fourth highest number of saves in the Barclays Premier League with 22.
Arsenal v Hull
Arsenal’s last outing in the Premier League saw them lose their first game of the season, having remained unbeaten for the first six. The result saw Arsenal slip to eighth in the table, but Arsene Wenger’s men will be keen to turn things around at the Emirates on Saturday and re-gain their place in the top four.
Arsenal have suffered their typical misfortune of having injuries throughout the squad, but it is something that the Gunners will have to overcome. One man who they will miss is Aaron Ramsey, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Welshman has already scored twice and created a further goal for the team, and he is the man who makes the side tick having completed a squad best 478 passes, with a pass completion rate of 91.57%.
The man that Arsenal fans will hope can step into filling Ramsey’s boots will be England international Jack Wilshere. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that Wilshere has also started the season in good form and has both created and scored a goal a piece. He will offer a different type of threat to the passing game of Ramsey, as Wilshere has completed 100% of his 17 dribbles attempted, and also found the target with 75% of his shots.
Having failed to find the back of the Chelsea net in their last Premier League outing, a large part of the responsibility will fall upon the shoulders of new signing Danny Welbeck to deliver the goods. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that Arsenal fans should be optimistic as Welbeck has not only scored and created his first league goals for the club already, but is also working incredibly hard for the team. He has completed 276 sprints and won 83.3% of his tackles, and his hard work will surely benefit the team. He is 22/25 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
This weekend’s visitors to the Emirates, Hull, will be looking to avenge their loss in last season’s FA Cup Final Hull sit mid-table going into the weekend, just one point behind their hosts, who they will be looking to leap-frog with a win.
In order to do so, Hull will be looking to add to their 11 league goals already scored, and will be relying on frontman Nikica Jelavic, who has started the season in fine form. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that he has already scored four goals this season with 66.6% of his shots on target ending up in the back of the net. The Croatian forward is 7/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Another player who is certainly capable of helping add to Hull’s goal tally from midfield, is new boy Mohamed Diame, signed from West Ham. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us just what a good signing he has been, having scored three times already for his new club, scoring with 42.86% of his total shots taken. He has also won 21 tackles and made 10 interceptions, which shows his awareness in a defensive capacity as well.
Whilst they are clearly capable of scoring goals, Hull will be looking to keep their second clean sheet in a row after their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace. For this they will be relying on Allan McGregor, who has already made 19 saves this season, as revealed by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The 32 year old Scot will be looking to add to that tally to ensure that Hull make the long trip back North with all three points.
West Brom v Man Utd
West Brom will be looking to bounce back after their 2-1 defeat to Liverpool before the international break with victory over Manchester United, which would mean their third victory in four Premier League matches. The Baggies managed to put four past the last visitors to the Hawthorns, Burnley, and will be looking to keep up that form to help them go level on points with Saturday’s visitors.
In order to keep up the good goal scoring form, West Brom will look to their in form striker, Saido Berahino. The 21 year old Englishman has been in sizzling form, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The striker has netted five of West Brom’s eight league goals this season but that is not where he finishes impressing. He has further shows his quality on the ball by completing 89.82% of his passes and shown his hard work by winning 13 tackles and making five interceptions. He is 11/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
In the middle of the park, Craig Gardner is proving influential for West Brom as proved by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Englishman has won a squad best 27 tackles, winning 81.81% of his overall tackles. To add to that, he has also made seven clearances, six blocks and 18 interceptions. He also has one assist to his name and will hope to be add to his great defensive and offensive statistics come Monday.
Crucial to West Brom’s point tally so far this season has been keep Ben Foster, who will be out to prove a point to his old club on Monday. Foster has made 17 saves so far this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and will need to be in top form and add to that tally to keep out the United frontline.
Manchester United will be buoyed going into their trip to the Hawthorns after their first back-to-back wins of the season saw them rise into the top four. United will be looking for their third win on the bounce, which is something that they have not achieved since December of last year.
To achieve this, United will be looking for their record signing Angel Di Maria to keep up his form, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Argentina winger has bagged three goals in his first five games for the club, and laid on a further three goals for his teammates. He has attempted 27 dribbles, and when he combines his direct running style with the quickest recorded speed in the club of 34.2km/h, he is going to prove a threat. He is 11/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
New boy Ander Herrera is set to return from injury on Monday for United’s trip down to the Midlands, which will prove a boost to the Red Devils. He started the season in top form as shows by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with two goals and an assist in his first four games for the club. He has also completed 100% of his dribbles and won 93.75% of his tackles, and will hope that he can win Monday night’s midfield battle.
Having highlighted new players up front and in the middle for United, we should not overlook the contribution of Marcos Rojo at the back. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that, in his first four games for the club, he has won 70% of his tackles, made 24 clearances and also made 11 interceptions. He has proved equally composed on the ball, completing 87.27% of his passes. He will need to be United’s rock to ensure they keep up their winning run.
QPR v Liverpool
Having lost three of their last four games, QPR find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table. The good news for the R’s is that they are undefeated in their last two home games, picking up four points in the process. If they add a second home win in three to that tally, they could see themselves climb out of the relegation zone this weekend.
If Rangers are to get a result, they will need to work on their goals tally, and Charlie Austin is the striker that they will likely turn to. The striker has now bagged two goals so far this term, which is 50% of the R’s tally so far. He is 47/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
At the other end of the pitch, QPR will look to the experience of Rio Ferdinand to help plug any leaks in the defence. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Ferdinand has won 85.71% of his tackles, made a staggering 59 clearances and also made 12 interceptions. He has completed 86.15% of his passes, and will look to keep up the good performances to get the three points.
Behind Rio Ferdinand is former England international Rob Green between the sticks for the Hoops. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Green has made more saves than any other Premier League keeper so far this campaign, with a total of 26 saves. He will most certainly have to add to his tally of 3.71 saves per game to ensure a clean sheet in front of the Loftus Road faithful.
Liverpool come into this fixture in good form, having beaten West Brom 2-1 in their last fixture, and having only been denied victory by an injury time wonder goal in the Merseyside Derby the previous week. They will look to add to their tally of ten points so far and mount their second title challenge in as many years.
According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Liverpool star of the show has been Raheem Sterling. The statistics show that the teenage England international has bagged three goals already this term, hitting the target with 64.28% of his shots. His all round ability is shown by him creating a further two goals for teammates, and also winning 80% of his tackles, which shows just how important he is to Liverpool all over the pitch. He is 8/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
In the middle of the park, Sterling’s England international colleague Jordan Henderson is having a wonderful start to the campaign. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that he has covered 78.63km in his games so far, which is the 10th most ground covered by any player in the Premier League. He has also completed 425 sprints, which is the 5th highest in the Premier League. The hard working midfielder has been rewarded with a goal and three assists and will hope to add to both of those tallies on Sunday.
Even with the ever improving performances of Jordan Henderson, former England captain Steven Gerrard’s importance cannot be overlooked. The Liverpool skipper has grabbed two goals already this season from just three attempts, all of which have hit the target. The midfield maestro has completed 87.52% of his passes, and will hope to conquer the R’s midfield this weekend.
Southampton v Sunderland
Southampton have had a fantastic start to the season and find themselves in third place in the Premier League, which is largely down to them having the best defensive record in the Premier League so far. They will look to maintain their defensive form this weekend with their fourth clean sheet of the season, whilst adding to their 11 goals scored.
One man who has hit good form for Southampton up top is Graziano Pelle, with the Italian striker bagging four goals for the club already. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that his secret is to not be shy in front of goal, with the Italian taking 19 shots at goal already this term. The 29 year old has also grabbed an assist and will be looking to lay on and score more goals in the Saints’ fourth home game of the season. He is 21/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
In the middle of the park, Morgan Schneiderlin has been in fantastic form so far this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has covered 86.4km of ground already this campaign, which is more than anybody in the Premier League. It is this hard work that has seen the French international win 27 tackles and make a further 12 interceptions, whilst getting his name on the score sheet three times already this season.
Southampton’s good work has all stemmed from defensive stability, of which Jose Fonte is a prime example. The Portuguese defender has started the season in prime form, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index statistics. He has won 88.23% of his tackles, made 30 clearances and also made 22 interceptions. He will hope to add to all of those statistics to ensure Southampton maintain third spot in the Premier League.
This week’s visitors to St. Mary’s will come into the game with confidence this weekend, having won their last match 3-1 at home to Stoke, prior to the international break. The Black Cats have lost only one game all season, and will not want that tally to get any higher this weekend, as a win could see them join Southampton in the top four.
In order to walk away with the three points, Sunderland will be relying on in form striker Steven Fletcher to deliver the goods. Fletcher has grabbed two goals already this season, scoring with 33.3% of his shots according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has also laid on another goal, but his focus this weekend will likely be finding more goals for himself. He is 7/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
In the middle of the park, Sebastian Larsson will be looking to win the battle with Morgan Schneiderlin, to give the Black Cats a stronghold in the game. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Sunderland midfielder has covered 70.06km so far this season, the most of any Sunderland player. His hard work has seen him grab a goal and two assists, and he will pose a threat to the sturdy Southampton back line this weekend.
With Southampton looking so solid in defence so far this season, it is crucial that Sunderland remain equally as astute at the back, given that the Saints’ have concede an average of only 0.71 goals per game. For this to happen, former Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone will have to be on top form. The Italian has already made 23 saves so far this season, but will be looking for a clean sheet to leave Sunderland unbeaten in five games.
Burnley vs West Ham
A stoppage time equaliser from Ross Wallace ensured Burnley moved off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League table after a back and forth encounter against Leicester at The King Power Stadium ended in a 2-2 draw.
Scott Arfield has been a key figure for Burnley so far this term, driving his team forward on what has been a difficult transition to the Premier League so far. Not only has Arfield attempted more tackles than any other Burnley player this season (27), he’s also completed more passes in the opponent’s half than any of his teammates, with 126 to his name according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Forward Lukas Jutkiewicz can trouble defences with his physicality but he may need to be a bit more tactical in how he approaches his work as the season progresses. He currently has 11 fouls to his name this season, the highest in the Burnley squad. Jutkiewicz is an industry best 3/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Defender Jason Shackell hasn’t felt the need to commit to too many tackles this season, preferring to read the game and stay on his feet, but when he has done his timing has been excellent. He’s won 83.3% of his six attempted challenges this term.
West Ham secured their first clean sheet of the season last time out thanks to a 2-0 win of QPR. An own-goal from Nudeum Onuha was followed by a header from Diafra Sakho to see the Hammers climb to seventh in the table.
Sakho has been in solid form following his arrival at West Ham. His five appearances so far this term have seen him fire nine total attempts on goal, working the ‘keeper with 55.5% of them according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Stewart Downing has appeared revitalised this season and is one of the main reasons the Hammers have been enjoying so much success going forward, the Englishman’s driving runs often providing the chances for their exciting forwards to latch on to something. Downing leads the West Ham squad for crosses attempted with 34, as well as racking up 11 dribbles. Downing is 7/1 with 888sport.com to get himself on the scoresheet this weekend and score at any time.
At the back, the solidity of Winston Reid continues to be a major asset to Sam Allardyce’s side. The New Zealand captain leads the West Ham squad for total defensive contributions (interceptions, clearances, blocks, tackles won) with 89 and has also won 100% of his eight attempted tackles this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.