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.
Manchester City v Manchester United
In spite of suffering defeat at the hands of West Ham in their last Premier League outing, Man City will still be in confident mood going into the first Manchester Derby of the season. City find themselves in third place in the league, six points behind leaders Chelsea, and will be looking to close the gap by emulating their performance and result in the 4-1 home win against United last year.
One man who has hit top form the get-go this season, is City’s Argentinian international striker Sergio Aguero. The 26-year-old forward has already bagged 9 goals this season, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that he is scoring a goal every 68 minutes and 40 seconds. He is not only the league’s joint top scorer, but he has hit the target more than any other Premier League player, with 22 efforts on target, and has the 6th most dribbles completed in the league. He is not afraid to be selfish when the opportunity presents itself, and he is 19/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Behind Aguero, David Silva is the man who makes everything tick for the blue half of Manchester, with the 28 year old Spaniard’s prowess revealed by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Spanish international has completed the seventh most passes in the league this year with 564 passes, but 384 of those have been completed in the opposition half, which is the third highest in the league. His 86.82% pass completion rate means he will rarely give the ball away and with two goals and two assists to his name, he will be a danger at all times.
At the back, Gael Clichy has been most impressive for the blues back line, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The French international full back has racked up a squad best 22 tackles won, winning 75.86% of his tackles. He has also made 24 clearances and 16 interceptions. He can also prove a threat on the ball, completing 88.89% of his dribbles so far this campaign, and completing 80.16%.
Last weekend saw an injury time Robin Van Persie goal earn the red half of Manchester a point at home to league leaders Chelsea, but United may well face an even stiffer test this weekend. They will not need to be reminded of the punishment that City handed out to them in both fixtures last season, and will need their brightest talents on top form if they are to get anything out of the game.
Club record signing Angel Di Maria certainly falls into that category. The Argentina international has proved himself on the big stage at the World Cup, being named man of the match in the Champions League final and now the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he is delivering in the Premier League. The former Galactico has racked up four assists and three goals in the league since joining the club. His attacking intent is summed up by him completing a squad best 16 dribbles. and completing 10 crosses; again, more than anybody else in the United squad. He is 7/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
If last weekend was anything to go by, Marouane Fellaini is certainly capable of performing in the big games. The Belgian international grabbed his first assist for the goal, having only recently scored his first goal for the club. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that he has won 85.71% of his tackles this season, racking up five interceptions in just 169 minutes of football this season. He’s hit the target with 80% of his shots, and has definitely put himself in contention for a starting spot this weekend.
Last weekend saw David De Gea keep Manchester United in the match with some fantastic saves. He will need to be at the absolute top of his game to keep out a side that has scored 19 goals already this season, and is lead by Sergio Aguero. The Spain international has made 18 saves already this term, but playing against a side that has averaged over two goals a game so far in the campaign, the 23 year old will certainly have his work cut out.
Hull v Southampton
Hull will go into this weekend’s fixture with good reason to be confident, having remained unbeaten in their last three games, in a run that included away fixtures to both Liverpool and Arsenal. Their good start to the season sees them sit just inside the top half, but a third win of the season could see them climb to as high as fifth in the league.
Hull’s Croatian forward Nikica Jelavic has started the season in fine form, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The 29 year old has already scored four goals this season, hitting the back of the net with 66% of his shots on target. The Croatian has racked up an impressive 343 sprints and it is that hard work that his teammates will have to pick up in his absence.
The man to do this could well be Mohamed Diame, who has instantly clicked with his new teammates since his move from West Ham. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Senegalese international has already bagged himself four goals, scoring 100% of his shots that have hit the target. He has also won the fourth highest amount of tackles in the league with 34, made eight clearances and made 14 interceptions. He is 23/4 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
If Hull are to come away with the points, they will need to find their second consecutive clean sheet. Their star man at the back so far this season has been Curtis Davies, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The English centre back has racked up the second most interceptions and clearances in the league, with 30 interceptions and 101 clearances. He has also made a total of nine blocks, with only six other Premier League players making more. He will need to be at his ever best to keep the Saints high performing front line at bay.
Southampton have gone from strength to strength this season, picking up 18 points from a possible 21 in their last seven matches. They sit just four points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, and will look to move within a point with and consolidate second spot with their third win on the bounce.
Southampton’s star man so far this season has been new signing Graziano Pelle, which has been backed up by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Saints’ new boy is the fourth top scorer in the league, having bagged six goals already this term. One of the keys to his secret is to make sure you hit the target, which he has done so 14 times this season, the third most shots on target of any Premier League player. He is 32/25 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Whilst Pelle continues to take the plaudits for his goal scoring, Morgan Schneiderlin has been the epitome of consistency behind him, as revealed by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The French international has also grabbed himself three goals and an assist, whilst racking up the fourth most passes in the Premier League with 564 passes completed. 301 of those passes have been in the opposition passes, illustrating the danger he possesses to the opposition goal. Off the ball, he works just as hard, winning the third most tackles in the Premier League with 35 tackles won.
At the back for the Saints, is one of only two people in the league with more tackles than Schneiderlin, Nathaniel Clyne, who has won 82% of his tackles, winning 41 overall. Behind Clyne lies Fraser Forster, who has kept five clean sheets; the most in the Premier League. He also has the best ratio of saves made to goals conceded of 3.4:1 and will look to improve that ratio even further this weekend.
Leicester v West Brom
Leicester find themselves perilously poised about the relegation zone, just a point ahead of 18th placed Sunderland. The foxes are now without a win in four since their exhilarating victory over Manchester United. We will take a look at the key players for the foxes this weekend to see where we think they can use their strengths to take all three points.
The brightest spark in the Leicester side this season has been Leonardo Ulloa, as backed up by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He is the fifth highest scorer in the league so far this campaign with five goals, scoring 50% of his total amount of shots taken this season. He’s also not afraid of doing his defensive duties having won 14 tackles and made 13 clearances, but it is certainly in the final third where the Argentinian forward earns his keep. He is 31/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Whilst Leicester are certainly capable of scoring, they will need to sure things up defensively, having conceded 15 goals in their opening nine games. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that we should be keeping an eye on Wes Morgan who has won 100% of his tackles so far this season. He has also racked up the fourth most clearances in the Premier League, with 90 clearances, made 21 interceptions and made 13 blocks. He will need to remain as rock solid as ever to deny West Brom’s in form front line.
Both Ulloa and Morgan will receive ample help from their teammates in their duties. Ulloa will be looking to Jamie Vardy, who has assisted five of Leicester’s 11 goals so far this season. Morgan will look to Ritchie De Laet for defensive cover, as he has won the fourth most tackles in the Premier League this year with 34 tackles won, 73.91% of his tackles overall. He also has the fourth highest amount of interceptions in the league with 29, and will look to maintain the high standards that he has set himself so far this season.
West Brom go into the weekend’s fixture without a win in three, having played out two draws with Manchester United and Crystal Palace, and suffering defeat at the hands of Liverpool. This weekend’s visitors to the King Power sit just one point above the hosts and will be looking to extend that margin to four points come 5pm on Saturday evening.
West Brom’s starlet this season has undoubtedly been England U21 international Saido Berahino, who has been firing on all cylinders. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that he has struck the net seven times this season, averaging a goal just over every 115 minutes. He has hit the target with 61.9% of his shots this season, and even more impressively, has won 72.2% of his tackles. However it is going forward where he will do damage to Leicester, and he is 8/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Across the middle of the park, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights two particular players to watch out for. When on the offensive, Chris Brunt is the man to watch, having created four goals for his teammates and completed eight crosses. On the backfoot, Craig Gardner is the man that Leicester will need to get past, having won 31 tackles so far this campaign, 73.8% of his overall tackles.
At the back, Craig Dawson and his fellow Baggies defenders will be charged with stopping Leonardo Ulloa. Dawson has started the season in impressive style as noted by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, having made nine blocks; the seventh highest tally in the league. The 24 year old Englishman has won 81.81% of his tackles, with 60 clearances and 18 interceptions to his name. He has even grabbed himself a goal, but will be fully focused on his defensive duties come Saturday.
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Aston Villa will be desperate to kick-start their season this weekend after suffering five defeats on the bounce. Villa will look to emulate their good start to the season, which saw them lie in second place four games into the season.
The key to their early season success was a solid defence, which saw them concede just one goal in four games. Villa’s Dutch international Ron Vlaar will be crucial to this, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The World Cup semi finalist has won 100% of his tackles so far this season, made 30 clearances, made six interceptions and made five blocks.
In front of the back four, Carlos Sanchez has a vital role to play in midfield, sweeping up anything before it gets to the defence. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Colombian has won 84.61% of his tackles so far this campaign. He has also hit the target with 100% of his shots and will also be hoping to contribute to Villa’s offensive game this weekend.
Up front, Villa are in desperate need of goals, having failed to score in their five consecutive defeats, only managing four goals in the league so far; the lowest tally in the Premier League. Both Andreas Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor have nettwe twice this season and will be looking to increase those tallies this weekend. Weimann has scored with 40% of his shots taken this season, and will be a threat if he can get his shots away on the weekend. He is 17/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Tottenham find themselves in a mid-table position going into the weekend, and will be looking to get back on track after two straight defeats have seen their assault on the summit of the table be halted. With a plethora of talent at their disposition, Tottenham will be looking to return from the Midlands with all three points on Sunday evening.
Spurs will be looking to improve on both their attacking and defensive records, but one player that cannot receive blame is Hugo Lloris. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the French national team captain is the number one ranked goalkeeper in the Premier League. The Spurs shot stopper has made the fourth most saves in the Premier League this season, having come to the rescue 29 times. He will be looking for his fourth clean sheet of the season on Sunday.
Defensively, Younes Kaboul has been a stalwart in defense for Tottenham so far this term according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The French defender has made thirty interceptions, the second highest tally in the Premier League. Spurs can also attack from the back, in particular Danny Rose, who has completed eight crosses this season; the seventh highest amount completed in the Premier League.
In the middle of the park, Erik Lamela has certainly found his feet in English football. The Argentinian star has showed his creative side by completing 26 dribbles, the third most in the Premier League, and by assisting three goals according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance.
When you add in Nacer Chadli’s four goals and an assist, Tottenham look like a real threat, and one that could beat any side on their day. He has also won 71.72% of his tackles according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, and his hard work is also reflected in his five clearances and seven interceptions. He is 13/4 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Stoke v West Ham
Stoke find themselves sitting comfortably in the mid-table positions, and will be looking to push themselves back into the top half of the league with their third home win on the bounce. Whilst Stoke have the joint third best defensive record in the league, they also have the joint third lowest goals tally, and we look at how they assess both areas of the pitch.
The goal threat this weekend from Stoke could well come from former England international, Peter Crouch, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Stoke front man has bagged himself two goals and an assist already this season. He also epitomises Stoke’s good defensive work having racked up five interceptions and 14 clearances so far this season, but it is at the other end of the pitch where Stoke really need him. He is 41/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
At the back, Stoke captain and leader has proved how he can be useful at both ends, having bagged himself a goal. However, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals his importance at the back, having won 77.78% of his tackles, made 75 clearances, 21 interceptions and 12 blocks. It is vital that he is on top form against a West ham side who are equally hot property at the moment.
Shawcross and his back defensive colleagues are playing in front of the more than capable hands of Asmir Begovic, who has started the season in outstanding form. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international keeper has made the fewest saves of any Premier league shot stopper according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with 12 saves made. When he has been called upon, he has been delivered, but this statistic speaks volumes of his teammates hard work in front of him.
West Ham will be buoyed by their victory over Manchester City last weekend, which was their third successive league victory in total. The Hammers are one of the leagues form sides and will be looking to make it four wins on the bounce this weekend, which could see them shoot up from fourth to second in the league.
West Ham’s in form goal scorer Diafra Sakho is proving too hard to handle for most of the defenders that he has encountered so far this season, netting five goals already. The Senegalese international has scored with 71.42% of his shots that have hit the target but his two assists also show that he can be just as creative as he is deadly at finishing. He is 9/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
English winger Stewart Downing is another West Ham player who is delivering at the top of his game at the moment. He has illustrated his qualities on the ball by delivering more crosses than any other Hammer this season, with 39 crosses, completing 33% of these. This data shown by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index show how Downing will be a constant threat, and can create chances in the blink of an eye for the East Londoners.
Whilst the Irons clearly haven’t had a problem scoring this season, they have only managed to keep one clean sheet, which was at home to fellow Londoners QPR. If they are to do so, Winston Reid will have to keep up his impressive start to the season, as highlighted by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Whilst having bagged himself a goal, the defender will be most pleased with his 91.67% of tackles won, 89 clearances and 14 interceptions. He will be up against a different type of challenge to that which he faced last week, the red hot Sergio Agüero, in the form of Peter Crouch.
Chelsea v QPR
The West London Derby is usually a fiery game and will be no different this weekend. Chelsea conceded another late goal in Manchester and came away with a point from Old Trafford last weekend. The Blues will be hoping to get back to winning ways with a victory over their local rivals.
Eden Hazard yet again recorded the most dribbles of any Premier League player last week, successfully taking on the United defence ten times. This now brings Hazard’s total to 48 successful dribbles for the season, 20 more than the next closest, Raheem Sterling, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Hazard has also completed the most successful crosses in the Chelsea side with six.
The Chelsea central defensive partnership of Gary Cahill and John Terry are both well known for their commitment to the cause, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reflects this, showing that the pair have made eight blocks each. Terry and Cahill are very even across the board statistically, making 53 and 55 clearances respectively. Chelsea have, however, conceded their last four goals in the final five minutes of the game. They are 25/1 with 888sport to concede between the 85th minute and full time this weekend against QPR.
Diego Costa is set to make his return to action this weekend and the striker is sure to stretch the QPR defence. The Spaniard has made more sprints in a single game than any other Chelsea player this season, with 80 sprints, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
QPR sit in 19th but will be hoping to gain some momentum off the back of their victory over Aston Villa.
Midfielder Karl Henry will be looking to provide some steel in the middle of the park for QPR this weekend. Henry has won 84.2% of his tackles so far this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, and will need to continue that record in to this weekend to keep the Chelsea midfield at bay.
QPR have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, despite the efforts of defender Steven Caulker. The Englishman has made more clearances (66) and more interceptions (21) than anyone else in the QPR squad, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. It would be no surprise to see both totals increase by a considerable amount this weekend.
Charlie Austin has now scored four goals this season, averaging a goal every 1.84 games. The striker has had nine shots on target and has scored with 23.5% of his shots on goal, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Austin is 10/1 to score first with 888sport.
Crystal Palace v Sunderland
Crystal Palace welcome Sunderland to Selhurst Park this weekend in an important game for both sides. Palace sit a point above the visitors and will be hoping to extend that lead this weekend.
Mile Jedinak is enjoying a fine season in the centre of midfield for Crystal Palace. Jedinak has won more tackles than anyone else in the Premier League with 43, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has also made the most interceptions in the entire division with 32, and is the joint top goalscorer among the Palace squad with three goals.
Fraizer Campbell is the player level with Jedinak for goals and has had 61.5% of his shots on target. Campbell is also the fastest player in the Palace squad, having been clocked running at 35.3km/h according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Campbell is 11/5 to score anytime with 888sport.
Campbell’s fellow Englishman Jason Puncheon has been impressive for Palace so far this season. Puncheon has more successful dribbles than anyone else in the Crystal Palace squad, with 17, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Sunderland will be hoping to bounce back from two defeats in a row, in which they conceded ten goals in total.
Despite enduring a rather torrid time of late, Sunderland’s keeper, Vito Mannone, has made the second most saves of any goalkeeper in the Premier League according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, having made 30 saves, only two less than Robert Green who has made the most saves in the Premier League. It is 51/10 with 888sport for Sunderland to win with a clean sheet.
Someone who will be assisting Mannone in search of a clean sheet is fullback Patrick Van Aanholt. The former Chelsea man has made more tackles than anyone in the Sunderland squad, dispossessing the opponent on 33 occasions this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
John O’Shea and Wes Brown have both made 41 clearances each this season, the highest total within the Sunderland squad, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Keeping tight at the back is vital for Sunderland if they are to come away with a result this weekend, and this pair are key to that.
Newcastle v Liverpool
Newcastle eased the pressure on manager Alan Pardew with an excellent 1-2 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane last time out in the league. After initially falling behind through Emmanuel Adebayor, Sammy Ameobi equalized almost immediately after the break before Ayoze Perez sealed the points for the Magpies.
Despite being noted more for his defensive capabilities and physicality on the ball, Moussa Sissoko also has plenty of attacking strings to his particular bow. He’s completed more dribbles than other player in the Newcastle squad (20) and, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, has completed more passes in the opponent’s half than any of his teammates in the league this season (213).
Defender Daryl Janmaat has adapted seamlessly to the life at Newcastle, seemingly relishing the physical demands placed on every player who plies his trade in the Premier League. He ranks second only to Fabricio Coloccini (71) the Magpies squad for defensive contributions in the league this season with 64 (blocks, interceptions, clearances, tackles won).
Jack Colback arrived at St James’ Park with a reputation for being one of the most tireless players in the league and he has continued to build upon that as part of Alan Pardew’s side. He’s covered a superb 104.9km this season, the highest total in the Magpies squad.
Liverpool were frustrated last weekend by Hull at Anfield, who held them to a hard-fought 0-0 draw.
Centre half Dejan Lovren is proving himself to be an excellent summer buy by Brendan Rodgers according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. As well as clearly being a vocal and commanding presence at the back, he’s won an exceptional 87.5% of his 24 attempted challenges this season, as well as racking up a total of 133 defensive contributions (blocks, tackles won, interceptions, clearances), a squad high.
As usual, Jordan Henderson has been working tirelessly, and selflessly, in the Liverpool engine room to ensure the players in front of him have plenty of possession and space to work with. He ranks second only to Raheem Sterling (536) in the Liverpool squad for total sprints (494) and has also covered an exceptional total distance of 91.7km in the league this term.
Mario Balotelli has come in for some criticism this season but his stats appear to show that he is getting himself into good positions, but just requires the confidence to put the finishing touch on his runs. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he’s let fly with 23 attempts on goal this season, placing him joint fourth in the league in this category. Balotelli is 5/1 with 888sport to score.
Arsenal v Burnley
Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light last weekend thanks to a brace from Alexis Sanchez who continues to seem intent on hitting the ground running following his arrival at The Emirates.
Alexis Sanchez has already adapted quickly to life in the Premier League and shown himself eager to get involved in both defence and attack. He’s already racked up 16 attempts on goal, as well as attempting more tackles than any other Arsenal player with 34, winning 64.7% of them.
Midfielder Mesut Ozil has been criticised in some quarters this season but the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows once again that he continues to be a key lynchpin in the Arsenal midfield. He’s completed 287 passes in the opponent’s half this season, second only to Santiago Cazorla in the Gunners’ squad.
Laurent Koscielny’s reading of the game continues to be exceptional this season, leading the Arsenal squad as he does for interceptions with 25. With Danny Ings showing he has the movement and technique to cause defences at this level problems, he will need to be on top form again this weekend.
Burnley’s problems in the league continued last weekend as they fell to a 1-3 defeat at Turf Moor. Despite Danny Ings first half strike, Sean Dyche’s men were unable to contain Everton’s attacking players and he will be looking for more solidity at the back against the Gunners this weekend.
It has been a difficult start to life in the Premier League for Burnley, with their defence having to get through plenty of work against some of the brightest attacking talents world football has to offer. Defender Jason Shackell has so far proved himself equal to the task though, as shown by the fact he is one of only two players, along with Hull’s Curtis Davies, to have moved into triple figures for clearances this season with 104 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Michael Kightly will have been glad to see Danny Ings get on the scoresheet last weekend despite the eventual loss to Everton. With his striker’s confidence building, he’ll surely have even more opportunities to target him from the flanks and add to his squad-leading total of 14 attempted crosses for the season. Ings is 18/5 to score again this weekend with 888sport and his chances may well be dependent on Kightly’s performance.
In Scott Arfield, Burnley clearly have a player willing to put in the hard yards for his team to try and drive them towards retaining their Premier League status this season. Arfield has ran for a tireless 107.9km this season, as well as completing 643 sprints, both squad bests.
Everton v Swansea
A brace from Samuel Eto’o, and a strike from record signing Romelu Lukaku, secured all three points for Roberto Martinez’s men as they beat Burnley 1-3 at Turf Moor to move up to 9th in the Premier League.
Leighton Baines has once again been in fine form this season in both defence and attack and he will no doubt be called upon again this weekend to stem the service to Wilfried Bony from wide positions. He’s won 76% of his 25 attempted tackles, as well as completing 11 dribbles and 268 passes in the opponent’s half.
Striker Samuel Eto’o proved he still has what it takes to make a decisive contribution at this level last weekend, utilising intelligent movement and experience to grab his two goals against Burnley. He’s had 10 attempts on goal so far this term, working the ‘keeper with 60% of them. Should he feature this weekend don’t be surprised to see him add to that total.
Phil Jagielka may have scored an early contender for goal of the season against Liverpool, but his focus clearly remains on his first job at the back for Everton according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He’s compiled a squad best 113 defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, tackles won, clearances)
Swansea’s star striker Wilfried Bony demonstrated his value to his side once again last weekend as he grabbed both goals to give the Swans a 2-0 win over Leicester and move them within just two points of the top four.
Bony has been in strong form in front of goal this season, so far carving out 25 chances for himself according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, working the ‘keeper with 56% of them. Expect the sturdy Everton back four to provide a strong challenge but if he can continue to find himself in good positions in front of goal then expect him to add to this tally this weekend.
Centre half Ashley Williams has once again been going about his work with ruthless efficiency this season. He’s rarely committed himself to tackles if another option is available, but when he has he’s almost always come out on top. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows us he’s won 91.7% of his 12 attempted challenges so far this season.
Wayne Routledge has been typically working defences again this season with his pace and dribbling ability. He leads the Swansea squad for dribbles with 18 this season and the Everton defence will have to be on their toes to cope with his pace and technique.