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.
Chelsea vs West Brom – Saturday 3pm
Chelsea welcome West Bromwich Albion to Stamford Bridge this Saturday after an international break that saw key players such as John Terry, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa rested. They come in to this game off the back of a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield, and will hope to pick up another three points in order to end the voodoo of November that has been experienced in previous seasons. Should they get through November without defeat, Chelsea could be on course to beat their record points total. They are 6/1 with 888sport to get 96-100 points.
Gary Cahill was one of the standout performers at Anfield, making vital blocks, interceptions and tackles. The centre back added two blocks to his tally against Liverpool, bringing his total for the season to eleven, meaning he has averaged exactly one per game so far this season. Cahill ranks 9th in the Premier League for number of blocks, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Nemanja Matic picked up the man of the match award however, and with good reason. The midfield enforcer made four successful tackles and three interceptions, meaning he has now made the joint fifth most tackles in the Premier League (39) and fifth most interceptions (21), according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Ramires made his return to action against Liverpool, and the energetic midfielder has an incredible record in terms of assists this season. Having played a total of 279 minutes, he has recorded three assists, averaging out at an assist every for every 93 minutes of football played.
West Brom lost last time out in a 2-0 home defeat to Newcastle. The Baggies sit mid-table in thirteenth, having picked up thirteen points over the course of the first eleven games. Chelsea represent one of West Brom’s toughest challenges so far this season and they will need to be at the top of their game in order to come away with a result.
The outstanding player for West Brom this season has without doubt been Saido Berahino. His form earned him a call-up to the England squad, but he is yet to make his debut for the international side. Berahino has scored seven goals in eleven games. The forward has 65% of his shots on target, with his 15 shots on target being the fourth best in the Premier League. 30% of Berahino’s shots have ended up in the back of the net, and the youngster is likely to pose the biggest threat to Chelsea on Saturday. He is 21/2 with 888sport to score first.
Craig Gardner returns from suspension against Chelsea this weekend and his manager has called for the same ‘bite’ that saw him suspended. The midfielder has an impressive tackling record this season, winning the joint fifth most in the division (39), alongside his aforementioned opponent, Nemanja Matic.
Chris Brunt has been impressive for West Brom so far this season, and has covered more ground than any of his teammates, ranking himself inside the top twenty in the league too. Brunt has covered a total distance of 114.9km, which averages out at around 10.4km per game. The midfielder’s work rate combined with his technique from both dead ball situations and open play has provided West Brom with an edge this season, and Brunt has laid on 4 assists for his teammates thus far.
Everton vs West Ham – Saturday 3pm
Everton face West Ham at Goodison Park this Saturday, and the Toffees will be hoping for three points, after drawing both of their last two games, leaving them tenth, and eight points behind their opponents West Ham who sit in fourth. Everton are 5/6 with 888sport to win this Saturday.
Leighton Baines dropped out of the England squad during the international break, but boss Roberto Martinez is hopeful he can make a return against West Ham. The left back has six assists from eleven games, the third highest total in the Premier League. The assists have largely come from Baines’ ten successful crosses, which is the sixth highest total in the division.
James McCarthy has shown further this season why Everton paid what they did for him by putting in some top performances this season. The midfielder has made eleven blocks this season, the ninth most in the league, and has also made 29 successful tackles, more than anyone else in the Everton squad.
Midfield partner Gareth Barry has made 375 passes in the opposition half so far this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, which ranks him sixth in the division – an impressive tally for a defensive midfielder. 88.9% of Barry’s passes have been accurate so far this season, and he is clearly a key cog in the Everton midfield.
West Ham are flying high at the top of the Premier League and currently sit in a Champions League spot. Sam Allardyce’s side have brought an impressive new attacking style to the table with the likes of Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho adding pace and energy to the side.
Sakho has been a revelation since signing from Metz in the summer and has scored six goals in only 648 minutes of football, averaging out at a goal every 108 minutes, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He remains a doubt for Saturday’s game but his manager will be hoping he can recover in time to return. Sakho is 11/5 to score with 888sport.
Another doubt for this weekend is Stewart Downing, who picked up a knock on his return to England duty. Downing earned his England call-up with some extremely impressive performances this season. He has put in 18 successful crosses, the second most in the Premier League, and he has been rewarded with five assists, placing him fifth in the division’s assist chart.
From the attacking third of the pitch to the man keeping things steady at the back, Winston Reid has earned himself numerous plaudits this season, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows why. Reid has made 104 clearances over the first eleven games, which is the fifth highest total in the league. Reid will be put to the test by Everton’s attacking talent but on this season’s form there is no reason why he cannot contain them.
Newcastle v QPR – Saturday 3pm
Newcastle find themselves going into this weekend’s fixture brimming with confidence after four wins on the bounce in the Premier League. They now find themselves sitting in eighth place in the league and another three points this weekend could propel them into the final Champions League spot.
A large part in the changing fortunes of the Magpies has been their defensive transition, having conceded one goal in their last four, compared to the 14 goals conceded in their first seven matches.
A major factor in this has been defensive stalwart Daryl Janmaat, who has looked every inch the part since joining in the summer. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that the Dutch international has made 29 interceptions, made 26 clearances and won 73.8% of his 42 tackles. He is equally adept at going forward, having scored once and created two goals, whilst completing 71.4% of his dribbles.
In the Magpies’ back-to-back wins, Ayoze Perez has been to Newcastle’s attack what Janmaat has been to the defence. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that the forward’s three goals have come at an average of every 100.6 minutes, converting 50% of his shots taken. The key to his success has been his work rate, with the striker completing 246 sprints in just 302 minutes of football, giving him an impressive average speed of 7.37km/h in the games that he has played. He is 33/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
The key to continuing Newcastle’s success may be to partner both Perez and Papiss Cisse up front together. Cisse has been on equally good form this season when he has played, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has scored once more than his colleague, netting four times, and has hit the target with 70% of his efforts, whilst grabbing himself an assist for good measure. A partnership between Perez’s work rate and Cisse’s pace could be threatening to any side, with the Senegalese international having hit a top speed of 34.35km/h so far this campaign.
This week’s visitors to St. James’ Park are the blue and white hoops of QPR, who played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Manchester City in their last outing. The Hoops still find themselves in the relegation zone but will come into the game with optimism having beaten Aston Villa and since delivered valiant performances against league leaders Chelsea and champions Manchester City.
The R’s will need to improve on their defensive record if they are to come away with the points, as they have conceded more goals than any other Premier League side. Key to changing this will be their rock, Steven Caulker, who has played every minute of football for QPR this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that he has made 23 interceptions and 94 clearances, and will need to add to these statistics to keep out Newcastle’s in-form strike force.
Ahead of him, Leroy Fer has found some good form for the R’s as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Whilst he has been unlucky to this the woodwork with 50% of his six shots this season, his defensive class is shown by the 71.4% of his tackles won and his offensive abilities demonstrated by his 73.3% of dribbles completed. Fer will look to deploy both of these elements to his game to give the R’s a stranglehold in the midfield battle.
Up top for QPR, Charlie Austin is undoubtedly their form man. Having scored four goals in his last three games, he will be looking to add to his tally again this weekend. The English striker has completed a highly impressive 456 sprints this season, and it is that work rate that will pose the biggest threat to the Newcastle back line. He is 23/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Man City v Swansea – Saturday 3pm
City will be looking to get back to winning ways, having been held to a 2-2 draw away at Loftus Road in their last outing. A win could put them within a point of second place Southampton, as they look to push onwards and upwards towards the summit of the league to successfully defend their title.
At times, Sergio Aguero has looked capable of beating teams on his own this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us just how important he is to the Blues, having scored his 12 goals at an average of just every 66 minutes. They key to his success is by getting his shots off on goal, and doing so accurately, as he has hit the target 30 times; more than any other Premier League player. He is 11/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Behind Aguero, David Silva is the magician who makes everything tick for Man City. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us just how important the Spanish magician is to Man City, having bagged two goals and two assists so far this term. He has completed 87% of his passes this season, and the 384 passes that he has completed in the opposition half is an illustration of the areas where he is likely to punish any Swansea errors.
At the back, Gael Clichy has started the season in fine fashion, and the left back’s prowess is shown by the 75% of tackles that he has won this season. He has also racked up 33 clearances and 26 interceptions this campaign, but his good work isn’t just in his own half of the pitch, and having racked up 471 sprints already this season, he can prove to be a threat in both ends of the pitch.
Swansea will undoubtedly be no pushover this weekend, even at a ground where it notoriously difficult to come away with a solitary point. Swansea have had a great start to the campaign, and another win on Saturday could see them climb level on points with their hosts, and put them into a possible third place in the league.
In accordance with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, every Swansea fan should be ecstatic to see Gylfi Sigurdson return to their team. The Icelandic star has scored twice for the Swans this season, and racked up an incredible seven assists, illustrating his undeniable talent on the ball. He has been in superb form and, having completed 84.86% of his passes so far this season, he holds the key to unpicking the City defence.
The man he will be looking to supply is Swansea striker Wilfried Bony. The Ivory Coast international has started the season well having scored four goals and grabbed himself an assist. Furthermore, Bony has even won 75% of his tackles, which is a demonstration of his work rate and application that are key to his goal scoring record. He is 5/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Whilst Bony will look to add to Swansea’s goal tally, captain Ashley Williams will be trying to keep the blue half of Manchester out at the other end. The Welsh international captain has been Swansea’s rock this year, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index illustrates this perfectly. The Swans’ centre back has won 92.3% of his tackles so far this season and racked up an enormous 108 clearances, but will need to ensure he matches his very best form against in the in form Aguero come Saturday.
Stoke v Burnley – Saturday 3pm
Stoke’s last Premier League outing saw them travel to Tottenham, from where they were to return with all three points following a 2-1 victory. They will be looking to bring that form back to the Britannia this weekend, as they take on Burnley, who are currently rooted to the bottom of the table.
Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross has started the season in typical fashion, proving to be the rock of the defence as shown by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The English centre back has won 77.3% of his tackles, made 90 clearances and 22 interceptions. He will need to ensure that he stays true to his form, to lead his team to three points and his back four to a clean sheet.
His leadership of the defence is under no question, and this is backed up by keeper Asmir Begovic. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international has only been called into action on 14 occasions this season to produce a save, meaning that he has had to make less saves than any other keeper in the league according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, at an average of 70.7 minutes per save.
At the other end of the pitch, Stoke will be relying on Mame Biram Diouf to deliver the goals for them. The Senegalese international has already bagged himself three goals this season from just 12 attempts on goal. Having completed 499 sprints and having hit a top speed of 34.29km/h, it is clear that his work rate and pace will pose a major threat to the Burnley defence. He is 6/4 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Burnley will come into this game with confidence having managed their first win of the campaign last weekend, with a 1-0 home victory over Hull. Not only will they be please with the three points, but another clean sheet will do them the world of confidence.
Tom Heaton will be thrilled with last weekend, as he managed to keep Hull at bay for what turned out to be his fourth clean sheet of the season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that Heaton has made 33 saves so far this season, averaging three saves per game. He will need to keep up the good work to help ensure a fifth clean sheet of the campaign.
In from of Heaton, Kieran Tripper has been Burnley’s start performer in the back four according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The right back has won 26 tackles, made 35 clearances and 19 interceptions. Going forward, he has also completed 64.3% of his dribbles, and having completed 17 crosses, could pose a threat with his delivery that has already seen him grab an assist this season.
Burnley will be hoping that Ashley Barnes will be able to deliver his second goal in as many games, having grabbed the only goal of the game against Hull last time out. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that he has had an average speed of 7.31km/h so far this season, and it is that consistent work rate that should yield Barnes with his reward. He is 22/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Leicester v Sunderland – Saturday 3pm
Leicester have made the best start to the season of the promoted sides, however still sit in 18th place on nine points. The game against Sunderland is one that both sides will view as a winnable tie and a much-needed win for Leicester could see them climb out of the relegation zone.
Leicester have now failed to score in their last four Premier League outings and will be looking to their talisman Leonardo Ulloa to break the curse. Having started the season in scintillating form, he and his teammates have been unable to help Leicester find the back of the net in their last four games. Ulloa still boasts an impressive scoring record of a goal every 169 minutes, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He is is 17/10 to score anytime with 888sport.
At the other end of the pitch, Wes Morgan has continued his impressive form at the back. The Leicester captain has now made 92 clearances, 25 interceptions and has won 92.9% of his tackles, as revealed by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Morgan has also made 17 blocks and will no doubt be looking to add to that statistic to help deliver a clean sheet for Leicester.
Ritchie De Laet’s has also started the season in fine form at right back for Leicester, and the former Manchester United right back’s prowess is highlighted by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. De Laet has won more tackles than anybody else in the Leicester squad having won 38 tackles with a win rate of 73.1%. He has also grabbed himself an assist and will be looking to double his tally to ensure Leicester find the back of the net this weekend.
Sunderland will go into this clash in optimistic mood after a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace and a draw with Everton see them sit three points ahead of their hosts in the league. Sunderland will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to three games and will be doing everything in their power to ensure that the three points come back with them from the Midlands.
No side above Sunderland in the league has scored fewer goals than the Black Cats, but Steven Fletcher looks to be going into the game in good goal scoring form. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that the Black Cats’ striker has scored his four goals from just 12 shots, converting 33.3% of his chances. Averaging a goal every 164.5 minutes, the Scottish forward is 27/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
In the middle of the park, Lee Cattermole has played 10 out of the 11 fixtures so far this season for the Black Cats this season, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index clearly shows why. The centre midfielder has won 28 tackles, made 28 clearances and also made 27 interceptions this season. He has covered 107.25km already this season, more than anyone else in the Sunderland squad and this energy and combative style will be crucial to Sunderland’s chances this weekend.
The only outfield player to have played every minute for Sunderland so far this season is former Manchester United defender, John O’Shea. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Black Cats skipper has won 93.75% of his tackles so far this term in addition to making 55 clearances and 14 interceptions. He will be a vital element to Sunderland keeping their third clean sheet of the season, but will hope that it results in three points rather than a third goalless draw of the season.
Arsenal v Manchester United – Saturday 5:30pm
Having gained their first back-to-back wins of the season against Sunderland and Burnley, Arsenal will be disappointed not to have made it three from three having conceded two late goals to Swansea last time out. They will still go into the game with confidence and sit a point ahead of this weekend’s visitors, but will be looking to put some distance between themselves and their old rivals, Man United.
Why will Arsenal go into the game with such confidence, you ask? The answer – Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean has been on outstanding form as highlighted by the EA SPORTS player Performance Index, having bagged himself eight goals at an average of a goal every 97.6 minutes. The key to his success is his accuracy, having hit the target with 72.7% of his shots. He’s also laid on two assists for his teammates, so his creative side poses another threat – when you add in his work rate of completing 512 sprints and his top speed of 34.21km/h, it is hard to contemplate stopping the striker. He is 13/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
If Sanchez is on fire, former Manchester United star Danny Welbeck will be fired up. The new Arsenal acquisition has delivered since his switch with two goals and three assists, and the Untied back line will know only too well the threat that he will pose. He will work tirelessly for the team, and had won 83.3% of his tackles and racked up 512 sprints. He will be keen to stamp his authority on the game, and will keep his former colleagues on their toes for every one of the 90 minutes.
If those two weren’t hard enough to handle, imagine throwing Aaron Ramsey into the mix! The midfielder has scored twice and laid on an assist so far this season, even showing his defensive side by winning 65.5% of his tackles. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that he has averages 7.41km/h across his game time so far this season, and it is that tirelessly work rate and fitness that could be telling this weekend.
United come into this game after their first win in four games in their last match at home to Crystal Palace, and will be hoping to leapfrog their hosts with a fifth victory of the season. It will be a tough challenge to come away with all three points this week, especially seeing as United are still in search of their first away win of the campaign.
Key to taking all three points back up north will be goalkeeper David De Gea, who has at times looked in inspired form for the Red Devils this term. The Spain international suffered an injury last weekend, and it is unsure as to whether he will play or not. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that he has made 24 saves so far this season, and United will need their star keeper to pull through and make the starting Xl.
It will be another return to The Emirates for former Arsenal skipper Robin Van Persie, who will have to be on top of his game to help silence the Arsenal crowd. The United forward will be looking to add to his three goals so far this campaign, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index gives a good indicator as to how he can do so. The Dutch international captain has only hit the target with 59.1% of his shots which, given his obvious talent, may somewhat disappoint him. He will be looking to hit the target this weekend, and he is 33/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Just like Arsenal, United’s star player this season has been their new South American signing, and Angel Di Maria will be no stranger to lining up against Sanchez after their time in Spain. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that Di Maria has scored three goals and created a further five goals for his team mates. This is hardly surprising, as he has completed 13 crosses and 20 dribbles, both of which are squad bests. He will be the man that Arsenal need to stop this weekend to ensure all three points remain in London.
Crystal Palace v Liverpool – Sunday 1:30pm
One of the most dramatic fixtures of last season, the last time these two sides met saw Liverpool all but end their title aspirations as Crystal Palace came from three goals down to end the game 3-3.
Since then, both sides have experienced a dip in form with Liverpool sitting in 11th and Crystal Palace just out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Much has been made of Liverpool missing the talismanic Luis Suarez this season, and of the form of replacement Mario Balotelli. As it stands, Balotelli has had the fourth highest shots at goal this season with 25, yet is yet to score in the Barclays Premier League, an almost inexplicable run of bad luck. However, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index has shown in the past that where players are getting the shots in the goals will soon start flowing. Balotelli is 7/4 with 888sport.com to score.
Dejan Lovren has come under criticism from some Liverpool fans this season, but the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has won the third highest number of clearances in the Barclays Premier League this season with 112.
One player who is only improving his reputation for Liverpool this season is Jordan Henderson. Under the tutelage of captain Steven Gerrard, Henderson has turned into a combative midfielder, currently ranked tenth in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles won with 33, 80.5% of all his tackles attempted and 12th for passes completed in the opposition half with 301.
The ever young Gerrard is, however, still outrunning Henderson. Gerrard has covered 73.65 miles this season compared to Henderson’s 71.12 miles, and averaged 6.7 miles per game compared to Henderson’s 6.47 miles.
Crystal Palace missed captain Mile Jedinak against Manchester United in their last league outing, and will welcome back the tough midfielder to compete against Gerrard and Henderson in the middle of the park. Jedinak is now ranked second for tackles won in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, having been over taken by Nathaniel Clyne while serving his one match suspension. Palace fans need not dismay, however, as the Eagles captain is still perched at the top of the rankings for most interceptions this season.
Crystal Palace fans will be excited to see how winger Yannick Bolasie stacks up against Liverpool’s full backs. Bolasie has attempted the third highest number of dribbles this season with 64, although just twenty of those have been successful. In comparison, former Palace player Victor Moses has attempted the same number but with 36 successful. Bolasie would do well to pick his battles against a Liverpool side who are dangerous on the counter attack.
Bolasie has also attempted 44 crosses this season, the sixth highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with just four successful and two assists. An exciting and skillful player, undoubtedly, but Bolasie will need to use the ball better if Palace are to recreate ‘Crystanbul’ at Selhurst Park. It is a whopping 65/1 with 888sport.com to see a repeat of that classic 3-3 scoreline.
Hull v Tottenham – Sunday 4pm
Hull come in to this weekend’s fixture without a win in four games, having suffered defeat of the league’s bottom club Burnley in their last outing. Hull will be hoping that they are running into Spurs at a good time as their opponents also failed to pick up any points last week and Hull will be looking to capitalize on any weaknesses.
Summer signing Abel Hernandez has impressed the Hull faithful when he has played this season, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights his impressive statistics. Hernandez has scored three goals in 599 minutes of football as well as managing a squad best eight attempts on target. He is is 51/20 to score anytime with 888sport.
Mohamed Diame has been very impressive in the middle of the park for Hull this season, since making the switch from West Ham, and has racked up 41 tackles won with a win rate of 61.3%. Diame also has the most dribbles within the Hull squad with 15 completed dribbles and is their joint top scorer on four goals, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Hull centre back and rock Curtis Davies has been in fantastic form this season, which is again highlighted by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Davies has won 74.1% of his tackles this season, made a remarkable 117 clearances and shown his quality reading the play with 32 interceptions. He is also not afraid to put his body on the line with 11 blocks made, and he will need to defend with the same fearlessness against the Spurs attack this weekend if Hull are to come away with all three points.
Tottenham will be looking to get back to winning ways this weekend having slipped up at home to Stoke last weekend. The men from White Hart Lane launched a stunning and late fight back against Aston Villa on their last away day to come away with all three points. Spurs will be hoping for a similar outcome but will want to avoid leaving it quite so late this time around.
Tottenham strike Harry Kane is rapidly building a reputation as one the best young strikers in the Premier League and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows us the level of contributions that he has made to the side. Despite playing just 185 minutes this season, he’s already racked up six attempts, with 83.3% of his shots hitting the target. Having already bagged one Premier League goal to seal the win against Villa, Kane will be keen to double his goals tally come Sunday, and he is 9/5 to score at any time with 888sport.com.
For someone at the tender age of just 20, Eric Dier has settled into first team football with great maturity and has take no time at all to adapt to the Premier League. The highly regarded defender has won 26 tackles already this season, with a win rate of 81.25%. The young Englishman is equally adept with the ball at his feet as he is defending, and has already found the net twice this season, making him one to watch at both ends of the pitch.
Dier will be learning a lot from playing alongside centre back Younes Kaboul this season, who is the only Spurs outfield player play all 990 minutes of Premier League football so far this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals how telling his contribution has been so far this season, having won 18 tackles so far this season, with a win rate of 75%. Even more impressive is his reading of the game which is consistently improving, and he has now racked up an impressive 32 interceptions. With his former ball playing teammates Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore lining up for Hull this weekend, Kaboul will need to ensure that he is perfectly positioned to add to his tally of picking off opposition passes.
Aston Villa v Southampton – Monday 8pm
Aston Villa host high flying Southampton on Monday night, with Villa sitting two points above the relegation zone while Southampton are enjoying an incredible start to the season in second place.
Villa turned around a run of six straight defeats with a heard earned point against another of the Barclays Premier League’s in form teams, West Ham, in their last outing, and so will feel confident facing West Ham.
That point was earned by a tight Aston Villa defence, including a superb performance by Brad Guzan. Guzan made five saves in the game, the second highest in the last round of games after Sunderland’s Costel Pantilimon. Overall, Guzan is ranked fourth this season for total saves, with 34 in 11 games.
Nathan Baker was another star performer, making 18 clearances, the third highest in the last gameweek. That took Baker’s tally of clearances so far this season to 71, ranked 17th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Ali Cissokho also put in a shift in defence in earning the clean sheet, winning six tackles and not losing out on a single one attempted. Cissokho’s hard work has epitomised his season, having covered the second most miles among the Aston Villa squad with 67.87 miles on the clock so far this season.
Ashley Westwood is the only player in the squad to have covered more ground this season than Cissokho, with 72.34 miles covered, the 14th highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. That feat is made all the more remarkable when you consider that Westwood is the only player in the top 25 for distance covered to have played ten games rather than 11 this season. Averaging 7.23 miles, he’s ranked sixth for average distance covered per game.
Much may have been made of Villa’s struggle to score goals, but fans may be surprised to hear that Weimann’s conversion rate this season is on a par with that of Sergio Aguero. Weimann has averaged 3.67 shots per goal this season – exactly the same as the Argentine hitman, and significantly better than Monday’s rival Graziano Pelle who averages 6.67 shots per goal. The stats show that if Weimann is given shooting opportunities then he is as reliable as any striker in the Barclays Premier League at putting the ball in the back of the net. Weimann is 10/1 to score first with 888sport.com.
Southampton have defied all expectations this season, sitting in second place after eleven games and four points above Manchester City despite losing a number of players over the summer.
Graziano Pelle was known for his free scoring in the Eredivise, and his continued this in the Barclays Premier League. Pelle has scored six goals this season from 40 shots on goal with 26 on target. Averaging 6.67 shots per goal, the Italian striker is not afraid to have a shot when the opportunity arises, though his conversion rate is not as clinical as some strikers.
Pelle’s goals have certainly helped Southampton’s rise up the league, but their defensive qualities have given him license to get forward. Nathaniel Clyne has won more tackles than any other players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 55. To put that in context, the second ranked player (Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak) has won 46. Pelle is 11/9 to score with 888sport.com.
Incredibly, Southampton have three of the top five players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles won. As well as Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin is ranked third with 43 won and Victor Wanyama fifth with 39.
Schneiderlin is also the engine room of the Southampton team, having covered more ground than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 83.44 miles. Aston Villa shouldn’t expect too much time on the ball against this defensively tough and hard working side.
Interestingly, Southampton only have one player in the top 30 for interceptions (Jose Fonte ranked 8th with 30) showing that Koeman’s side prefer to allow their opponents to receive the pass and then make a tackle, rather than attempt an interception and risk being caught out of place.