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.
Hull vs Newcastle – Saturday 31st January, 12:45
Hull will be keen to bounce back at home to Newcastle this weekend following a 3-0 defeat to West Ham last time out in the league, a result which saw them remain just inside the bottom three.
Midfielder Jake Livermore has been highly impressive in the Hull engine room this season and will no doubt play a pivotal role should he feature this weekend. Not only has he made the second highest number of passes in the opponent’s half of any Hull player (398 – behind only Ahmed Elmohamady on 408), he’s also won 75.3% of his 85 attempted challenges according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
No Hull player can topple Curtis Davies for sheer amount of defensive effort this season though. He’s racked up more defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, clearances, tackles won) than any other Hull player this term with 328.
Gaston Ramirez has been getting into some solid positions in front of goal this term, with only Nikica Jelavic having recorded more attempts on goal in the Hull squad. Hernandez’s 48.3% shot accuracy rate from 29 shots on goal suggests there is more to come from the Uruguayan forward this season and he is one the Newcastle defence will have to keep a sharp eye on. Ramirez is 9/2 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Despite managing to claw a goal back after going 1-0 down at home to Southampton, Newcastle eventually went down 2-1 thanks to a brace from Eljero Elia.
Midfielder Jack Colback has been a truly pivotal figure in the Newcastle midfield this season, quickly rising to the top of the statistics charts across the board for the Magpies. He has now completed a squad-high 436 passes in the opponent’s half this term, at an average rate of one every 4.3 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.
Ayoze Perez has quickly become a fan favourite at St James’ Park and his EA SPORTS Player Performance Index statistics suggest that he is not far away from adding to his tally of five goals so far this season. He’s quickly racked up 23 attempts on goal, working the ‘keeper with 60.9% of them. Perez is an industry best 5/2 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Defender Daryl Janmaat also continues to impress following his summer arrival on Tyneside. Not only has he attempted more challenges than any other Newcastle player this season with 81, he’s also won an excellent 76.5% of them according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Crystal Palace vs Everton 15:00
An incredible fightback from Crystal Palace saw them recover from going 2-0 down to Burnley at Turf Moor, with a brace from Dwight Gayle and another from Jason Puncheon saw them return to London with all three points.
Forward Dwight Gayle has certainly responded to the gauntlet thrown down to him and Palace’s other creative players by Alan Pardew following his return to Selhurst Park. Gayle has now registered five goals in the league this season from just nine attempts on goal to complement his overall 77.7% shot accuracy rate. Gayle is 27/10 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Defender Martin Kelly has been quietly going about his business this season but has rapidly developed into an integral part of Palace’s defensive unit. He has the best tackle success rate of any Eagles player to have attempted more than 40 challenges, winning 86.7% of his 75 attempted tackles this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Alan Pardew will be looking forward to welcoming back Yannick Bolasie from the African Cup on Nations, with the winger’s devastating pace and ability set to be a crucial asset in the second half of the season. Despite currently being away representing his country, Bolasie still leads the Palace squad for both dribbles and assists, with 53 and five respectively.
A missed penalty from Kevin Mirallas proved a defining point in Everton’s last league game against West Brom as they saw the game finish 0-0.
Leighton Baines continues to be a real problem for the opposition at both ends of the pitch this season. Palace will have to be mindful when attacking his channel that he doesn’t not dispossess them and then immediately launch a counter-attack, given his excellent 75% tackle success rate and squad-leading eight assists. Baines in an industry-best 7/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
On the other flank, Palace will have to be equally aware of Seamus Coleman’s attacking threat given his seemingly endless ability to reach top speed. He ranks first amongst all Barclays Premier League defenders for total sprints with 1,220 to his name so far this term. This means he is averaging one sprint every 1.4 minutes he is on the pitch according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
If Palace are to score this weekend they will have to get through Phil Jagielka first, a difficult task at the best of times but even more so when the Toffee’s captain has been in such consistent form this season. He’s made more defensive contributions (block, clearances, tackles won, interceptions) than any other Everton player this campaign, amassing a highly impressive total of 275.
Liverpool v West Ham – Saturday 31st January, 15:00
This weekend will see Liverpool going in search of their third straight victory in the league, and what would be their fifth victory in six matches, yielding a total of 16 from a possible 18 points. Liverpool will be oozing confidence, and will certainly look to take all three points to please the Anfield faithful.
One man who inspires his side and fans more than any other is Steven Gerrard, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal why. The Liverpool skipper is his sides top scorer in the league with five goals and remains a master of distribution, having completed 935 passes with a completion rate of 86%. If he is given time on the ball this weekend, he will dictate play and pose a major threat to West Ham.
His teammate and fellow Englishman Jordan Henderson has also had a fantastic first half of the season, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Henderson has completed a squad best 981 passes with a completion rate of 82.2%, helping him set up seven goals this season. Off the ball, Henderson is arguably Liverpool’s hardest worker having won 50 tackles, winning 73.5% of his overall tackles, and having covered a squad best 227.44km this term.
The third of Liverpool’s England internationals to feature at the World Cup, Raheem Sterling, will likely pose the biggest threat to West Ham. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that Sterling has hit a squad best to speed of 35km/h and that pace could cause the Hammers a big problem. Sterling has already set up six goals this season and scored four, and is 31/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
West Ham will post a stiff threat to Liverpool’s five match unbeaten run this weekend, as they look to extend their own unbeaten run to four matches. Avoiding defeat will ensure that the Irons stay above their hosts this weekend, but they will be keen to seal all three points and potentially climb into fifth spot.
One man who has been vital to them this season is their in-form shot stopper, Adrian. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that the Spanish keeper has played in every game for the Hammers this season, making 73 saves already, at an average of 2.92 saves per goal conceded. He is going in search of back-to-back clean sheets, to help further increase that figure and deliver another great win for West Ham.
In front of Adrian, Aaron Cresswell is having a fine season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The English left back has covered a squad best 233.56km already this term, showing why he is West Ham’s only outfield player to have played every minute of Premier League football for them this season. In defence, he has won 34 tackles, winning 69.4% of his overall tackles, also making 89 clearances and 16 interceptions. He will prove vital to West Ham maintaining their solid back line and helping to keep another clean sheet.
At the other end of the pitch, Stewart Downing will pose a goal scoring threat and is one for Liverpool to watch out for. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that Downing has scored five times this season, converting 38.5% of his shots on target. He can also pose a problem in turning provider, having completed 31 crosses and racking up eight assists. He is 15/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Manchester United v Leicester – Saturday 31st January, 15:00
The red half of Manchester will be looking to kick start another good run of form this weekend, after their first win in four games against QPR. They now sit 12 points behind league leaders Chelsea but will be hoping to take a small step towards the summit this weekend with a victory that could see them overtake third place Southampton.
Key to delivering on that objective will be United’s in-form shot stopper, David De Gea. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that the Spain international has now made 62 saves so far this season, at an average of 2.95 saves per goal conceded. He will need to maintain his fine form to ensure back-to-back clean sheets and deliver all three points for the Red Devils.
United’s skipper Wayne Rooney has also had a great first half to the season, and will want to continue that form, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The United and England captain has covered a squad best 198.38km already this season, and it is his hard work that will see him reap the rewards. He already has eight goals to his name so far this campaign, and he is 23/25 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
If Rooney alone doesn’t pose enough of a threat, then Leicester will also have the pleasure of trying to deal with Robin van Persie. Just like Rooney, he has scored eight times this season, also illustrating his hard work by winning 16 tackles, winning 72.7% of his overall tackles, and covering 194.01km in the process he is 3/4 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
This weekend’s visitors to Old Trafford come in the form of Leicester City, who will come in search of a victory that will take them off the foot of the table, and potentially out of the relegation zone. The Foxes are in good form for a team in their position, and will be looking for a third win in five games to take a weight off their shoulders.
Leicester will need to remain solid in defence in order to get something out of the game, and Wes Morgan will be at the heart of that unit. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has won 20 of his 21 tackles, winning a staggering 95.2% of all of his tackles this season. His reading of the play is vital to Leicester, having racked up a squad best 180 clearances and another squad best 55 interceptions.
A solid back line will also need to be combined with hard work, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates why Paul Konchesky is a key player for the Foxes. He has covered more ground than any other player in the Leicester squad, covering 193.65km already this term. He has also managed to win 30 tackles, winning 81% of his overall tackles, made 70 clearances and made 41 interceptions. If he can pop up with a winner for the second time this season, he will further endear himself to the Leicester faithful.
However, that role is more likely to fall on the shoulders of the talented Leonardo Ulloa, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals why. The Argentinian forward has netted seven times already this season, converting 58.3% of his shots on target. If he can get more shots off on target this weekend, he will pose a major threat to United, and he is 37/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Stoke v QPR – Saturday 31st January, 15:00
This weekend will see Stoke take on QPR at the Britannia Stadium, and the home side will be looking to find back-to-back wins for the first time since their two wins in three days after Christmas. Stoke lie ten points clear of this weekend’s visitors and will be hoping to pick up all three points to cement their position in the top half of the Premier League.
The only man to be ever present on the pitch for Stoke this season is Asmir Begovic, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals why. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international shot stopper has racked up 45 saves already this season, making an average of 1.7 saves per goal conceded. He will be looking to keep his fourth clean sheet in six Premier League matches to help secure the points for Stoke.
At the other end of the pitch, Jon Walters is in top form for Stoke and has had a great first half to the season, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Republic of Ireland international has hit the target with 63.6% of his 11 shots, converting four of his opportunities with an average of just 2.75 shots needed per goal scored. He is 47/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
In the middle of the park, Steven N’Zonzi has been Stoke’s most consistent performer, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal his best-kept secret. N’Zonzi has covered a squad best 244.38km already this campaign, and it is that hard work that sees him perform at such a high standard. This hard work sees him on the ball a lot of the time, and is why he has completed a squad best 567 passes, and off the ball he has also racked up 18 interceptions. He will be vital to Stoke’s back four as he patrols in front of them, and in setting up play going forward.
This weekend will provide QPR with another opportunity to get their first away points on the board, climb out of the relegation zone and potentially slip into 14th position in the league.
Vital to the R’s being able to achieve this will be another big performance from their impressive shot stopper, Rob Green. The former England international has been in great form, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Green has already made an impressive 81 saves this season, at an average of 2.25 saves per goal conceded, and he will be hoping for his first clean sheet in four.
In front of him, Stephen Caulker has been in fantastic form, and epitomises the hard work that is required from the Rangers players. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has covered a squad best 203.35km already this season, and is the only member of the Hoops to pass the 200km mark. He also holds a squad best for the number of clearances made, with a massive 215, and also has 42 interceptions to his name. Come Saturday, he will need to be the ever-present rock that he has been so far this season for QPR.
At the other end of the pitch, the R’s will most certainly look to their talisman Charlie Austin to deliver the goods for them. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that Austin’s 13 Premier League goals this season have come at an impressive average of 133.8 minutes, and that he has hit the target with 66.7% of his 51 attempts. He is 47/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Sunderland v Burnley – Saturday 31st January, 15:00
This weekend will see Sunderland aiming to pick up all three points for the first time in six games, having gone through a sticky patch of form that has seen them pick up just one point from their last six matches. Although currently level on points with this weekend’s opposition, home support could well be the difference for Sunderland who can climb as high as twelfth with a win.
Sunderland will look to Scotland international Steven Fletcher to deliver the goods with weekend, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates why. Fletcher has four goals to his name, and has converted 40% of his shots on target so far this season. He is 7/4 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Adam Johnson, who has had a great first half to the season for the Black Cats, will provide a second threat. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Johnson has likewise netted four times this season, converting 44.4% of his shots on target. He has also completed a squad best 14 crosses, which means that he could just as likely turn provider, as he is to score himself.
In the middle of the park, Sebastian Larsson has been the main man for Sunderland, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can illustrate why. He has covered a squad best 232.97km already this season, and will hope that his hard work can help Sunderland win the midfield battle this weekend.
Burnley will provide a stern test for Sunderland this weekend, and will be looking to leapfrog their hosts with a victory this weekend. Burnley’s last Premier League outing saw them suffer their first defeat in four matches, and they will hope to bounce straight back this weekend.
Key to this will be their shot stopper, Tom Heaton, who has been in good form for the Clarets, as shown by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Heaton is the only member of the Burnley squad to have played every minute of Premier League football this season, racking up 70 saves in the process, at an average of 1.94 saves per goal conceded. He will need to be in top form this weekend to keep his first clean sheet in seven games.
In front of him, Kieran Tripper has arguably been Burnley’s most impressive performer in defence so far this campaign, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. His hard work has seen him cover 227.92km already this season, helping him to rack up 85 clearances and 47 interceptions. He will have to be on top of his game to deliver the same consistent results this weekend.
Going forward, Burnley will look to George Boyd to inspire them, through the use of his hard work. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Boyd has covered the most ground in the squad, completing 238.44km. He is also the only Premier League player to cover over 13.2km in a match, which he has done on three separate occasions. Boyd will hope that his hard work delivers his fifth goal of the season for him, and he is 24/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
West Bromwich Albion vs Tottenham Hotspur – Saturday 31st January, 15:00
West Brom host sixth place Tottenham Hotspur at The Hawthorns this Saturday and are unbeaten in their last three Premier League games. A win could see them climb to as high as 12th, but a defeat could leave them perilously close to the drop zone.
Saido Berahino has had a great season so far and finds himself fifth in the Premier League goalscoring charts, with Charlie Austin the only Englishman ahead of him. Berahino has scored nine goals in 22 matches and has a shot conversion rate of 22.5% according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Berahino is 23/5 to score first on Saturday with 888sport.com.
Joleon Lescott has also been impressive this season, and has made plenty of defensive contributions. Lescott has made the fifth most blocks in the division, with 21, and is also in the top ten in the league for interceptions, having cut out the opposition’s passes on 49 occasions, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Ben Foster has been a stalwart in the Albion goal this season, and with good reason. Foster has made 60 saves in total, the eighth most in the division. For every goal he has conceded, Foster has made 2.2 saves, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Last time out in the Premier League, Tottenham defeated Sunderland 2-1 thanks to yet another late Christian Eriksen winner. Spurs will be hoping to build on this win and keep the pressure on those in the top four.
Eriksen’s late goalscoring antics have been invaluable to Spurs this season, but it is not just his goals that are important to the side. Eriksen has covered the most ground out of any Premier League player, covering 24.77km over the first 22 games, averaging out at 11.26km per game. Eriksen is 15/2 to score last with 888sport.com.
Hugo Lloris has been one of Spurs’ top performers this season, and has made more saves than his opposite number Foster, with 73. He has, however, conceded more goals but regardless has a better saves per goal ratio, with 2.4 saves made for every goal conceded, in comparison to Foster’s 2.2. Lloris’ 73 saves made is the third highest number in the division, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Ryan Mason has become a regular in the Spurs side since his impressive debut versus Arsenal and in the fifteen games he has played, he has made 49 tackles, averaging out at 3.3 successful tackles per game. His 49 tackles is the greatest total in the Spurs squad, however he is second to Benjamin Stambouli in terms of tackles per game, with Stambouli managing 3.7 successful tackles per match (26 tackles in seven games).
Chelsea vs Manchester City – Saturday 31st January, 17:30
Top of the table Chelsea face second placed Manchester City to Stamford Bridge, in a game that could see them go eight points clear with a win. Chelsea welcome their all time top goalscorer Frank Lampard back to Stamford Bridge for the first time since his move to Manchester City which is set to add an extra bit of spice to the match.
The man who took Lampard’s number eight shirt, Oscar, has been somewhat an unsung hero in the Chelsea side this season. The Brazilian playmaker has contributed directly to thirteen goals, with six goals and seven assists in his eighteen Premier League appearances. Oscar, on average, scores or assists a goal every 109 minutes, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Oscar is 9/1 to score first with 888sport.com.
Oscar’s thirteen goals and assists is matched by the man who many consider as the star of the side, Eden Hazard. Hazard has scored eight and laid on five goals for his teammates this season, but his ability to beat a man and cause panic among defenders is perhaps his outstanding feature. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Hazard has completed 106 successful dribbles, a whopping 32 more than the Premier Leagues second most successful dribbler Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Many have spoken about John Terry being in the best form of his career and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index would support this view, as the Chelsea captain ranks as the top defender in the Premier League. Terry has made 33 successful tackles, 115 clearances, 18 interceptions and 17 blocks over the course of the Premier League season so far.
Man City have the chance to close the gap to two points with a win, and although Yaya Touré and Wilfried Bony are away at the African Cup of Nations, they will be hoping to take advantage of the expected absences of Chelsea’s key men Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.
Sergio Aguero is back fit and looks set to play, and he will be the man Jose Mourinho’s side will be most wary of. Aguero has scored fourteen goals in seventeen matches this season. Aguero has recorded 58.3% of his shots on target this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He is 5/1 to score first with 888sport.com.
The man looking to feed Aguero will be in-form David Silva, who has so far this season, in sixteen matches, been directly involved in ten goals. Silva has scored six goals and made four assists, but his influence in the final third is even more important. Silva has made the sixth highest number of passes in the opposition half in the Premier League thus far with 689, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
The man who the spotlight will be on, however, is Frank Lampard. Having scored the equaliser against Chelsea at the Etihad, the Blues will recognise him as a major threat, should he feature. Lampard has played just 397 minutes of Premier League football this season, but has scored five goals, meaning he has scored a goal every 79 minutes on average.
Arsenal vs Aston Villa – Sunday 1st February, 13:30
A resolute and disciplined display from Arsenal, accompanied by a man-of-the-match display from Santi Cazorla, saw the Gunners defy the odds to beat Manchester City 0-2 at the Etihad and rejuvenate their top four ambitions.
Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla was the standout player on the pitch last time out against Manchester City and the Gunners will likely look to get him on the ball as much as possible against Aston Villa to make the most of his vision and passing range. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he’s completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 2.2 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season, a total he will no doubt be looking to add to this weekend.
Alexis Sanchez’s incredible start to life in the Premier League continues apace as the Chilean shows no signs of slowing down. His close control has been particularly on show this season, a fact demonstrated by his ranking third in the Barclays Premier League this season for total dribbles with 72. Sanchez is 13/16 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Midfield enforcer Francis Coquelin has emerged as a key figure in the Arsenal engine room in recent weeks, demonstrating to the Arsenal fans that he has what it takes to start every week for the Gunners. His defensive record so far this season is excellent, the Frenchman winning 80% of his 20 tackles so far this season, conceding just eight fouls.
Despite an improved performance after the break, Aston Villa were unable to find a solution to going 1-0 down to Liverpool, with the match eventually finishing 0-2 to the Reds, leaving Villa three points above the bottom three.
‘Keeper Brad Guzan will likely be in for a busy afternoon on Sunday if his Villa side find the Gunners in good form but his EA SPORTS Player Performance Index statistics show him to be more than up to the task if that is the case. He ranks as the sixth most active shot stopper in the Barclays Premier League this season with 69 saves to his name.
Fabian Delph’s all-around game has been of huge important to Paul Lambert’s this season, particularly when he gets the chance to turn and run at the opposition. No Villa player has completed more dribbles than Delph, who currently has 28 to his name. Delph is an industry best 16/2 to score at any time with 888sport.com.
Alan Hutton has been more than solid for Villa this term, providing exceptional defensive stability when called upon. He is Villa’s leading tackler this season, winning an exceptional 80.4% of his 51 challenges this campaign whilst conceding just 12 fouls.
Southampton vs Swansea – Sunday 1st February, 16:00
Southampton continue to push for Champions League qualification and remain in third place in the league. Southampton are unbeaten in six in the league, including wins against Everton, Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as a draw against Chelsea.
Nathaniel Clyne has been one of the key factors in Southampton’s form, putting in solid displays both offensively and defensively. The right back has made the most tackles of any Premier League player with 83, averaging out at 4.15 successful tackles per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Ryan Bertrand, on the other side of the Southampton defence, has been equally impressive. Bertrand has covered more ground than any other Saints player this season, covering a total of 22.1km, averaging out at 10.5km per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Ahead of Bertrand and Clyne, Southampton’s wingers have been in top form this season, particularly Dusan Tadic. Tadic is joint second in the Premier League assists chart having set up his teammates on eight occasions, largely due to the quality of his crossing. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Tadic has put in the second most successful crosses in the Premier League, finding a man 34 times in total this season. Tadic is 6/1 to score first with 888sport.com.
Swansea sit in 9th place in the league, but are currently on a run of four games without a win and will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways against Southampton.
Swansea captain Ashley Williams has had a great season at the back for Swansea and has recorded some very impressive statistics on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Williams has made the most clearances of any Premier League player (263) as well as making the fourth most interceptions in the division (55).
Gylfi Sigurdsson will definitely be a big miss for Swansea following his suspension. Sigurdsson is joint second in the Premier League assists charts, alongside Southampton’s Dusan Tadic, on eight assists. Sigurdsson has made 445 passes in the opposition half, more than any other player in the Swans’ squad, and in addition to his assists he has netted four goals in the Premier League. Swansea will be looking to their other attacking players to step up in his absence.
One of the players looking to step up in his place will be Jefferson Montero. The pacey winger has completed the eighth most successful dribbles in the Premier League according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with 52, which is especially impressive as Montero has only featured in seventeen of the 22 Premier League fixtures so far. Montero is 20/1 to score first with 888sport.com.