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.
Tottenham vs Arsenal – Saturday 7th January, 12:45
A brace from the in-form Harry Kane and an early strike from Christian Eriksen sent Tottenham on their way to a 3-0 victory over West Brom that moved Spurs up to fifth in the table. They will be full of confidence as they welcome fierce local rivals Arsenal to White Hart Lane this weekend.
There is no doubting who Spurs’ man of the moment is and Harry Kane shows no signs of slowing down his incredible run of form. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows us that he has racked up 40 attempts on goal leading to his 10 league goals so far this campaign. This means he is averaging a goal every 125 minutes so far this term, a ratio that could well help Tottenham into the Champions League come the end of the season. Kane is 6/4 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Behind Kane, Christian Eriksen has been the one pulling the strings in the Tottenham midfield, as well as popping up with some crucial later goals in recent weeks. The Dane has so far completed a standout 700 passes in the opponent’s half this season, placing him 7th overall in the Barclays Premier League in this category.
Expect Jan Vertonghen to lead the charge when it comes to repelling Arsenal’s inform attack this weekend. He’s been Spurs’ defensive rock so far this season, compiling a squad-best 211 defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, clearances, tackles won) so far this term.
Arsenal thrashed Aston Villa 5-0 at The Emirates last weekend, moving them level with Southampton on 42 points. All five goals were scored by different players and Arsene Wenger’s men will all need to be on form this weekend as they take on an in-form Tottenham side in their own backyard.
Hector Bellerin scored his first goal for the Gunners last weekend but it was his all-round performance that had impressed prior to his late strike. Another accomplished outing should have come as no surprise though given his performances in recent weeks. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Bellerin has won a remarkable 85% of his 20 challenges so far this season whilst conceding only one foul.
Another one of the Gunners’ standout performers against Villa was Francis Coquelin, once again assuredly shielding his back four and anchoring the Arsenal midfield. Clearly he is relishing his newfound responsibility, his statistics showing that he has made a defensive contribution once every 6.6 minutes he has been on the pitch this season, as well as 102 completed passes in the opponent’s half.
Santi Cazorla has begun to find some of his best form in recent weeks, combining his passing range and vision with some superb defensive work. His commitment to the Arsenal cause can be seen by his sheer workrate on this pitch, given that he has covered 222.1km so far this season, the highest total in the Arsenal squad. Cazorla is 17/5 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Leicester vs Crystal Palace – Saturday 7th January, 15:00
Leicester lost their second league game in a row as they fell to a 3-1 defeat to Manchester Utd at Old Trafford. Marcin Wasilewski grabbed a consolation goal for the Foxes, and Nigel Pearson will be hoping his side can re-group ahead of the visit of a rejuvenated Crystal Palace.
Riyad Mahrez has continued to be one of Leicester’s best performers in front of goal this season, racking up an impressive 29 attempts on goal. To date only 58.6% of these have been on target but more goals will surely be on the way this season if he continues to get in good positions. Mahrez is an industry best 53/10 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Defender Wes Morgan will likely be charged with containing a rejuvenated Palace attack this weekend. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Leicester captain has so far won an excellent 95.5% of his 22 attempted challenges this season, as well as completing a squad-best 290 total defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won).
Paul Konchesky has been using all of his previous Premier League experience to good effect this season, repeatedly getting into advanced positions to help out his more attacking colleagues. He’s completed more passes in the opponent’s half than any other Leicester defender this season, with 277 to his name so far.
Alan Pardew suffered his first defeat as Crystal Palace manager thanks to an early goal from Everton’s Romelu Lukaku which saw the Toffee’s head back to Goodison with all three points after a 0-1 victory.
Crystal Palace will be keen to get Yannick Bolasie involved as soon as possible now that DR Congo’s African Cup of Nations has come to an end. His creativity has been one of the major positives of their season so far, his 53 dribbles and five assists both squad bests according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Dwight Gayle has consistently impressed up front for Palace in recent weeks, appearing to have taken up the challenge laid down by new manager Alan Pardew for the Eagles’ more creative players to start asserting themselves on games. He has done exactly that with five goals from just 12 attempts on goal. Gayle is 45/17 with 888sport.com to score at any time this weekend.
Defender Joel Ward will no doubt be in the thick of it again this weekend as he looks to shut down the Leicester attack. His stats show that he is more than up to the challenge though, leading the way for defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, clearances, tackles won) as he does with 213 to his name.
Manchester City vs Hull – Saturday 7th January, 15:00
Manchester City had Sergio Aguero to thank as they held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge last weekend, Manuel Pellegrini’s men immediately hitting back after going behind to a poacher’s goal from Loic Remy.
Despite often going under the radar in comparison to some of his colleagues, Jesus Navas has been enjoying an excellent season so far. Not only is he joint-top of the City assists chart with six, he’s also recorded an impressive 1,225 sprints so far this season, another squad-best. This means that he has broken out into a sprint on average once every 1.2 minutes that he’s been on the pitch this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Navas is 37/10 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Another quieter performer, Martin Demichellis, has similarly been excelling this season. In fact, he’s been Manchester City’s standout defensive player so far this campaign, racking up an incredible 198 total defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, tackles won, interceptions) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Fernandino will most likely once again be key in the middle of the park for Manchester City this weekend, particularly in the continuing absence of Yaya Toure. The Brazilian attempted the second-highest number of tackles in the last round of fixtures with 12, winning 58.3% of them.
Hull face a stern test against the reigning champions this weekend as they travel to the Etihad following a demoralising 0-3 defeat at the hands of Newcastle last time out in the league. Steve Bruce will be looking to rally his men though as they prepare to take on some of the league’s best.
Jake Livermore will likely have his hands full trying to contain a talented Manchester City midfield this weekend, however his statistics suggest he will relish the challenge. He’s won a sterling 73.9% of his 92 attempted challenges so far this season, as well as 44 interceptions and 11 blocks.
Support for the midfield from the back will likely come primarily in the shape of Curtis Davies, the Hull centre-half producing some solid defensive statistics this season. To date, he’s racked up a squad-best 398 defensive contributions this season (blocks, tackles won, interceptions, clearances), a figure which also puts him behind only Swansea’s Ashley Williams (387) in the Barclays Premier League.
Midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady has been one of Hull’s most active players when on the pitch this season, and he will likely once again be put to the test this weekend if Manchester City look to dominate possession. It’s just as well then that he currently ranks fifth in the Barclays Premier League for total sprints with 1,303, at an average rate of one every 1.6 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season. Elmohamady is 20/1 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Aston Villa vs Chelsea – Saturday 7th January, 15:00
Aston Villa host top of the league Chelsea this Saturday and will be looking to bounce back to goalscoring ways this weekend after scoring just one goal in their last eight Premier League matches.
Villa do possess a lot of direct runners in attack, including Andreas Weimann, and should really be able to pose a threat to the opposition goal. Weimann has completed the 17th most sprints in the Premier League this season with 1,212, averaging out at 55.1 sprints per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
As well as Weimann, Gabby Agbonlahor is another player with an abundance of pace, and should he put that to use against Chelsea he could cause some problems. Agbonlahor has run at the 15th fastest speed of any player in the division so far this season, being clocked running at 34.8km/h (21.6mph) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Agbonlahor is 12/1 to score first with 888sport.com.
Villa do also possess the eleventh most successful tackler of any midfielders in the Premier league. Tom Cleverley has successfully won 55 tackles, which also ranks him inside the top 20 players of any position for tackling. Cleverley has won 72.4% of his tackles according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
It is looking increasingly unlikely that Cesc Fabregas, Filipe Luis or John Obi Mikel will return from injury this weekend, and there are also fresh concerns for Willian’s fitness, in addition to Diego Costa’s suspension. This could provide an opportunity for new signing Juan Cuadrado to make his Premier League bow against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Kurt Zouma has impressed lately, so much so that he appears to be establishing himself as part of Chelsea’s first choice central defensive partnership, alongside John Terry. In the 226 minutes of Premier League football that Zouma has played, he won 100% of his attempted tackles (6/6) and made four interceptions, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
In front of him, Nemanja Matic continues to shield the defence, and according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Matic has made the most tackles in the entire division, winning the ball 86 times so far this season. As well as this, Matic has covered the second most ground in the Premier League, running a total distance of 257.2km so far this season, which is just over 2km less than Christian Eriksen, who has played a game more than Matic.
Ahead of Matic, the man who continues to stand out in the Chelsea attack, Eden Hazard now has eight goals and six assists, after setting up Loic Remy’s goal against Manchester City last week. Hazard has 109 successful dribbles, which is the most in the league, as well as having the eleventh highest tally of sprints in the division, with 1,254. Hazard is 22/5 to score first with 888sport.com.
QPR vs Southampton – Saturday 7th January, 15:00
QPR go in to the game against Southampton this weekend under the guidance of Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond, after Harry Redknapp’s shock resignation this week. The caretaker managers will be hoping for a win in what could potentially be their only game in charge of the club.
Mauricio Isla has been impressive this season, despite QPR’s league positioning, and is ranked ninth in the league for number of successful tackles with 61, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. This is especially impressive, as Isla has featured in 18 games this season, which is less than every player ranked above him.
As well as Isla, Steven Caulker has put in some impressive performances at the back for QPR, and has made the fifth most clearances in the Premier League, clearing his lines on 215 occasions so far this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Further up the pitch, Leroy Fer is having an equally important impact. Fer is twelfth in the league for successful dribbles with 45 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Fer also has the most passes in the opposition half out of any QPR player, making 398. Fer is 16/1 to score first with 888sport.com.
Last weekend, Southampton slipped to their first defeat in the Premier League since December. Manager Ronald Koeman will be keen to ensure they bounce back to the winning ways that helped the Saints on their climb in to the top four.
Steven Davis has been a regular for Southampton this season; featuring in 22 of the 23 Premier League games. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that, with 522 passes, Davis ranks in the top twenty in the Premier League for number of passes in the opposition half.
Southampton have some pacey players in attack, including the likes of Saido Mane, but it is their right back Nathaniel Clyne who tops the speed charts for the Saints. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Clyne has been recorded running at 34.5km/h (21.4mph).
Centre forward Graziano Pelle has run the furthest of any Southampton player, alongside the suspended Ryan Bertand. Both players have covered 230.6km in total this season, which ranks them both inside the top 20 for distance covered in the Premier League, Pelle has also had the most shots on goal in the league (66) and is 16/5 to score first with 888sport.com.
Swansea City vs Sunderland – Saturday 7th January, 15:00
Swansea bounced back from their 5-0 loss to Chelsea in superb style last weekend, winning away at in-form Southampton. Garry Monk will be hoping to build on this and pick up another win against Southampton.
Swansea will look to their leader Ashley Williams to guide them to another victory, and he is in fantastic form as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Williams has racked up an impressive 276 clearances, and his impressive performances mean he is one of only five outfield players to have played every minute of Premier League football in whole division.
New boy Jack Cork will be hoping to come in and aid his new side straight away. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Cork should be able to do just that, having won 88.9% of his tackles so far this season and completed 86.9% of his passes. Cork is 13/2 to score a debut goal with 888sport.com.
Swansea are a side that look to share the workload and are one of the best teams in the league at forcing errors, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Swansea have three players in top 11 for interceptions in the Premier League with Williams 5th on 59, Rangel 7th on 55 and Neil Taylor 11th on 51.
Visitors Sunderland will come into the match with optimism having taken all three points from their last match, by beating Burnley 2-0. After a tough run of January fixtures, Sunderland will look to kick start their season by gaining back-to-back wins to keep them climbing up the table.
Sebastian Larsson is arguably the hardest working member of the Sunderland side, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has covered a squad best 244.79km already this campaign, helping him to grab four assists and three goals in the process.
At the back, Santiago Vergini has impressed this term, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Vergini has won 60.8% of his 74 tackles so far this season, also racking up 79 clearances and 36 interceptions.
Up top, Sunderland will hope that Steven Fletcher can deliver the goods. The EA SPORTS Player Performance can reveal that Fletcher has converted 40% of his shots on target, and he will look to add to his four goals this weekend. He is 3/1 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Everton v Liverpool – Saturday 7th February, 17:30
Everton come into this weekend’s Merseyside Derby on the back of a good win away at Crystal Palace, and will be hoping to make it back-to-back wins this weekend. Everton managed to pick up a point away at Anfield earlier on in the season, but will be hoping to go one better this weekend.
Key to that will be hard work, and Gareth Barry is one man who epitomises that philosophy. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has covered a squad best 234km so far this season and he has also won a squad best 49 tackles this season, winning 62% of his overall tackles.
Another diligent member of the Everton side is England international left back Leighton Baines. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that only Barry has covered more ground than Baines, who has completed a remarkable 1,240 sprints so far this season. On the ball, Baines will cause trouble with his delivery, having completed a squad best 17 crosses, racking up eight assists.
The man that he will look to turn provider for is Romeu Lukaku, who has now netted seven goals, converting 25% of his shots on target, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. On top of his strength and power, Lukaku has also hit a top speed of 33.6km/h so far this season, and will threaten Liverpool with his pace. He is 11/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
The red half of Merseyside will also not be looking to settle for a point this weekend, and come into the match as one of the league’s form sides. They are unbeaten in seven, having won five of those matches, including winning their last three on the bounce. However, they will be wary of complacency in the knowledge that anything can happen in a Derby.
It is crucial that they stay tight at the back on the weekend, and Martin Skrtel will be the man charged with that duty. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that Liverpool’s rock has won 23 tackles already this season, which amounts to 79.3% of his overall tackles. He has also racked up a squad best 211 clearances and another squad best, by making 38 interceptions.
In the middle of the park, Jordan Henderson has continued to impress, as illustrated with the help of the statistics provided by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The England international has already covered a squad best 238.07km so far this season, and his hard work has been the key to his success. He has also won a fantastic 54 tackles so far this season, winning 75% of his overall tackles.
Liverpool will look to their England international starlet Raheem Sterling to deliver the goods going forward. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the England winger has already completed a squad best 72 dribbles. His pace will pose a major threat, having hit a top speed of 35.04km/h. He will pose a major threat with that pace, and he is 43/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Burnley v West Brom – Sunday 8th February, 12:00
This weekend sees Burnley play host to West Brom as they go in search of their first win in three, after back-to-back defeats. Burnley will go into the match in high sprits due to their good home form this season and they will look to leapfrog their opponents with victory this weekend
In defence, Burnley will look to their most consistent performer, Kieran Trippier, to steady the ship. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has already covered 238.36km this season, making him Burnley’s hardest working defender. He has also racked up a squad best 52 interceptions as a consequence of his hard work, and will hope that this yields the same result this weekend.
In midfield, George Boyd is Burnley’s toughest working player in the squad, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The Scotland international midfielder has covered a squad best 247.18km already this season. No other player has covered more ground than Boyd in a single match in the Premier League, having covered 13.55km in one game.
Up top, Danny Ings has been in sensational form this season, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has now netted seven times this season, converting 38.9% of his shots on target. Having also provided three assists, Ings can be both a threat in scoring and turning provider. He is 17/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
West Brom sit just two points above their hosts this weekend and they will be looking for victory this weekend in order to provide themselves with a cushion above the relegation zone. Whilst West Brom will be looking for their first win in three, they have only been beaten once in their last four matches, and will look to kick start a run this weekend.
The Baggies will be hoping for another big performance from their former England international shot stopper, Ben Foster. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Foster has averaged 2.03 saves per goal conceded this season, having already racked up 61 saves. He will be hoping to add to that tally this weekend and keep his third clean sheet in four matches.
At the back, new boy Andre Wisdom has had a great first half to the season with West Brom, and will be hoping to maintain that form this weekend. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Wisdom has covered a squad best 217.78km already this term, also winning 68.6% of his 35 tackles this season.
Going forward, West Brom will look to their talisman Saido Berahino to deliver the goods. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that his pace has helped him grab nine goals this season, having hit a top speed of 33.69km/h this term. He is 21/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Newcastle v Stoke –Sunday 8th February, 14:05
Newcastle have gone through a period of mixed form of late, but will be glad to be back on winning terms after their fantastic win away at Hull. Newcastle will look to kick start a run on the back of that victory with a second victory this weekend that would see them leapfrog this weekend’s visitors.
Having picked up a clean sheet last weekend, Newcastle will hope their defence delivers once again. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, summer signing Daryl Janmaat has been in outstanding form, having won a squad best 62 tackles.
In the middle of the park, Jack Colback has been the star of the engine room as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has covered a squad best 257.1km already this term. His hard work extends to his tackling too, having won 52 tackles so far.
Up top, Garcia Perez Ayoze is the third summer signing who has most impressed on Tyneside, as revealed by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. His five goals this term have come from just 25 shots. He has hit the target with 64% of his shots, and he will threaten the Stoke goal if he can further improve that figure. He is 19/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Stoke are coming in to this match on the back of some good form, having won their last two matches, and having picked up 13 points from a possible 18 since Christmas. Stoke will be confident of securing victory on Sunday and further solidifying their position in the top half of the Premier League.
One of Stoke’s most consistent performers this season has been their Bosnia and Herzegovina international shot stopper, Asmir Begovic. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Begovic has averaged 1.71 saves per goal conceded this term, making 48 saves in total. He will be hoping to extend that ratio with a fourth clean sheet in seven matches.
In the middle of the park, Steven N’Zonzi continues to set the standard for Stoke. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has covered a squad best 255.85km already this term, whilst also completing a squad best 598 passes in the opposition. He will prove a threat if he is allowed time on the ball in the opposition half.
Jon Walters will come into this fixture buoyed by his hat-trick last weekend against QPR. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that Walters has now scored seven times this season, converting 50% of his 14 attempts on goal. Even more impressive is that he has hit the target with 71.4% of his attempts, and he is 31/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
West Ham v Man Utd – 8th February, 16:00
West Ham will come into this fixture having suffered their first defeat in four matches at the hands of Liverpool last weekend. West Ham will still come into the match with confidence though, and will be looking to make it two wins in three to help them climb back up the top half of the Premier League.
This season has seen Adrian become a mainstay in the West Ham side, and his performances have been of a consistently high quality, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Adrian has already racked up 78 saves for the Irons this term, at an average of 2.89 saves per goal conceded. He will be looking to further extend that ratio with his second clean sheet in three matches.
At the back, Aaron Cresswell has been simply outstanding for the Irons. According to the EA SPORTS player Performance Index, he has covered a squad best 243.37km this term, and it is that hard working nature that has delivered such high caliber results for Cresswell. He will also pose a threat going forward, having completed 14 crosses and created three goals for his side.
One man that he will look to turn provider for is Andy Carroll. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that Carroll has bagged his five goals this term from just 12 attempts on target, converting 41.7% of those opportunities. West Ham will be hoping that he continues to deliver the good for them this weekend.
Manchester United come into this game having begun to find a semblance of form again, having won their last two matches in the Premier League. Having re-gained third spot from Southampton, United will hope that a third win on the bounce will put them in touching distance of second place rivals, Manchester City.
United will hope for a big performance from their star performer David De Gea. The Spain international shot stopper has ben in fantastic form, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. De Gea has averaged 1.82 saves per goal conceded so far this campaign, racking up a total of 62 saves. Much like Adrian, he will be hoping for his second clean sheet in three matches.
In front of De Gea, Daley Blind has started to find his feet in the holding role for United, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Last week was arguably his finest performance in a red shirt, having grabbed two assists and dictated the tempo of the game, completing 97 passes; 94.2% of his passes overall. West Ham will need to get close to him to ensure that he doesn’t have the same freedom in possession this weekend.
Up top, one of Blind’s two assists was setting up Robin van Persie’s ninth goal of the season. Van Persie, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, has now covered 204.42km so far this season, and will look to maintain that work rate this weekend. He is 32/25 to score anytime with 888sport.com.