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.
Arsenal vs Leicester – Tuesday 10th February, 19:45
Despite going ahead thanks to a fine Mesut Ozil finish, Arsenal were unable to hold onto their lead as a Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham bounced back to claim a dramatic 2-1 win at White Hart Lane. Arsene Wenger will be keen for his men to quickly regain their previous momentum and secure all three points as they welcome Leicester to the Emirates this week.
Despite losing to archrivals Tottenham at the weekend, it was certainly not down to a lack of effort from Aaron Ramsey. The Gunners’ midfielder put in a typically all-action shift at the Lane, covering 7.3 miles according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with only Christian Eriksen (7.4 miles) covering more ground than the Welshman.
His midfield colleague Santi Cazorla has been similarly impressive this term and he will likely be key when a disciplined Leicester side visit the Emirate this week. The Spaniard has been in exceptional form both forwards as well as tracking back, recording an impressive 53.9% shot accuracy rate from 39 attempts this season, as well as winning 54.3% of his 70 attempted challenges. Cazorla is 28/13 to score at any time with 888sport.com.
A key moment for many spectators on Saturday was Danny Welbeck’s pace to get round Danny Rose on the right flank during the first half and his speed will potentially be a key weapon for the Gunners on Tuesday night. He’s hit a top speed of 34.3km/h this season, placing his fourth quickest in the Arsenal squad, and he will no doubt be looking to improve this ranking at every available opportunity.
Leicester remained bottom of the Barclays Premier League after they couldn’t find a way through a well-organised Crystal Palace side whose second half goal through joe Ledley proved to be the winner on Saturday.
Leicester will need Leonardo Ulloa to be fit and firing this week to improve their chances against Arsenal. The Argentinian has so far racked up 25 attempts on goal according the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with 48% of those being on target, meaning he has scored on average with every 1.71 shots he has had on target this term. Ulloa is 4/1 to score at any time with 888sport.com.
Wes Morgan will have to rally his troops this weekend to organise a solid defensive effort to keep Arsenal at bay at home, who currently sit third in the Barclays Premier League for total goals scored. He currently sits seventh overall in the league for total defensive contributions (block, clearances, tackles won, interceptions) with 300, 77 ahead of his nearest teammate in Marcin Wasilewski.
Midfielder Riyad Mahrez has so far been one of Leicester’s most crucial contributors in front of goal, compiling a squad-leading total of four assists so far this season, as well as 44 dribbles. Getting him on the ball whenever possible could well be part of the strategy for Nigel Pearson’s men this week.
Hull vs Aston Villa – Tuesday 10th February, 19:45
Hull looked on course for a shock victory at the Etihad at the weekend after David Meyler put Steve Bruce’s side ahead after reacting first to a rebounded shot in the first half. Hull couldn’t hang on to their lead though as a sublime free kick from James Milner at the death ensured the spoils were halved.
David Meyler was not content with putting his side ahead at the weekend, but also in keeping them there with a monumental performance. He not only covered more distance (7.9 miles), he also recorded more sprints (82) and a higher average speed (4.8mph) than any other player on the pitch at the Etihad according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Such work ethic should come as no surprise though, as this Hull side is full of hard workers. Jake Livermore in particular has distinguished himself this season for the lengths he has been willing to go to for his side, covering the fifth highest total distance of any player in the league this term with 265.5km to his name. That hard work may well translate into a goal against Villa and Livermore is an industry best 17/2 with 888sport.com to score at any time.
Curtis Davies will once again be the main man in defence for Steve Bruce’s side, responsible for marshaling what is a pacy Aston Villa attack. He currently ranks third in the Barclays Premier League for total defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, tackles won and clearances) with 338, meaning he has now recorded one on average every 5.3 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.
Despite managing to draw level through Jores Okore after Eden Hazard’s early opener, Paul Lambert’s side were not able to contain the league leaders for the full 90 minutes and eventually fell to a 1-2 defeat after Branislav Ivanovic’s winner.
Carles Gil has been impressing with his technique and vision since arriving from Valencia last month. However it is his willingness to work hard for his side that has also caught the eye, and was on show again last weekend against Chelsea. Only Ashley Westwood covered more ground for Villa than the Spaniard, who racked up 7.3km, as well as 34 dribbles. Gil is an industry best 6/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time.
Midfielder Carlos Sanchez has also brought a sense of renewed energy to the Villa midfield, quickly adapting to life in the Barclays Premier League. He’s so far recorded a completed pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 3.4 minutes that he’s been on the pitch so far for Villa, an impressive return.
Alan Hutton continues to quietly go about establishing some exceptional stats this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. So far he’s won 81.1% of his 53 attempted challenges this season, as well as a solid 79 clearances and 31 interceptions.
Sunderland vs QPR – Tuesday 10th February, 19:45
Sunderland clinched an important point away at Swansea on the weekend and Gus Poyet’s side have now gained four points from their last two games after going five games without a win.
Sunderland went ahead on Saturday thanks to a Jermain Defoe goal, his second in three Premier League games for Sunderland. Defoe has scored with exactly 50% of his shots, with 75% of his shots being on target on his return to England, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. In addition to Defoe’s shooting ability, 37.5% of his dribbles have been successful. Defoe is now only two goals away from being Sunderland’s top scorer for the season, with Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson both sat on four. Defoe is 18/5 to score first with 888sport.com.
Adam Johnson has also been a supplier this season. Despite only having one assist to his name, he has put in the twelfth most successful crosses in the Premier League with 15, and now with the clinical Defoe being in the side, Johnson will be hoping to increase his tally of assists. Johnson also has 32 successful dribbles, which is the second most in the Sunderland squad behind Santiago Vergini, who is on 36, but has played nearly 500 more minutes of football.
Seb Larsson is Sunderland’s highest ranked player on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Larsson has 54 successful tackles to his name, the best of any Sunderland player, as well as a squad best 436 passes in the opposition half. Most impressively, Larsson has covered the ninth greatest distance of any Premier League player this season, running a total distance of 256.6km.
QPR fell to a defeat at the hands of Southampton on the weekend, and remain under the caretaker guidance of Chris Ramsey. QPR sit in 19th place but could potentially escape the relegation zone with a win against Sunderland.
They will be without star striker Charlie Austin this weekend who looks set to be out for one to two weeks. The other attacking players will need to step up as Austin has scored more goals (13) than the rest of the squad combined (10). Second top scorer Leroy Fer could be the man they look to in order to fill the gap. Fer has the second most shots on target in the squad (10) behind Austin, who is well ahead on 35. Fer has recorded 37% of his shots on target. Fer is 14/1 to score first with 888sport.com.
Joey Barton is another player QPR will want to step up and the midfielder has covered the most distance per game of any player in the QPR squad. Having covered 10.74km per game, this also ranks Barton 21st for average distance per game in the entire division, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Richard Dunne has now been ruled out for around three months and despite featuring in only 17 of the 24 Premier League matches so far, Dunne still ranks inside the top ten in the Premier League for number of clearances, with 178. His fellow centre back Steven Caulker ranks above him in third place with a whopping 226 clearances, including eleven against Southampton last weekend.
Liverpool v Tottenham – Tuesday 10th February, 20:00
Liverpool will come into this fixture brimming with confidence, as they have now remained unbeaten in their last eight Premier League fixtures. The red half of Merseyside will be looking for their sixth win in nine this weekend as they look to move level on points with sixth placed Arsenal.
Key to their efforts will be stopping Spurs’ front line, which has been too much to ask for many teams in recent weeks. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights Martin Skrtel as the key man for Liverpool at the back having won 80% of his 30 tackles this season. His reading of the play will be crucial if he is to keep Harry Kane quiet, and will need to add to his already squad best 38 interceptions for the campaign.
In the middle of the park, Jordan Henderson continues to dominate the engine room for Liverpool, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Henderson has already covered 249.69km so far this term, and it is that fitness that has turned him into Liverpool’s new box-to-box midfielder, winning 55 tackles in reverse whilst racking up seven assists and two goals as well.
The biggest threat in the Liverpool side will come from Raheem Sterling, and his direct running style. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has already completed a squad best 73 dribbles and in combination with a top speed of 35.04km/h, he will pose an evident threat. Having already scored five times this season, he is 33/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
This week’s visitors to Anfield will be in an equally buoyant mood having gone one step better than Liverpool and taken all three points from their local derby on the weekend.
Whilst probably not spoken of as much as their star striker, the man at the other end of the pitch keeping the goals out, Hugo Lloris, as been in inspired form this season. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Belgian international shot stopper is the only Tottenham player to have played every minute of Premier League football this season, racking up 79 saves in the process, averaging 2.55 saves per goal conceded.
Another man who has been equally instrumental of late for Tottenham, is their Danish international midfielder Christian Eriksen. Whilst Eriksen’s goal scoring exploits and free kick expertise are plain for all to see, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that it is his fitness which is the secret behind his success, having covered 271.63km so far this season; no other Spurs player has yet passed the 200km mark.
The man that Eriksen will look to supply is Tottenham’s derby day winner, Harry Kane. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that Kane’s 12 Premier League goals this season have come at an impressive average of every 111.75 minutes. Kane is on average turning one in every 3.67 shots into the back of the opposition net, and is 19/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.