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.
Crystal Palace v West Brom – Saturday 18th April, 15:00
High-flying Crystal Palace welcome former manager Tony Pulis back to Selhurst Park, as he brings his West Brom team who still need a couple of wins to drag them away from the drop.
Yannick Bolasie was the star of the show for Alan Pardew’s men against Sunderland last time out, bagging a hat trick in just eleven minutes. It was a scintillating performance from the wide man, as he worked in tandem with Wilfried Zaha on the opposite flank to give the Sunderland defence a torrid time. Between them, they completed more dribbles than any other player in the division, with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index showing that Bolasie completed seven and Zaha eleven. If you fancy Bolasie to hit the back of the net again this weekend, then head to 888sport.com who have the wide man at 29/10 to score at any time.
Mile Jedinak is a player highly regarded by both fans and coaching staff at Selhurst Park as he provides a perfect shield to his defence, allowing the more offensively-minded players to pile forward at every opportunity. This ability of his to protect the back four was evident again on Saturday as he made a total of five interceptions, which was the most in the Palace lineup. This takes his total of interceptions for the season up to 74, which is more than any midfielder in the league.
One man who’s on fire at the minute in the Premier League is Eagles striker Glenn Murray, as he’s scored a number of important goals in recent weeks to help propel Palace up the table. Murray is always a handful for defenders in the air, but what isn’t always appreciated is his tendency to run and run for the sake of the team, hassling defenders into making a mistake. This outstanding work rate of his was on show against Sunderland, as he ran a total of 11km – which was the second most in the Palace squad (with only Mile Jedinak running more).
A last-gasp winner from Jamie Vardy condemned West Brom to a disappointing defeat at the hands of Leicester in the last round of Premier League fixtures. Although relegation appears unlikely, the Baggies are in need of a win to ensure that the gap between themselves and the bottom three doesn’t get any smaller.
West Brom will have been extremely disappointed to concede three goals to bottom side Leicester, particularly as it’s very unlike Pulis sides who have traditionally been extremely solid at the back. However, if it wasn’t for the performance of Joleon Lescott, three goals could have been turned into more. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that Lescott made an impressive 16 defensive contributions (based on tackles won, blocks and interceptions), which was more than any other West Brom player.
Since arriving at The Hawthorns in January, Darren Fletcher has brought a wealth of experience to the team, as his career at Manchester United brought him a whole host of trophies and titles. Additionally, the Scotsman has brought energy to the midfield, with the former United man guaranteed to cover every blade of grass for the sake of the team. This desire to get up and down the pitch was evident on Saturday as he ran a total of 11.4km, which was more than any other West Brom player.
Since the turn of the year, one of the most impressive performers in the Premier League has arguably been Baggies striker Brown Ideye, who despite being close to leaving the Hawthorns in January, has netted a number of crucial goals in recent weeks. Unsurprisingly, considering his recent glut, he has the highest shot accuracy of any West Brom player, hitting the target with 57% of his efforts. If you think Ideye will add to his tally for the season this weekend, head to 888sport.com who have him at an industry best 33/10 to score at any time.
Everton v Burnley – Saturday 18th April, 15:00
Aaron Lennon’s second goal for Everton since arriving on-loan from Tottenham helped the Toffees maintain their four game unbeaten run. They host Burnley, requiring a win to help boost their hopes of securing a top-four finish.
Everton’s recent resurgence seems to have coincided with the return of Ross Barkley to the coveted number 10 role, with the England international pulling the strings just behind the front man. Barkley displayed his excellent array of passing again against Swansea, completing an impressive 29 passes in the opposition half – which was more than any of his teammates. If you fancy Barkley to hit the back of the net this weekend, head to 888sport.com who have him at 14/5 to score at any time.
Although often understated, Roberto Martinez’s best signing since taking the reins at Goodison Park has arguably been defensive midfielder James McCarthy. The former Wigan player has time and time again shown his ability to act as an excellent anchor man, protecting the defence and making important challenges to prevent goalscoring opportunities for the opposition. His willingness to cover ground was on show against Swansea with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index showing that he ran a total 11.2km.
Leon Osman’s return from injury is a real positive for Roberto Martinez, as the experienced midfielder has been an important member of the squad for a number of years. The England international has always had a knack of picking up goals at crucial times and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows why, as he has managed to hit the target with 76% of his shots – a higher percentage than any of his teammates.
It’s getting to crunch time for Burnley, with only six games left to ensure they preserve their Premier League status. After a tough run of fixtures including playing five of the top seven in their last five outings, Burnley will be keen to kick-start their push for survival with three points this weekend.
Despite a spirited performance, Arsenal were ultimately too good for Burnley as Sean Dyche’s men succumbed to a 1-0 defeat. With eight shots on goal, though, it was hardly as if the Clarets were failing to carve out chances. Central to this effort was midfielder David Jones who completed an impressive 23 passes in the opposition half – the most in the Burnley squad.
In Michael Duff, Burnley have one of the oldest players in the Premier League, with the Northern Irishman still plying his trade at the age of 37. With age comes experience, and Duff certainly used this to great effect against the Gunners, making a total of 20 defensive contributions (based on blocks, tackles won, interceptions and clearances). This was the most in the Burnley squad and the second most in the Premier League.
It was no surprise to see George Boyd cover more ground than any Burnley player in their game against Arsenal. The Scotsman has continuously run the furthest distance in Burnley’s fixtures this season, which he did yet again by covering 13km against Arsenal – the most in the Burnley squad. If you fancy Boyd to hit the back of the net this weekend, head to 888sport.com who have him at 27/5 to score at anytime.
Leicester v Swansea – Saturday 18th April, 15:00
Whilst still remaining at the foot of the table, Leicester will come into this weekend’s match full of confidence after back-to-back victories. What is more, you can be sure that Leicester won’t stop giving it their all until the final whistle having secured two last gasp winners in their previous victories, so there will be no respite for the Swansea back line.
Leicester will be hoping for another dominant performance from their centre back and skipper Wes Morgan this weekend. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that Morgan has won 41 tackles so far this season, 93.2% of his overall attempts, also making 274 clearances, 73 interceptions and 39 blocks. He will need to further add to those tallies in order to keep the Swans at bay.
In the middle of the park, the Foxes will look to the experience of Esteban Cambiasso to guide them to a third successive victory. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that he has completed a squad best 402 passes in the opposition and will look to get on the ball to dictate to the tempo of the play from the off. He also has the ability to find the net, having scored four times so far this season, converting 80% of his shots on target.
Last weekend’s match winner was Jamie Vardy, who’s late strike sealed all three points for the Foxes. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has now racked up three goals and 10 assists so far this season. One of the keys to his success is his commitment in defence as well as attack, having won 24 tackles already this season, 85.7% of his overall attempts. He is 23/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Swansea will also come into this fixture on the back of a good run of form, having drawn with Everton on the weekend to make it seven points from a possible nine. The Swans will be looking for their third win in four this weekend to consolidate their league position and push for a late run at catching both Tottenham and Liverpool, who lie ahead of them.
Swansea will be looking for another big performance from their shot stopper Lukasz Fabianski this weekend to help keep Leicester at bay. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has racked up 106 saves already this season, at an average of 2.65 saves per goal conceded. He will be looking for his second clean sheet in four to help deliver three points in front of the Swansea travelling faithful.
At the heart of the back four, Ashley Williams will be leading the Swans and organise the defence. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has won 34 tackles so far this season, 69.4% of his overall attempts. He has also racked up 351 clearances, 81 interceptions and 33 blocks and will look to add to all of those respective tallies this weekend.
In the middle of the park, Ki Sung-Yeung’s hard work has been one of the keys to Swansea’s success this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance can reveal that he has covered a squad best 323.14km so far this season, also completing a squad best 577 passes in the opposition area. Off the ball he has won 44 tackles, 68.8% of his overall attempts, whilst making 61 interceptions. He has also netted seven times this season and is 6/1 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Stoke v Southampton – Saturday 18th April, 15:00
Stoke will be looking for a big push to end their season on a high, and will hope to kick on from taking a good point against West Ham last weekend. The Potters will be looking to go one better this weekend to help them leapfrog last week’s opponents and move them within a point of eighth-placed Swansea.
Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross will once again look to lead the line for the Potters, as he has done all season long. The Stoke centre back, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, has won 34 tackles so far this term, 70.8% of his overall attempts. He has also racked up 195 clearances, 41 interceptions and 25 blocks and will hope to add to those respective tallies with another high-class performance. To top it off, he will pose a major threat from set pieces, having already found the net twice this season.
In the middle of the park, Steven N’Zonzi’s hard work has proved priceless in the midfield battles this season for Stoke. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has covered a squad best 357km already this season, winning 57 tackles in the process, 71.3% of his overall attempts. He has proved just as important on the ball as he has off it, having completed 841 passes in the opposition area already this term. He will be the man that Southampton needs to get close to in order to stop him from dictating the pace of the game.
Up top, Stoke will be looking to Ireland international Jon Walters to deliver the goods for them. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has bagged his seven goals this season from just 12 shots on goal, turning 58.3% of those chances in to goals. His hard work has proved to be a major factor in his success, having won 18 tackles so far this season, 85.7% of his overall attempts. He is 9/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Southampton have proved themselves to be one of the league’s top sides this season, and will be looking to back that up with a second victory on the bounce. The Saints have surpassed most people’s expectations to find themselves in sixth place, and they will hope that another win could see them climb to fifth, within striking distance of Manchester City and a Champions League spot.
Southampton will be looking for a solid performance from Jose Fonte, who will be the defensive leader again for them this weekend. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has covered a squad best 310.72km already this campaign, winning 66 tackles in the process, 83.5% of his overall attempts. He has also amassed 166 clearances, 94 interceptions and 18 blocks and, if in similar form this weekend, it will prove a challenge to the Stoke front line to break his defensive resolve.
In midfield, Dusan Tadic has been a fresh addition at St Mary’s this season, providing flair and creativity. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has a direct side to his game having completed 20 dribbles this season, and has the ability to create having completed a squad best 41 crosses and another squad best eight assists. He also poses a goal scoring threat, and will be looking to add to his tally of four goals for the season so far.
Up top, the man that Tadic will look to turn provider for is Italy international forward Graziano Pelle. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has hit the target a squad best 32 times, and will hope that his accuracy on goal will yield a 10th goal of the season. He has converted 28.1% of those chances in to goals, and will hope to further boost that ratio this weekend. He is 31/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Chelsea vs Manchester United – Saturday 18th April, 17:30
Chelsea have the opportunity to take another step closer to the Premier League title this weekend by beating one of the chasing pack and gaining three of the twelve points required for them to win the league.
Cesc Fábregas clinched the all-important winner last weekend against QPR and the midfielder will be looking to build on that performance. Fábregas has an incredible 17 assists in the Premier League, five more than anyone else in the division. This is largely down to the Spaniard’s influence in opposition territory, completing more passes than any other player in the opposition half with 1,344 – 57% of his total passes.
John Terry has been in superb form at the back for Chelsea this season, and will be in the mix alongside the likes of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa to win Chelsea’s Player of the Season. Terry has made 261 defensive contributions (tackles, blocks, interceptions and clearances combined), the best in the Chelsea squad, including 25 blocks – also the highest total of any Chelsea player, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
In the absence of Diego Costa and Loic Remy, Didier Drogba looks set to lead the line again against Manchester United, just as he did at Old Trafford earlier this season where he grabbed a goal. Drogba has scored a goal on average every 170 minutes of football this season, which is better than one in two. Drogba has scored three goals from only six shots on target in the Premier League, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Drogba is 51/10 to score first with 888sport.com.
Manchester United have been in superb form in the second half of the season and are mounting a late title challenge. A win at Stamford Bridge would put some pressure on Chelsea, however anything else would all but end their challenge.
Marouane Fellaini has helped to revive Man United’s season, pitching in with important goals and some big performances. The imposing midfielder has been impressive in front of goal this season and has managed to put 16 of his 27 shots on target, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, which has led to five goals.
Another key to Manchester United’s improved form in the second half of the season is Juan Mata, who is returning to his former club. Mata records a goal or assist every 153 minutes of football he plays on average, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, including eight goals in the campaign thus far. He is also in the top 20 for passes in the opposition half, despite having had less time on the field of play than many of those surrounding him.
Wayne Rooney, however, has been arguably United’s best player this season. Since moving back in to his preferred striking position, Rooney has prospered. The England captain has put 51.1% of his shots on target, and has scored with 26.7% of them. Rooney is 11/2 to score first with 888sport.com.
Manchester City vs West Ham United – Sunday 19th April, 13:30
Manchester City will be hopeful of improving their current form in order to confirm their spot in the top four. With Liverpool four points behind them, a win is imperative and will allow them to push on and chase down those who have overtaken them in recent times.
Sergio Aguero added two goals to his tally against Manchester United last week in his quest to win the golden boot. Aguero is now the joint top scorer alongside Diego Costa and Harry Kane on 19. He has put 49 shots on target, the most in the entire division, which is 52.7% of his total shots on goal, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Aguero is 14/5 to score first on Sunday with 888sport.com.
The next highest goalscorer in the City squad is David Silva on 11, who has also laid on seven goals for his teammates, meaning he is directly involved in a goal every 119 minnutes on average. Silva has made the fourth greatest number of passes in the opposition half in the Premier League with 1,150 – only beaten by teammate Yaya Toure as well as Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas.
Another player who has had a decent season is England keeper Joe Hart. Hart has made 63 saves in total according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Hart has kept ten clean sheets, which works out to be one clean sheet every three games. Hart has made 2.1 saves per game on average in the Premier League this season.
West Ham now sit in ninth place in the Premier League and with the likes of Crystal Palace and Stoke breathing down their neck they will be looking to take advantage of City’s recent form and secure a top half finish.
West Ham keeper Adrian’s star has risen this season, and his performances have been of a consistently high quality, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Adrian has now racked up 109 saves for the Hammers this term, the second most in the division. He will be looking to further extend this record with another clean sheet against City.
At the back, Aaron Cresswell has been simply outstanding for West Ham this campaign. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he has covered a squad best 337.0km this term, which also ranks him in the top ten runners in the Premier League. He will also pose a threat going forward, having completed 21 crosses and created four goals for his side.
Going forward, West Ham will hope that Stewart Downing can deliver the required quality to earn them the three points. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights Downing’s quality on the ball, having completed 678 passes in the opposition half, a squad best 41 crosses and delivered nine assists for his teammates. He is 19/2 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Newcastle v Tottenham – Sunday 19th April, 16:00
Newcastle will be hoping to end their recent dip in form with a victory this weekend over Tottenham. The Geordies currently lie in 13th in the league, and will hope that a win will move them back level on points with 12th placed Everton. The main problem of late for Newcastle has been scoring goals, so they will be hoping to put on a high scoring affair for the home faithful.
Newcastle will be looking for another big performance from summer signing Daryl Janmaat this weekend, the only member of their squad to feature in all 32 of their games this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has covered a squad best 345.44km so far this season, winning 83 tackles, 75.5% of his overall attempts. He has also racked up 75 interceptions, and will prove just as important on the ball having completed a squad best 18 crosses and amassed six assists.
In the middle of the park, Moussa Sissoko has proved an invaluable asset in the battle of the engine rooms for Newcastle. The EA SPORTS Player Performance can reveal that he has won 34 tackles so far this season, 65.4% of his overall attempts. On the ball, he has completed a squad best 615 passes in the opposition half and a squad best 73 dribbles completed. He has the ability to hurt the opposition with not only his distribution and his direct style, but having found the net four times already this season, will also prove a goal scoring threat.
Up top, Newcastle will be hoping that Sammy Ameobi can fill the void left by Papiss Cisse’s injury. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has netted twice so far this season, converting 50% of his shots on target. He also has the ability to turn provider having grabbed three assists, and his work rate is undoubted, having won 44 tackles so far this season, 81.5% of his overall attempts. He is 53/10 to score anytime with 888sport.com.
Tottenham come into this match on the back of a defeat that saw them slip to seventh, but this will no doubt further spur them to push their way up the league again. A victory could move Spurs back level on points with fifth placed Liverpool, with the aim of a late push for a Champions League spot.
At the back, Tottenham will be looking to centre back Jan Vertonghen to lead the line for them and keep the Magpies at bay. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that he has won 44 tackles so far this season, 78.6% of his overall attempts. Furthermore, he has also made 186 clearances, 56 interceptions and 19 blocks, and will hope that a clean sheet is the result of further increasing those tallies this weekend.
In the middle of the park, Christian Eriksen has been one of Tottenham’s star performers this season, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has completed a squad best 361.83km already this campaign, also racking up a squad best 958 passes in the opposition half. His goal scoring record for a midfielder is just as impressive as his distribution, having netted nine times and also created a further four goals for teammates.
Up top, Harry Kane has had a break through season for Spurs, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals just how important he now is to Tottenham. Kane has netted his 19 Premier League goals at an average of one every 107.7minutes, seeing him convert 50% of his 38 shots on target. He is 11/9 to score anytime with 888sport.com.