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 or with FIFA Ultimate team.


Saturday 22nd August – Man Utd vs Newcastle 12:45

‘United made it two wins out of two with a solid, if unspectacular, victory over Aston Villa last weekend. They host Newcastle, who are still searching for their first win, following a disappointing 2-0 loss to Swansea.

Newcastle will have to be wary of Manchester United’s ability to keep the ball for long spells of play and retain possession. In the two games that Van Gaal’s men have played, they have completed a total of 859 passes, which is the fourth most in the league. The Magpies, on the other hand, have completed 658.

In David De Gea’s continued absence from first team duties this season, new signing Sergio Romero has stepped up in his place and has performed admirably – keeping two clean sheets in the league. He’s likely to face a challenge against Papiss Cisse this weekend, who can consider himself slightly unfortunate not to have scored this season, as he has hit the target with every shot he’s attempted.

Wayne Rooney has struggled during the first two games of the season, but with the quality he has, it’s unlikely that we’ll have to wait too long until he’s banging in the goals again. He faces a tricky customer, though, this weekend in Chancel Mbemba who according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, has won 10 tackles – the third most in the league. Wayne Rooney is evens to score at any time with this weekend

The battle between the central midfielders is likely to be a crucial one on Saturday, with both teams possessing players who can spray the ball about the park with consummate ease. Jack Colback will be the man to watch for Newcastle as he has completed a squad-best 41 passes in the opposition half. He’ll be up against Morgan Schneiderlin who has completed the same number.

In addition to having essential roles with regards to retaining possession, Colback and Schneiderlin have been the ‘engine rooms’ for their respective sides this season. Schneiderlin has covered an impressive 25.4km this season (more than anyone else in the league), with Colback sitting just behind him on 24km (the most in the Newcastle squad).


Saturday 22nd August – Crystal Palace vs Aston Villa 15:00

Crystal Palace welcome Aston Villa to Selhurt Park, having started the season in reasonable form, with a win over Norwich and a narrow defeat to Arsenal. Likewise, Villa have started the season in similar fashion, with a win and a loss.

The battle of the ‘engine room’ is likely to have a huge impact on the outsome of the match on Saturday, with both teams possessing players who are willing to run their socks off for the sake of their teams. In particular, Palace will need to be wary of the work rate of Idrissa Gueye, who has covered an impressive 22.4km for Villa, whereas Tim Sherwood’s men would be wise to watch out for Yohan Cabaye who has covered 22km.

In wingers Yannick Bolasie and Wilfried Zaha, Palace have two players who have gas to burn with the pair of them hitting a top speed of 34.4 and 34.3 km/hour respectively. In Jordan Amavi, however, they’ll be facing another player who’s seriously quick – with a top speed of 33.8 km/hour. Zaha is 7/2 with to score at any time this weekend.

It’ll be an interesting clash between the Villa strikers and Alex McCarthy this weekend, with the Eagles’ ‘keeper making a total of nine saves in the two games that he’s played so far this season – the second most in the league. He’ll be up against Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor, a proven Premier League marksman, who this season has hit the target with every shot that he’s attempted.

Ciaran Clark and Damien Delaney are likely to be key men for their respective defences in the fixture this weekend, with the pair having put in solid defensive displays in their matches so far this season. They have made a total of 20 and 19 clearances, the most in each of their squads.


Saturday 22nd August – Leicester vs Tottenham 15:00

Leicester host Tottenham this weekend, with each side coming into the fixture in contrasting form. Leicester have won both of their fixtures so far this term, whereas Spurs are yet to register their first Premier League win.

Riyad Mahrez and Christian Eriksen are likely to be of prime importance to both Leicester and Tottenham, with the pair offering a real goal threat from midfield. The duo top the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for shots on target for their teams, with Mahrez taking a total of six shots on target and Eriksen four. Eriksen is 11/4 with to score at any time this weekend.

It’s interesting to contrast the differing styles of play that Leicester and Tottenham have adopted so far this season, with the two teams opting to for differing strategies with regards to how often they play direct football. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that 24.9% of Leicester’s passes have been long passes this season, in comparison to 14.9% of Tottenham’s.

Leicester will do well to combat Spurs’ undoubted quality in the air on Saturday, with Spurs possessing a number of players who have excellent heading ability. This is perhaps best demonstrated by the fact that they’ve won an impressive 57.14% of their aerial duals (the fourth most in the league), in comparison to Leicester, who have won 40.86% of theirs.

In Kasper Schmeichel and Hugo Lloris, both teams possess ‘keepers who are capable of producing world class saves and deny opposition strikers time and time again. The pair have each been solid so far this campaign, making a total of 5 saves apiece.


Saturday 22nd August – Norwich vs Stoke 15:00

Norwich welcome Stoke to Carrow Road, off the back of an excellent victory away at Sunderland. Stoke are in form too, though, as they produced an inspirational fight back to draw 2-2 at Tottenham.

Sebastien Bassong has been in terrific form so far this season, so it’ll be an interesting match-up between him and Mame Biram Diouf. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Bassong has made a total of 24 clearances this term, which is more than any other player in the league. Diouf, on the other hand has hit 6 shots on target this campaign, which is also more than any other player in the league.

Stoke are likely to want to play the ball on the floor as much as possible against the Canaries, as Alex Neil’s men possess undoubted excellent heading ability. Norwich top the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with regards to aerial duals won, having won an impressive 62.22% of their aerial battles. This is in contrast to Stoke, who have 43.28% of theirs.

Nathan Redmond and Stephen Ireland are likely to be marked men in the fixture on Saturday, as the pair could prove to be the creative lynchpin for their respective sides. No player created more goalscoring chances for each of the teams in the last round of fixtures, with Redmond creating 4 and Ireland 3. Redmond is 41/10 with to score at anytime this weekend.

The battle between Marco Van Ginkel and Jonny Howson is likely to be a critical one on Saturday, with both players acting as the ‘engine room’ for their respective teams. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that they have covered 20.9km and 21.1km this season, the most of any midfielder for their respective teams.


Saturday 22nd August – Sunderland vs Swansea 15:00

Sunderland fell to a 1-3 defeat at home to Norwich last weekend, a result that will see their supporters crying out for an improved showing as they welcome Swansea to the Stadium of Light. Swansea meanwhile recorded an excellent 2-0 win at home to Newcastle and will be looking to make it back-to-back wins over the North-east clubs this Saturday.

Sunderland will have to be alive to Swansea’s attacking threat this weekend, as they registered the most shots on target of any Premier League team last weekend with 16 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

A key part of the Swans’ attacking formation will undoubtedly be Bafetimbi Gomis, who has so far registered four attempts on goal in the opening two weeks of the season, hitting the target with 75% of them. Younes Kaboul should be more the capable of handling him though, having won 88.9% of his nine attempted tackles so far this term.

Jonjo Shelvey will aim to dictate the pace of the game this weekend and the Blackcats will look to midfield enforcer Lee Cattermole to shut down the space around him. Shelvey has already completed a squad-high 73 passes this term and attempted 16 crosses, whilst Cattermole has notched up three interceptions so their midfield tussle could prove to be an intriguing sub-plot. Shelvey is an industry-best 7/2 to score at any time with

Jefferson Montero has been on a tear since the start of the new campaign, using his pace and trickery to good effect against opposition fullbacks. He’s so far hit a top speed of 31.3km/h, but with Patrick van Aanholt having hit the 34km/h mark this season it looks to be a battle of the speedsters down the flanks according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Midfielder Sebastian Larsson will provide the one of the primary creative threats for Sunderland in the middle on Saturday, his vision and technique already seeing him rack up 19 passes and seven attempted crosses this season. Part of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s role this weekend will be to win that particular battle with Larsson, and despite being known more for his offensive qualities, he’s already compiled a 66.7% success ratio from his nine attempted tackles.


Saturday 22nd August – West Ham vs Bournemouth 15:00

West Ham couldn’t follow-up their incredible opening weekend performance against Arsenal as they went down 1-2 to Leicester, while Bournemouth saw a controversial winner from Christian Benteke see them deprived off a point in a 1-0 loss away to Liverpool.

Dmitri Payet has been one of the shining lights for the Hammers in the opening two weekends of the new season, compiling some impressive numbers with 45 completed passes and six dribbles. Helping to contain him will likely fall to the likes of Simon Francis, who has so far proved himself up to the challenge of the Barclay Premier League, winning 58.3% of his 12 total attempted tackles according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Expect West Ham striker Diafra Sakho to be attempting to cause the Bournemouth defence all sorts of problems this weekend, having been one of the focal points of their attack in the opening two games having attempted five shots on goal and hit the target with 60%. Standing in his way will be veteran ‘keeper Artur Boruc who has so far notched up three saves this term and should provide a stern test for the entire Hammers forward line. Sakho is 28/17 to score at any time with

Midfielder Andrew Surman will be attempting to get Bournemouth’s attacking play rolling this weekend, having already registered a squad-high 81 completed passes according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. His battle with Cheikhou Kouyate could be key to the outcome of the match, with the Senegalese midfielder having already attempted 10 tackles this season.

Forward Joshua King will be looking to utilise his pace this weekend to cause havoc amongst the West Ham defence, having already hit a top speed of 33.5km/h this season. Centre back Winston Reid is an exceptional athlete though and certainly has the pace to go with him, having hit a top speed himself of 31.8km/h this term.

Bournemouth as a collective will provide a stern test of West Ham’s resolve this weekend, having led the league last season for total duels with a cumulative team total of 135, placing them joint top with Liverpool. West Ham will be confident in their chances of coming out on top in the little battles which make up any game, having won 49.6% of their own duels last weekend.


West Brom vs Chelsea – Sunday 23rd August, 13:30

West Brom host Chelsea this weekend, who are still seeking their first win of the Premier League season. West Brom, also searching for a win, are level on points with Chelsea, and both sides will be looking to kickstart their season with a win on Sunday.

An intriguing battle in the middle of the park is set to commence, with both sides possessing a member of the top runners in the league. Nemanja Matic has covered a total distance of 23.3km over the course of the two games, the seventh most in the Premier League, whilst Fletcher has covered 22.7km, the twelfth highest distance in the division.

Meanwhile, both teams also possess two of the fastest players in the division. West Brom’s new signing Salomon Rondon ran a top speed of 34.3km/h last weekend, the ninth fastest speed, but is just topped by Chelsea’s Willian in fifth, who was clocked running at 34.4km/h. Both teams possess an abundance of pace and this could well be cause for an exciting game on Sunday.

Saido Berahino has made an impressive start to the season, despite being yet to score. Berahino has showed a lot of attacking intent, and in turn has completed the eighth most dribbles in the Premier League, with six. Chelsea’s biggest threat, Eden Hazard, has completed one more dribble than Berahino, but the pair are likely to be their respective sides’ biggest threats this weekend. Hazard is 17/10 to score at any time with

Another midfield battle that could be interesting is between Claudio Yacob and Cesc Fabregas. Yacob has won the seventh most tackles in the division, with an impressive nine tackles won. Fabregas, while not known for his tackling, is Chelsea’s top tackler so far this season. The Spanish midfielder has won seven of his attempted challenges in the campaign to date.


Everton vs Manchester City – Sunday 23rd August, 16:00

Everton welcome Manchester City to Goodison Park this weekend off the back of a superb 3-0 win away at Southampton. City had an equally impressive weekend as they comfortably saw of the reigning champions, Chelsea, 3-0.

Ross Barkley has made an outstanding start to the season, scoring two goals in two games. He has put 80% of his shots on target, has an 84.2% pass completion rate and boasts an assist in addition to his two goals. Barkley will be coming up against Fernandinho in the City midfield, who has also had a great start to the season and scored a great goal against Chelsea last week. The Brazilian will be key to stopping Barkley, having won the tenth most tackles in the Premier League, eight, 88.9% of his attempted tackles. Barkley is 23/5 to score at any time with

Another key battle this weekend could be Romelu Lukaku versus Vincent Kompany. Both players have started the season in fine form, and in fact both have two goals to their name. Lukaku has tested the keepers he’s faced this season, putting 75% of his shots on target, and won 60% of his aerial duels against Southampton. Kompany won 50% of his aerial duels against Chelsea last weekend, so it is sure to be a decent battle between the two Belgians.

The much-coveted John Stones has started the season well, despite rumours surrounding his future at the club. Stones has won six tackles, as well as making nine clearances and five blocks. He will likely be marking the clinical Sergio Aguero, who caused the Chelsea defence problems all game last week, culminating in a goal. Aguero has put five shots on target this season, with only two off target, and last week alone had nine touches in the opposition penalty area – beaten by only three other Premier League players.

David Silva has started the season in scintillating form, as reflected by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Silva has made more passes in the opposition half, 109, than any other Premier League player and has completed 83.3% of his attempted dribbles. James McCarthy is likely to line up in the Everton midfield and will be hoping he can contribute toward containing Silva. McCarthy himself has made the most passes in the opposition half of any Everton player, with 66, so will equally be looking to make an impact going forward as he will be to contain Silva.