Manchester Utd v Everton, Sunday 16:00
– A late winner from Wayne Rooney sealed a 1-0 win for Manchester Utd in a back-and-forth encounter at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
– Following an excellent outing in the midweek friendly against Brazil, Wayne Rooney looks to be entering his trademark purple patch. He’s established a very solid 69.9% shot accuracy rate from 56 attempts, also compiling 7 assists. Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking for him to continue this trend of creating opportunities for others when he tracks back to receive the ball in deeper positions this weekend.
– However, the undoubted star of the show for Utd this season has been Robin van Persie, the prodigiously talented Dutchman registering a goal or an assist once every 80.8 minutes this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Michael Carrick continues to display the kind of form which prompted Man Utd to offer him a new contract. He’s been superb in both defence and attack this season, leading the squad for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 755 and also racking up 50 interceptions.
– Tom Cleverley has been developing nicely into the kind of player who can take over this role eventually, maturing his all-round game under Sir Alex Ferguson. He’s achieved the best tackle success rate in the Man Utd squad according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with 74.2% from 31 atttempts.
– A dominant second-half display from Marouane Fellaini, including two goals, brought Everton back from the brink to earn a 3-3 draw in a thrilling encounter with Aston Villa.
– Marouane Fellaini will be key in shutting down Utd’s dominance of possession this Sunday, a challenge he’ll likely throw himself into with the same intensity as he has done all season. His 80 attempted tackles is the highest in the Toffees’ squad.
– Expect to see Leighton Baines testing Man Utd’s left-side defence this weekend as well, the red-hot fullback ranking second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for crosses provided with 99.
– Having returned to Merseyside, Steven Pienaar has once again become a central figure in David Moyes’ side. He’s completed 701 passes in the opponent’s half, more than any other Everton player this season.
– Phil Jagielka continues to sustain his remarkable form this season, a run that will see him pushing hard for a starting berth in the next England side. His tackle success rate of 87.7% from 57 challenges is the best of any central defender in the premier League to have made over 25 challenges.