Wigan v Aston Villa 16:00
– Wigan’s fate was confirmed on Tuesday evening as, just days after their remarkable FA Cup Final triumph over Manchester City, they were beaten 4-1 at the Emirates by Arsenal and relegated to the Championship.
– Wigan look to have unearthed a real gem in Callum McManaman but may struggle to hold on to him after a string of impressive performances. The youngster has quickly become Wigan’s most accurate shooter, with a on-target rate of 76.9% from 13 attempts according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Shaun Maloney is another who may well find himself plying his trade in new pastures next season, with a number of Premier League clubs interested in taking him off the Wigan books. The Scottish international ranks third in the Wigan squad this season for attacking contributions (assist, cross, dribble, on target shot) with 104, at an average rate of one every 29.3 minutes.
– Whether he could have helped stave off relegation is unlikely but Wigan have certainly missed the defensive influence of Maynor Figueroa in the final few games of the season. The Honduran international still leads the Lactic squad for defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, successful tackles) with 295 for the campaign.
– Despite Christian Benteke’s well-taken goal, Aston Villa were not able to spring a surprise result as Chelsea fought back to claim a 1-2 win through two Frank Lampard goals.
– Matthew Lowton will have been desperately disappointed to have missed out on the England squad for the upcoming friendlies due to injury but should he continue his form into next season then another national call-up can’t be far away. Lowton is one of only two players to have made more than 100 tackles to have a success rate of more than 70% (75.2%), the other being Nathaniel Clyne.
– His captain Ron Vlaar is the only member of the Villa squad able to surpass him in the tackle stakes so far this season, ‘Concrete Ron’ currently sitting on 81.9% according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He also leads the Villa squad for clearances with 63.
– Any summary of Villa’s season would not be complete without discussing the mammoth contribution made to their cause by Christian Benteke. The Belgian striker is part of a select group of players to have had more than 100 shots (105)(Suarez, Bale, Ba, Tevez, Van Persie, Defoe, Michu, Cazorla) has managed to carve out one of those chances on average less than once every 30 minutes (28.7). Paul Lambert will be going all out to ensure Villa do not lose out on his services come next season.