– West Brom rocked Liverpool last Monday as two late goals from Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku gave the Baggies a famous win at Anfield.
– Few defenders can claim to have surpassed Gareth McAuley this season, the Northern Irishman repeatedly coming to rescue for Steve Clarkes’ side. He’s amassed a mammoth 138 interceptions and 64 clearances according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Chris Brunt continues to surprise many commentators with the standard of his play this season, but the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows his form to be no accident. He’s consistently finding space for others in advanced positions, completing 312 passes in the opponent’s half this season, the second highest in the Baggies’ squad.
– Jonas Olsson has been throwing himself into his defensive duties with admirable courage this season. He currently sits fifth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for blocks with 25.
– Sunderland were unable to capitalize on their one-man advantage against Arsenal last time out as they were defeated 0-1 at the Stadium of Light. It was a performance of which Martin O’Neill can be proud though and he will need his players to show similar grit and adventure this weekend against one of the season’s surprise packages in West Brom.
– One of Martin O’Neill’s star performers this campaign has undoubtedly been his Belgian stopper Simon Mignolet. He’s is currently rated second amongst goalkeepers in the Premier League for saves on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 147, one every 17.1 minutes.
– There are few more creative wing pairings in the Premier League than Adam Johnson and Stephane Sessegnon. The creative wide men have amassed 96 crosses and 10 assists between them.
– Craig Gardner will need to work on his discipline in defence as we move towards the season’s crucial stages. He’s compiled an unenviable defensive record so far this campaign, racking up more fouls than any other Sunderland player with 41.