Everton v Reading, Saturday 15:00
– Two late goals stunning Everton as they lost 2-1 to Norwich at Carrow Road last weekend. Leon Osman’s first-half header formed part of a largely dominant performance by David Moyes’ side, but their superiority in possession counted for little as they left East Anglia with nothing.
– Reading have been loose in defence at times this season so Everton will be seeking to impose their attacking prowess at home this weekend. It will be no surprise to see Kevin Mirallas get involved in the action as he boasts the best shot accuracy rate in the Everton squad this season, with 71.1% of his 38 attempts being on target.
– Phil Jagielka remains David Moyes’ defensive titan this season, leading the squad for defensive contributions with 280 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. His nearest teammate is 90 contributions behind him.
– Midfielder Steven Pienaar has been one of the creative fulcrums for Everton this season. He leads the Toffees squad for passes completed in the opponents half with 758, at an excellent rate of one every 3.2 minutes.
– Leighton Baines became part of an exclusive club last weekend, as he joined Robert Snodgrass as one of only two players to have delivered more than 100 crosses this season (101).
– Reading were propelled further into the relegation dogfight last weekend, a 3-0 defeat at home to Wigan piling the pressure on Brian McDermott and his players.
– One wonders where Reading might be without the contribution of ‘super-sub’ Adam Le Fondre’s ten goals this season. He’s forcing himself into a starting berth in Brian McDermott’s side with his performances, having had a shot on target once every 63.2 minutes, the lowest in the Reading squad.l
– Mikele Leighterwood has impressed many with some of his attacking forays this season, consistently getting himself involved in Reading’s play moving forward. He leads the squad for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 394, one every 6.1 minutes.
– Defender Shaun Cummings has the best tackle success rate of any player in the league who’s made more than 20 challenges. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals he’s come out on top in a superb 91.7% of his 24 challenges this season.
– Reading captain Jobi McAnuff has taken the bull by the horns this season and is clearly intent on driving his team forwards. He’s completed more dribbles (21) and crosses (58) than any other Royals player.