Everton vs West Ham
Following an agonising injury time defeat to Chelsea in which the Toffees looked to be the sharper side despite losing star man Lacina Traore to an injury in the warm up, Everton will be hoping to take back the 6th spot from struggling Manchester United this weekend when they face West Ham.
Despite the loss of firepower following Traore’s unexpected absence, Roberto Martinez’s men still looked to be dangerous in attack. The closest they came before the break was when Leon Osman forced an impressive fingertip save from Cech with a powerful strike from 20-yards. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows he was Everton’s most accurate player in front of goal with 100% shot accuracy. Osman is 18/5 to score at anytime against the Hammers with 888sport.com
Leighton Baines was central to the sharpness shown by the Toffees, demonstrating his worth to both Martinez and Roy Hodgson as a playmaker. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Baines made 33 attacking contributions (Passes, dribbles, crosses and shots on target) and completed 31 passes in the opposition half; more than any other player on the pitch.
In defense, Everton looked to be comfortable with the threats posed by Hazard, Willian and Eto’o. Sylvain Distin and Gareth Barry both looked solid in their defense with an impressive 80% and 75% tackle win percentage respectively. In addition, The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that England international Phil Jagielka made 31 defensive contributions (Interceptions, Tackles won, Blocks and interceptions) for Everton, adding to his season total of 318 defensive contributions so far.
Following their fourth consecutive league victory after coming from behind to defeat Southampton, In-form West Ham will be looking forward to travelling to Goodison Park this weekend. The Hammers, who until their recent renaissance looked to be at the heart of the relegation battle, are now 10th in the league with 31 points.
The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that captain Kevin Nolan was the Hammers’ biggest attacking threat with a shot accuracy rating of 100%. Following a dangerous cross from Stuart Downing, The Skipper netted his fifth goal of the month with a volley in the 6-yard box. Nolan is 22/5 to score against Everton with 888sport.com
Playing a vital role in two of West Ham’s goals, Stuart Downing looked to be a constant menace to the Southampton defence, especially when crossing the ball. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index show that Downing made 20 attacking contributions (passes, dribbles, crosses and shots on target) and completed 18 passes in the opposition half; more than any of his teammates.
West Ham’s defence has received praise for its solidity from manager Sam Allardyce in recent weeks. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that central to the bedrock of the Hammer’s defence are James Collins and James Tomkins who have made 291 and 253 defensive contributions (tackles won, interceptions, blocks and clearances) this season respectively; making 9 each in their victory over Southampton