Manchester City vs Everton, Saturday 12:45
– Despite dominating the first half, Manchester City somehow found themselves on the wrong side of yet another shock result, following their loss to Cardiff earlier in the season, as they fell to a 3-2 defeat to Aston Villa. Goals from Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko looked to have secured the win but Manuel Pellegrini’s men were stunned by two goals in three minutes at Villa Park to see their lead slip from their grasp.
– Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping for greater accuracy in front of goal from Edin Dzeko as the season progresses. Although usually solid in and around the box, Dzeko currently sits third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for off-target attempts on goal with 8, giving him a shot accuracy rate of 47.1% from 17 total attempts.
– Dzeko’s lack of accuracy at times may well have come back to haunt City in a match which they should have won, with the Bosnia & Herzegovinian striker managing an accuracy of just 40% from 5 shots last weekend. This total also represents the joint highest number of attempts from any player in the last round of fixtures.
– Despite continuing to be City’s top scorer in the league this term, Yaya Toure has also remained in his role as their main midfield fulcrum this season. He is hot on the heels of Michael Carrick, who remains top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes completed in the opponent’s half (246), with 241. Toure is an industry best 16/5 with 888sport.com to score again at any time this weekend.
– Pablo Zabaleta has continued in his role as City’s most effective defender this season, attempting more challenges than any other City player (32), as well as also having the best tackle success rate of any of his colleagues (87.5%).
– Summer arrival Fernandinho hasn’t taken long to start imposing his physical style from the heart of the City midfield. He leads the City squad for fouls with 14 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– In a first-half brimming with intensity and ambition, Everton put Newcastle to the sword on their way to a 3-2 win. Despite conceding two second-half goals, Roberto Martinez will have been exceptionally pleased with the hunger of his side, with young duo Romelu Lukaku, who grabbed a brace on his home debut, and Ross Barkley both putting in stellar shifts.
– Seamus Coleman has started the season in fine form and his performance up and down the right flank on Monday night exemplified this. Despite seeing his side 3-0 up at half time, Coleman still won the joint highest number of tackles in the last round according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 7. He also did so with better success than any other player on that total, completing 77.7% of the challenges he was involved in.
– Martinez was full of praise for Romelu Lukaku after a superb performance from the youngster which saw him grab two well-taken goals on his debut for the Toffees. Unsurprisingly, Lukaku had the joint highest number of on-target attempts on goal with 3, giving him an overall accuracy rate of 75% from the chances which fell his way. Lukaku is 28/13 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
– Ross Barkley has continued to repay the faith shown in him by his new manager this season, the young midfielder showing the kind of physical and tactical maturity you would expect from a player 10 years his senior. Barkley continue to league the lead in dribbles, having racked up 26 so far this term according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– There has been an effervescence to Barkley’s all-round attacking play this season, so much so that he sits in a lofty second in the league for total attacking contributions (crosses, assists, dribbles, shots on goal) this term with 40.