Norwich vs Aston Villa 12:45
– Norwich fell to a 2-0 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane last weekend as they failed to contain a Spurs side bolstered by their new signings and the depth they have subsequently added to their squad this summer. Chris Hughton will be hoping his team can draw a line under this result as they head back to Carrow Road this weekend.
– Chris Hughton will likely be looking for more from his star signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel after the striker’s somewhat difficult introduction to life in the Premier League. Van Wolfswinkel has so far only managed 3 attempts on goal in 360 minutes of Premier League football.
– Although being rightly touted as a rising attacking star of the future, Nathan Redmond has also shown a healthy willingness to pitch in when it comes to the defensive side of the game. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he has attempted more tackles than any other Norwich player so far this season (19), winning a relatively solid 57.9% of them.
– However, when it comes to the defensive lynchpin of this Norwich side, Michael Turner so far stands head and shoulders above his teammates. His 45 defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, clearances, tackles won) represents the highest total in the Norwich squad.
– Aston Villa will have been disappointed to have ended last weekend with nothing to show for their efforts after they fell 1-2 at home to Newcastle after a virtuoso display from Hatem Ben Arfa. A typically powerful Christian Benteke header saw Villa draw level but they were unable to kick on and eventually saw the match slip from their grasp.
– Keeping hold of the man-mountain that is Christian Benteke was obviously of enormous importance to Villa during the summer transfer window, with the imposing Belgian transferring his quite incredible form of the last campaign into this season. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Benteke has the best accuracy rate in front of goal of any player in the league who has attempted more than four shots. In total, 77.7% of his 9 attempts this season have worked the keeper, so you can expect him to be repeatedly adding to his total of 4 goals as the season progresses.
– ‘Concrete’ Ron Vlaar has quickly become something of a cult hero amongst Villa fans in his relatively short tenure with the club. His reputation appears to be well-earned, with Vlaar so far topping the Villa squad for both clearances (30) and blocks (4) this season.
– Not content with unleashing ‘that tackle’ on One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson during last week’s match in aid of Stiliyan Petrov’s leukemia research charity, Gabriel Agbonlahor has also been displaying his newfound defensive robustness to his professional colleagues in the Premier League. Agbonlahor currently ranks 4th on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for fouls committed with 10.
– Although noted for his distribution, Fabian Delph showcased the all-round aspect of his game last weekend, recording the joint-highest tackle success rate of any player in the league last weekend (87.5% from 8 attempted challenges).