Man City v Reading, Saturday 15:00
– Man City rebounded in some style from their disappointing loss to bitter rivals Man Utd last week with a fine 1-3 win away to Newcastle. Samir Nasri in particular shone before being injured following an under-par showing against the Red Devils, whilst Yaya Toure produced a performance of guile and force to suggest he is reaching his peak form once again.
– Yaya Toure’s performance against Monday was symptomatic of a midfield powerhouse at the peak of his powers and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index confirms this rise in form. The big Ivorian has completed 699 passes in his opponent’s half this season and also recently joined the select group of player to pass the 100 mile mark for distance covered with 101.61 miles recorded.
– No striker in the Premier League has provided more opportunities for his team mates to score than Carlos Tevez, the Argentinian front man already recording 10 assists placing him joint 1st on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Spaniard David Silva complemented his vision and technique with a workmanlike performance against Newcastle, grafting harder than any other player on the pitch as he ran for 6.55 miles.
– Samir Nasri will be keen to get back on the pitch as soon as possible to keep on improving upon his early form against Newcastle last weekend. The talented Frenchman will be determined to build on his statistics this season which have been slightly underwhelming at 3 assists and only a 8% conversion rate from 12 attempts on goal.
– Gareth Barry is often described as the player that helps his teammates shine, but the England international will be seeking greater consistency from his defensive playing for the remainder of the season. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he’s recorded 17 fouls and has a 43% tackle success rate from 28 challenges.
– A poor Reading performance led to a crushing defeat at the hands of Arsenal on Monday evening, the Royals falling to a 2-5 defeat. Whilst Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe did manage to make it onto the scoresheet, Reading never looked like containing a slick Arsenal side.
– Adam Le Fondre once again made a strong case for his inclusion to Brian McDermott this week, improving his goals per minute total to one every 189 minutes, the best in the Reading squad.
– Midfielder Mikele Leigertwood continues to be Reading’s most consistent force in the engine room this season, racking up a squad-high 245 successful passes in the opponent’s half this season.
– The imposing midfielder has also been putting in a shift in defence for the Royals this season, racking up an impressive 40 tackles at a success rate of 63%. He’s now made a defensive contribution every 12.5 minutes.
– Jay Tabb once again turned in another tireless performance against Arsenal, running for 6.94 miles according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. This was the 7th time he’s topped the Reading leaderboard for distance run in a match this season.
– Hai Robson-Kanu has been Reading’s biggest threat on goal in this campaign so far, netting 3 goals and establishing a shot accuracy rate of 63% from 16 attempts.
– Defender Shaun Cummings may find himself under the scrutiny of the England management if he continues to turn in performances like those in the first half of the season. He has an incredible tackle success rate of 92% and has the best foul-to-tackle ratio in the league, conceding only once every 12 tackles.