Everton vs Chelsea, Saturday 17:30
– Everton’s wait for a first league win under Roberto Martinez continues as they could only manage a 0-0 draw away to Cardiff in their last outing. The Toffees saw a number of chances spurned in front of the Cardiff goal and they will have to be more clinical if they want to take something away from this weekend.
– Whilst Everton fans may still be stinging from the loss of Marouane Fellaini, their retention of Leighton Baines could prove to be even more pivotal in the long run. Despite playing behind Fellaini, Baines has completed more passes in the opponent’s half (121) than the big Belgian and at a better average rate (1 every 2.1 minutes) than any defender in the league who has played more than 180 minutes this season.
– Much has been made of the performances of Ross Barkley at the start of this season, the youngster even doing enough to earn a call-up to Roy Hodgson’s squad for the recent World Cup qualifiers. Barkley, 19, is clearly one of a crop of youngsters impressing this term and is the only teenager to have so far broken the 100-barrier for passes completed in the opponent’s half (104). He’s also done so at an impressive average rate of one every 2.6 minutes he’s been on the park so far this season.
– Sylvain Distin has lost none of his touch despite now being the oldest defender in the Premier League. The Frenchman has won 90% his 10 attempted challenges so far this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Chelsea’s last competitive outing saw them lose the European Super Cup on penalties to Bayern Munich and Jose Mourinho will be hoping they can take they tactical discipline, as well as their flair, from this fixture back into their league form.
– Oscar appears to be flourishing under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho this term, the Portuguese coach adding the extra dimension of a solid defensive work ethic to the talented Brazilian’s overall game. As well as leading the Chelsea squad for passes completed in the opponent’s half (112), as might be expected of him, he’s also been successful with 60% of his 5 attempted challenges this season.
– Frank Lampard won his 100th cap for England in midweek, a great achievement for a fantastic servant of English football. Lamps has clearly lost none of his touch when it comes to popping up in scoring positions, given that he currently leads the Chelsea squad for shots on target (4) and is just 1 behind the standout Oscar for total shots attempted (8) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Gary Cahill and John Terry appear to be forming a solid relationship at the back for Chelsea. In fact such is there working relationship that they appear to be becoming almost mirror images of one another. Both have a 100% tackle success rate, as well as sharing the same number of both clearances (18) and interceptions (3).