Newcastle vs Fulham, 15:00
– As the uncertainty around star midfielder Yohan Cabaye’s future continued, his Newcastle teammates could only see their way to a 0-0 draw with West Ham, their first point of the season.
– Alan Pardew’s search for an extra striker to bolster his squad is clearly something of a priority and so it should be. His entire squad between them have so far only mustered 1 on target attempt on goal.
– Hatem Ben Arfa continues to be one of the few bright spots in what has been a turbulent and disappointing start to the season for Newcastle. He currently sits joint second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for attacking contributions with 14.
– Hard-tackling midfielder Cheick Tiote looks to have curbed his tendency towards giving away fouls this season, with a much more measured approach to his defensive work. The Ivory Coast international has so far given away no fouls this season and has won 60% of his five attempted challenges.
– A consolation goal from new signing Darren Bent was not enough to stop Fulham from dropping to a 1-3 defeat on a wet afternoon at Craven Cottage last Saturday.
– The acquisition of Scott Parker from Tottenham appears to have been a solid piece of footballing business by Fulham. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Parker has already completed a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 2.1 minutes this season, a better rate than anyone else in either the Fulham or Tottenham squad.
– Adel Taarabt looks like he is in the mood to take much of the creative pressure off the shoulders of Dimitar Berbatov this season, having already racked up a squad-high 11 attacking contributions for his new side (cross, assist, dribble, shot on target).
– Aaron Hughes’ 12 clearances was the 5th highest total of anyone in the league last weekend, the Northern Irishman taking on much of the burden of repelling the waves of Arsenal attacks last Saturday.