Wigan Athletic vs. Reading (15:00)
The 3-0 defeat at Liverpool last weekend was disheartening for many Wigan Athletic fans. A home game against one of the league’s strugglers will be a good chance to recover though, and the Latics will be well up for this one:
– Gary Caldwell (one every 10 minutes on average), Ivan Ramis (one every 12.2 minutes) and Maynor Figueroa (one every 12.9 minutes) are three of the league’s six most prolific interceptors according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Pressuring teams into giving away the ball has worked well for the Latics this season, and will be effective against a team that have only had more than 50% of possession in two league games so far.
– The Latics appeared to get frustrated towards the end of their defeat to Liverpool last week however, collecting three bookings. With 23 so far this season, the fifth highest Premier League total, Roberto Martinez will reminding his team to keep their heads this time around.
– Arouna Kone (4) and Franco Di Santo (3) are looking to add to their impressive goal scoring tallies this season, and will be confident based on the fact that two-thirds of Wigan’s goals have come at home so far this season. Kone’s goals have come from 26 shots at goal with 62% on target while di Santo’s have come from 24 with 54% on target
Reading carved out a vital win last week to escape the relegation zone. Staying above the safety line will be a tough task against a Wigan side looking to bounce back from a disastrous defeat last weekend:
– Midfielder Jay Tabb was the outstanding workhorse of the Premier League last week. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals him to be the man who covered more distance on the pitch than any other from the ten games with 7.23 miles, the 7th highest from an individual player in a game this season – he’ll be looking to put in another impressive shift this weekend.
– Further evidence of Reading’s stamina comes from the fact that they also covered more distance as a team than any of their rivals last week. Their tally of 67.2 miles was the third highest total posted by a team all season, and was 8% greater than that of Arsenal and a massive 21% more than Tottenham put in, two teams that sit well above the Royals in the table.
– Reading’s two points from a possible fifteen is among the worst away totals in the entire league, but travelling to a team which has only won once at home this season may provide the Royals with a chance to improve this record.
– Adam le Fondre was Reading’s goal scoring hero en route to the Premier League last season and scored twice against Everton to take his tally in the Premier League to three. Le Fondre may need to sharpen up his shooting accuracy to improve that record, however, as his shots on target percentage is less than half, with 46% on target from 13 shots.
– Le Fondre also has an assist to his name this season, meaning he has directly contributed to a Reading goal every 108 minutes 15 seconds on the pitch this season, an impressive return for a team who have scored a goal every 75 minutes 32 seconds as a team this season