Cardiff v Sunderland 17:30
Cardiff City suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton on Boxing Day.
Cardiff have spent a lot of this season under pressure from opposing teams, a fact shown by the impressive defensive stats of their back four, who have been kept busy so far this season. Ben Turner has made more clearances than any other player in the Premier League with 174 so far, and Caulker is ranked fifth with 158 so far.
Steven Caulker has also made the joint highest number of block in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 27. Caulker has scored twice in the Premier League this season.
Goalkeeper David Marshall has also been the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s busiest goalkeeper, making 70 saves so far this season
In the attacking end, Kévin Théophile-Catherine has been unlucky for Cardiff this season, delivering 14 crosses without registering an assist
Bottom club Sunderland earned a vital three points with a 1-0 victory over Everton on Boxing Day. Ki Sung-Yeung won and then converted a penalty which saw Toffees keeper Tim Howard sent off
Allowing Ki Sung-Yeung to take the penalty was a bold move from Gus Poyet. Last season at Swansea the South Korean midfielder ended the season as the player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have taken the most shots at goal without scoring, and this season he had had similar bad luck to date. Sung-Yeung has had 13 shots on goal this season but with just 4 on target, and now just one goal to his name. Sunderland fans will be hoping the goal lifts the midfielder’s confidence and that more goals will now come.
Vito Mannone had his own eventful game against Everton, making eight saves to earn a clean sheet. That made Mannone the busiest goalkeeper in the Premier League in the last round of games.
Sebastian Larsson will be a key player in helping the Black Cats avoid the drop. The Swedish midfielder has completed more passes in the opposition half than any other Sunderland player with 311 and has delivered the second highest number of crosses with 11 (after Adam Johnson’s 13)