Cardiff vs West Brom 15:00
Cardiff will be looking to end their run of 5 matches without a win when they host West Brom this Saturday.
Cardiff succumbed to a 2-0 loss against Crystal Palace in the last round of Premier League fixtures, but the scoreline could have been far worse if it wasn’t for the performance of Steven Caulker. The former Tottenham man has been in scintillating form this term, and he was imperious again on Saturday making a total of 19 clearances – this was more than any other player in the league.
Cardiff’s problems this season have predominantly emanated from their failure to hit the back of the net, despite having the chances to do so. Malky Mackay has claimed that he isn’t worried by his sides problems in front of goal, as he feels that the goals will eventually start flowing – and with a player such as Gary Medel in the side, it is unsurprising that Mackay is so confident. Although primarily a defensive midfielder, Medel can play a pinpoint pass and this skill of his was on show against Crystal Palace as he completed a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 3.6 minutes. Medel is 13 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Consistent selection is almost a prerequisite for a strong centre half pairing, as it allows time for the players to gel, and understand the way that each other play. By examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it appears that Malky Mackay adheres to this philosophy as both Ben Turner and Steven Caulker have featured in every minute of the campaign so far.
If his crossing is anything to go by, Kevin Theophile-Catherine has adapted to the Premier League with consummate ease. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he has swung in 14 crosses this term – the second most of any defender in the league.
Goals from Gary Hooper and Leroy Fer condemned West Brom to a 2-0 home defeat to Norwich on Saturday. It was particularly disappointing for the Baggies as they boasted an impressive 64% of possession, and took an incredible 26 shots.
Nearly a fifth of these shots came from striker Victor Anichebe who took 5 shots but failed to find the back of the net. The Nigerian will be particularly frustrated by the performance of John Ruddy as 4 of these shots were on target, but the England keeper managed to keep them all out.
Stephane Sessegnon made the move to the Hawthorns to reignite his career, after a disappointing final season at Sunderland. The Beninese midfielder has always had great technical ability, and has always operated effectively when playing in the position just behind the front man. His passing has been a key attribute throughout his career, and it was outstanding again on Saturday as he completed 45 passes in the opposition half. This was the fifth most in the league. Sessegnon is an industry best 19/2 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Sessegnon’s passing has been a joy to behold all season as he has completed a pass in the opposition half at a rate of a pass every 3.7 minutes. This, however, doesn’t put him top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, as Youssuf Mulumbu has completed a pass every 3.4 minutes.
On the back of his performances so far this term, West Brom fans will be hoping that they’re able to sign Morgan Amalfitano on a permanent basis. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has swung in a total of 18 crosses this season – this is 12 more than any of his teammates.