Chelsea vs Cardiff
– Chelsea entertain Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge, and will be looking to continue their 3 match unbeaten run.
– Although traditionally renowned for his late surges into the opposition box, Lampard has refined his game slightly to combat his ageing legs, and adopted a deeper position in the middle of the park. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates the seamlessness of Lampard’s transition, as the former Hammer has won 17 tackles this season.
– The success rate of these tackles has been impressive, with the England man winning a perfectly respectable 60% of his challenges.
– Lampard’s midfield presence has allowed other players more offensive freedom, something that both Oscar and Eden Hazard have thrived on. The pair have completed 203 and 198 passes in the opposition half respectively.
– A selection dilemma for Jose Mourinho this season is who to start at centre half, with Gary Cahill and David Luiz chopping and changing all season. A constant presence, however, is skipper John Terry. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index underlines his importance to the Chelsea team, as he has made 48 clearances so far this term – the most in the Chelsea team.
– Branislav Ivanovic, however, has been the real rock in Chelsea’s defence so far this campaign. The Serb has made 70 defensive contributions (based on clearances, tackles, blocks and interceptions), which is the most in the Chelsea squad.
– Malky Mackay bemoaned Cardiff’s slow start in their outing against Newcastle, as the Bluebirds fell two goals behind the opening 38 minutes.
– One player who Mackay identified as making a decisive contribution in their second half fightback was central midfielder Jordan Mutch. After coming on at the interval Mutch started dictating play, playing the decisive ball for Peter Odemwingie’s goal. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights the impact that the U21 international made, as he completed a pass in the opposition half every 2.25 minutes. This was a better rate than any other player on the pitch.
– Gary Medel also showcased his passing ability against the Magpies, as he completed 39 passes in the opposition half – the tenth most in the league.
– Medel’s all round ability is also evident in the number of interceptions he has made this season. The Chilean international has made 13 interceptions – the second most in the Cardiff team.
– With World Cup places up for grabs, Roy Hodgson has pledged to give youth a chance to stake their claim. An outside bet for some is Ben Turner, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index certainly gives weight to the arguments of his admirers. The Englishman has made 83 defensive contributions this season (based on blocks, tackles, interceptions, and clearances), which is more than anyone else in the Cardiff squad.