Chelsea vs Manchester Utd 16:00
Chelsea eased to a 0-2 win over Hull last time out thanks to goals from Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres. Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford to face Manchester Utd for the first time without his old nemesis in the opposing dugout, and will be feeling confident in his side’s form to take down the reigning champions.
Many column inches have been devoted to the form and development of Eden Hazard this season, the young Belgian starting to translate his enormous potential into on-pitch results. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Hazard has the second best shot accuracy rate of any player in the league to have had more than 25 shots, with 66.7% of his 27 attempts working the ‘keeper.
With the signing of Nemanja Matic, all of Chelsea’s midfielders will be on even higher alert but in particular Ramires. The defensive midfielder has been solid for Jose Mourinho’s side this term but Matic poses a direct threat to his starting berth. The Brazilian has lost the highest number of tackles in the Premier League this season with 43 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and this is one statistic he’ll be looking to improve on as the season progresses.
Jose Mourinho apparently still sees David Luiz’s future at centre-back for the Blues and the Brazilian certainly has his qualities in that position. He racked up the third highest number of clearances in the last round of fixtures with 16.
Willian certainly looks to be finding his feet in the league following his summer arrival at Stamford Bridge. Along with Eden Hazard he has been one of Chelsea’s standout performers this season, indeed he is just behind the young Belgian in terms of effectiveness in front of goal. He’s worked the goalkeeper with 63.7% of his 11 shots this term, second only in the Blues squad to Hazard with a 66.7% accuracy rate from 27 shots.
Goals from Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck halted Manchester Utd’s slow run of recent form and sent them on their way to a 2-0 victory over Swansea. Key to this result though was the inspirational form of Adnan Januzaj, the youngster providing the technical and creative platform from which almost all of Utd’s attacks were launched.
Rightly lauded for his attacking abilities, it appears that Wayne Rooney’s noted competitive attitude has been getting the better of him somewhat this season. He ranks joint first on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for yellow cards with 7.
Nemanja Vidic may not be able to complete a full 90 minutes on as regular basis as when he first arrived at Old Trafford, but the Serbian remains one of the most effectives defenders in the league when he is on the pitch. He has the best tackle success rate of any player to have completed more than 5 tackles, winning 94.7% of his 19 attempted challenges.
Midfielder Darren Fletcher maybe only just starting to make his full recovery from a debilitating illness but the early signs are positive for his continuing reintegration into this side. He may have only completed 81 passes in the opponent’s half, but this still represents one of the best minutes to passes ratios in the league. This total works out as an average of one every 2.2 minutes he’s been on the park.
Danny Welbeck is starting to translate his great potential into some consistent results this season, the end product of a lot of hard hours on his finishing on the training ground. He’s had 24 attempts on goal this season, but has scored 9 goals, giving him one of the best shot-to-goal ratios in the league.