Southampton v Fulham, Sunday 13:30
– Southampton were given yet another lesson in top flight football by high-flying Everton as they lost 3-1 at Goodison Park last weekend. New signing Gaston Ramirez got the Saints off to an excellent start barely a few minutes after the whistle, but from then on his side struggled to contain a rampant Everton side.
– Despite their string of poor results, Southampton are continuing to work hard on their return to the Premier League. After six rounds of matches they remain top of the chart for overall distance covered, and are yet to be over taken all season having posted 371.55 miles, 8 miles ahead of second placed West Ham.
– However, the results may be taking their toll as the 54.29 miles posted against Everton is their lowest total so far this season.
– Rickie Lambert will likely be looking to improve the consistency of his shooting this weekend against Everton. He has been off target with 45% of his 11 shots on goal this season.
– Youngster James Ward-Prowse was again Southampton’s hardest working player last weekend and is clearly keen to show Nigel Adkins he deserves his starting spot. He ran for 5.94 miles against Everton.
– Defender Nathaniel Clyne continues to adapt well to life at the back in the Premier League. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index puts him fourth for successful tackles made, having accumulated a total of 19 so far this season.
– Adam Lallana continues to impress for Southampton as the season progresses, providing plenty of opportunities for his front men to find the net. He sits fourth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for assists with 3, having also supplied 12 crosses.
– Striker Jay Rodriguez was Southampton’s fastest player against the Toffees, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index spotting him travelling at 21.55mph.
– Fulham lost 1-2 at home to Man City last weekend, despite a penalty from Mladen Petric and a string of superb stops from Mark Schwarzer. While Man City’s dominance of possession will mean this was probably a fair ending, Martin Jol will have been pleased with the threat his developing side posed to the defending champions.
– Bryan Ruiz was grafted more than any other player against Man City, racking up a match-leading 6.05 miles on his afternoon’s work.
– Hugo Rodallega is clearly keen to justify Martin Jol’s faith in him following his arrival for Wigan. He’s been peppering opposition goals this season, and has been on target with 81% of his 16 attempts on goal.
– Even at 33, Damien Duff still has the ability to strike fear into opposition defences. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index ranks him joint second for dribbles this season with 9.
– Fullback John Arne Riise showed plenty of verve down the flank for Fulham last weekend. He was their quickest player, recording an impressive 20.62mph.