Stoke v Norwich, 15:00
– Stoke got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over struggling QPR, goals from Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters wrapping up a much-needed win for Tony PUlis’ side.
– Peter Crouch has consistently been the man Stoke have turned to this season to get themselves on the scoresheet, combining a solid shot accuracy rate with the ability to consistently put himself in scoring positions. He’s managed to hit the target with 60.4% of his 43 attempts on goal, managing to also create a chance for himself on average once every 49.1 minutes he’s been on the field of play.
– Crouch’s value can also often be found in his use of tall frame to hold up the ball and create room for others, something that would explain how he leads the Stoke squad for assists with 5 this season. Expect to see plenty of runs off him should he be involved this weekend.
– Midfielder Glenn Whelan has been in fine form this season in both defence and attack and Stoke will need him to be near his best with the end of the season fast-approaching and the Potters still in need of more points to ensure their survival. Cameron has taken on average just 15.9 minutes to make a defensive contribution this season, whilst also managing a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 5.5 minutes according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Norwich had two Bennett’s to thank for two quick-fire goals which saw them to a 2-1 victory over Reading. Namesakes Ryan and Elliott both scored within minutes of each other to push Norwich even further clear of the relegation battle at the foot of the table.
– The Canaries are blessed with several midfielders with very complete all-round games, chief among them Anthony Pilkington. Although noted as a dangerous attacker when going forward, Pilkington also possesses the tenacity to track back and help out defensively when called up. In fact, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows Pilkington as having the best tackle success rate in the Norwich squad for the season to date, winning 71.4% of his 28 attempted challenges.
– Another player clearly cut from a similar mould is Robert Snodgrass, who currently sits atop the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for crosses delivered with 133, whilst also taking on average just 20.2 minutes to make a defensive contribution this season.
– Snodgrass has also been by far Norwich’s most enthusiastic tackler this season, leading the Canaries squad for tackles attempted with 121.