Crystal Palace vs Everton 15:00
Manager-less Crystal Palace host Everton in desperate need of a win to kick start their season.
Former manager Ian Holloway claimed that the large influx of new players was a key reason behind his departure from the club, but one stalwart who has remained in the first team is defender Dean Moxey. This is the former Derby man’s first season in the top flight, and on the basis of his performance on Saturday, it appears he’s completed the transition rather well. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he attempted 6 challenges on Saturday, and won an impressive 4 of them.
For Palace to stay in the division they will need their older players to use their wise heads, guide the younger ones through the difficult times, and keep them grounded when they win. Danny Gabbidon is one of the more experienced members of the Palace side, and this experience was on show on Saturday as he managed to clear the ball 11 times – this was the fourth highest number of clearances oin the league.
Jason Puncheon’s loan move to Crystal Palace surprised many, with the winger having only signed a new deal at St Mary’s a short time before. The former Plymouth man scored goals for the Saints last season, and his attacking prowess was on show again on Saturday as he managed to complete a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 2.3 minutes.
Puncheon’s passing statistics have been impressive all season, with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index showing that he has completed 152 passes in the opposition half this term. He is, however, overshadowed by skipper Mile Jedinak who has managed to complete 188. It appears that the form of the Australian will be integral to the Eagles’ chances of maintaining their Premier League status.
Despite strong claims for a penalty on Seamus Coleman, Everton held big-spending Spurs to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
Goalkeeper Tim Howard should be given credit for helping to keep Andre Villas-Boas’ men at bay on Sunday. The former Manchester United man made 6 saves on Sunday – which was the most in the league.
Ahead of him, centre backs Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin also produced stellar performances to quell the attacking threat of Tottenham’s front line. Between them, Jagielka and Distin made a total of 26 defensive contributions (based on clearances, interceptions, tackles won, and blocks).
Ross Barkley has been a real star so far for Everton this term, with the youngster earning a call up to the international scene. Barkley started on the bench against Spurs, but when he entered the fray he certainly impressed. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the youngster completed a pass in the opposition half at a rate of a pass every 3 minutes.
With Chelsea’s woes in front of goal this year, Romelu Lukaku’s appearances for Everton might well be a kick in the teeth for Chelsea fans. So far this season, the Belgian has managed to hit the target with an impressive 72% of his efforts in front of goal. In contrast, no Chelsea striker has a success percentage over 55%