Swansea City vs. West Brom (19:45)
Swansea will be pleased with the ways things are going so far, and seem to have avoided the ‘second season syndrome’ that has plagued so many before them. With West Brom’s fans expecting the visitors to continue their strong form, the Swans may be able to use this pressure to their advantage by scoring early on and causing the Baggies to panic:
– The team wouldn’t have much difficulty holding onto an early lead given that they hold the league’s fourth tightest defensive record on the road- with just seven goals conceded in six games, only Chelsea, Arsenal and champions Manchester City have taken longer to let in each strike in away games.
– Miguel Michu has performed as well as many of the league’s most highly rated players so far this season. Having taken an average of exactly 168 minutes to score each of his goals, he’s statistically outperformed the likes of Juan Mata, Peter Crouch and Gareth Bale when it comes to goalscoring efficiency.
– Having covered 66.6 miles over the ninety minutes, Swansea were the league’s hardest working team at the weekend according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. To put this into perspective, Tottenham were praised for their tireless play against West Ham but only travelled 60.2 miles in total.
– The Swans have proved very difficult to break down this season, but may want to work on their ability to hold onto the ball- for five consecutive games they’ve had less than 50 percent of possession, although the team didn’t lose any of these games.
– Nathan Dyer has been on great form during this run, scoring four goals. His rate of accuracy is better than any other of Swansea’s team (68.8 percent or 11/16 shots on target).
Yet another convincing win last week has given West Brom even more confidence they can push for European football next season. Three more points against Swansea would keep the Baggies in third place:
– With an average of one goal for every 114.5 minutes he’s spent on the field, Romelu Lukaku’s impressive strike rate is topped only by Javier Hernandez and Edin Dzeko.
– Lukaku is also one of the league’s most accurate finishers, with 86.4 percent of his 22 shots being on target according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. No other player with fifteen or more shots to his name can match this percentage.
– The Baggies haven’t been messing around in defence this season either. Jonas Olsson (45) and Gareth McAuley (36) are the two men in the Premier League who’ve made the most clearances.
– Perhaps the most impressive sign of how well the Baggies are performing is the fact that their 85.7 percent win ratio at home (six from seven) is superior even to Manchester United’s (83.3 percent). The record is identical to that of champions Manchester City.
– Goalscorer Zoltan Gera covered 6.86 miles at the weekend (more than any of his team mates) and has been one of the Baggies’ top four fastest players in every game he’s taken part in this season (based on average speed with the ball in play).