Everton vs Hull 15:00
– Despite grabbing the first goal of the game through Romelu Lukaku Everton were unable to prevent a resurgent Manchester City from forcing their way back into their contest, with the Toffees eventually falling to a 3-1 defeat.
– Romelu Lukaku has been nothing short of superb since arriving on Merseyside, clearly arriving with a point to prove to Jose Mourinho after being allowed to go out on loan. The Belgian has been clinical for Everton, scoring four times from only six shots on target. Lukaku’s shot conversion rate of 44.4% is as good as any Premier League player with four or more goals this season, and is identical to that of his compatriot Christian Benteke. This weekends Premier League betting action would suggest your money would be safe on either Belgian.
– Midfielder Ross Barkley must surely be hoping that if his good form continues this season he may well be able to force himself into Roy Hodgson’s plans now that England have qualified for next summer’s World Cup. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he’s contributed the second highest number of attacking contributions (dribbles, assists, crosses, shots on goal) of any player in the league this season with 43.
– Youngester Gerard Deulofeu will be desperate for more playing time following his loan from Barcelona, and the 19 year-old clearly has the ability to make an impression at this level. Deulofeu ranks second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for the average time it has taken him to work the goalkeeper during his limited minutes on the pitch, with an average of just 24 minutes passing between his shots on target.
– After two highly accomplished performances, Leighton Baines appears to have jumped ahead of Ashley Cole in the England pecking order at left-back, something his club performances this season have warranted as well. Baines’ attacking talents are well-known, but even in defence he has been outshining Cole. The Everton man has successfully completed 86.9% of his 23 attempted challenges this season, conceding just 3 fouls along the way. By comparison, Cole can only boast a 68.4% success rate from 19 challenges, conceding 7 fouls.
– Pretty it may not have been, but Hull managed to grind out a 0-0 draw against Aston Villa last time out to maintain their unbeaten record at home this season. Steve Bruce will know that such stubbornness at home will be crucial to his side’s chances of staying in the Premier League come the end of the season.
– Ahmed Elmohamady continues to be Hull’s standout all-round performer this season, turning in some excellent shifts in both defence and attack. As well as having the best average rate for minutes per pass in the opponent’s half (3.93), he’s also completed a very effective 86.6% of his 16 challenges this season.
– Young forward Sone Aluko is another who has started the season in fine form but he will be looking for greater consistency in and around the box as he attempts to kick on for the rest of the campaign. So far he has only been able to muster a 50% shot accuracy rate from 10 attempts on goal. However, he can take confidence from the fact that he still leads the Hull squad for overall attacking contributions (crosses, dribbles, assists, shots on goal) with 25.
– James Chester may be inexperienced at Premier League level but he appears unfazed by his new surroundings and his statistics are shining through as a result. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Chester has the best defensive statistics of any player in the league to have attempted more than 20 tackles, with a superb overall success rate of 95%.
– Chester’s defensive colleague Curtis Davies has also been chalking up some impressive defensive statistics of his own, racking up 73 clearances so far this season to place him joint second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He is also so far the only player in the Premier League to have broken the triple-figures barrier for defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) with 109.