Everton v Swansea, Saturday 15:00
– Everton triumphed away to Newcastle last week thanks to goals from Victor Anichebe and a stunning Leighton Baines free-kick. Newcastle took the lead after only two minutes but it was the Toffees who dominated for much of the match, further solidifying their credentials as genuine contenders for a European place come the end of the season.
– Leighton Baines’ reputation as one of the world’s best fullbacks continues to grow apace thanks to his recent performances. He’s won 75% of his challenges this season as well as delivering 80 crosses for his teammates according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Marouane Fellaini’s services are likely to be highly sought after this summer, but the Belgian powerhouse may have to tidy up his defence should he wish to secure a move to pastures new. He sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for fouls conceded with 40.
– Striker Nikica Jelavic has been earning solid reviews for the way he has led the Everton line this season, despite apparently being somewhat wasteful with the chance he’s being presented with in front of goal. He’s only been on target with 51% of his 51 shots on goal but still don’t count against him finding the net against the Swans.
– Phil Jagielka and Sylvain’s Distin’s collective reading of the game has been crucial to Everton’s continuing success. Their central defensive partnership has combined for a mammoth 241 interceptions this campaign.
– Indeed all the facets of Jagielka’s game have been on top form this season. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index the England international has won an incredible 86% of his 49 attempted tackles, made 34 clearances and 16 blocks.
– A late Swansea goal grabbed a point for Michael Laudrup’s side last time out against Aston Villa. Michu was once again in rare form for the Swans in the early stages, and despite not managing to find the net in the first half, Swansea managed to resist a spirited Villa display.
– Michu continues to look like the bargain buy of the season, with his stellar early performances for Swansea showing no signs of abating. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he has the highest shots of target rate of any Swansea player this season with 31.
– However some of his defensive efforts have left something to be desired. Michael Laudrup will be looking for a more subtle approach for the remainder of the season, his star frontman having conceded 31 fouls and lost out on 60% of his 72 attempted challenges.
– Jonathan de Guzman has proved to be another inspired signing for the Swans, already proving himself to be the fulcrum around which their midfield is operating. No other Swansea player can boast a higher pass total in the opponent’s half than his 440 this season.
– Ashley Williams continues to be Swansea’s defensive rock this campaign, despite seeing his discipline falter at times. Although he’s given away 23 fouls, he’s also contributed with a combined total of 64 clearances and blocks.
– Angel Rangel was once again Swansea’s hardest grafter last time out against Aston Villa. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index recorded him running for 6.62 miles.