Southampton vs Sunderland, 15:00
Southampton have started the new Premier League season on a high, with Rickie Lambert scoring the winner for both club and country in the last week. Lambert’s late penalty was just his second attempt at goal in the game, and his first on target. Lambert contributed to 24 goals last season (15 goals, 9 assists), second only to Theo Walcott among the Premier League’s English players.
James Ward-Prowse put in an impressive performance which suggests he may be the latest star to come out of Southampton’s youth system. The 20 year old winger delivered five crosses, the joint highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with Everton’s Leighton Baines
Jose Fonte ensured that the Saints started the season with a clean sheet by contributing 14 clearances in the game, the joint highest in the opening round of games. Those clearances contributed to 21 defensive interventions by Fonte in total, the most in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Sunderland’s summer loan signing Ondřej Čelůstka announced his arrival in the Premier League by attempting the joint highest number of tackles in the first round of games. Čelůstka won just five of the tackles though, so while the intention was there he will want to improve on the frequency with which he comes away with the ball.
John O’Shea was also a key part of the Sunderland defence last season, and ended the season ranked third in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for defensive contributions with 367 across tackles, blocks, clearances and interceptions
Despite Sunderland leaving the game against Fulham without scoring, Adam Johnson looked lively on the wing and delivered four crosses, the second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for the opening fixtures.
New signing Cabral also threatened with four efforts at goal, a total bettered only by Frank Lampard among the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s midfielders