Fulham vs Swansea
Fulham host Swansea with both sides desperate for a win after indifferent starts to the campaign.
Fulham may have conceded 4 goals against Liverpool, but the efforts of Kieran Richardson shouldn’t be questioned. The one time England international completed 10 challenges against Brendan Rodgers’ men – the second most in the league.
Martin Jol will be pleased that Martin Stekelenburg is returning to fitness, following a frustrating injury occurred at the start of the campaign. The Cottagers conceded 4 goals at the weekend, but they have the Dutchman to thank for preventing it being more, as Stekelenburg made 7 saves – the second most in the league.
Adel Taarabt may have only featured for 208 minutes this campaign, but when looking at the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shooting statistics, it seems that Martin Jol would be wise to thrust the enigmatic Moroccan back into the action. The former QPR man has hit the target with an impressive 83% of his efforts this term – it surely won’t be too long until he starts scoring on a regular basis.
Pajitim Kasami hit the headlines last week with a stunning strike that may have determined the goal of the season award already. Kasami has also been equally efficient in defence this term, as no other Fulham player has won as many tackles as Kasami’s 31.
Swansea will have been disappointed to only walk away with a draw following their fixture against Stoke, after fighting back from two goals down.
In the wake of Michu’s injury Alex Pozuelo was given a chance to stake a claim n the first team, and his passing certainly wasn’t a disappointment. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he completed a pass in Stoke’s half at an impressive rate of a pass every 2.4 minutes.
Pozuelo has also excelled in his defensive work this season – he has completed 10 of his tackles this term at a success rate of 91%.
On the back of Roy Hodgson’s experimentation in the recent friendlies against Chile and Germany, many England hopefuls will feel that they have a chance of forcing their way into his World Cup plans. One such player is Wayne Routledge, who’s electric pace and fleet footwork are a handful for any defender. Routledge’s skillset was on show on Saturday, as he completed 4 dribbles – the most in the Swansea squad.
The renewal of Jonathan de Guzman’s loan deal was an important target for Michael Laudrup over the Summer, and he will have been delighted to secure the Dutchman for another season. The midfielder settled into life well on South Wales last year, as Swansea’s possession based style of play suited de Guzman’s game, and this ability to pick a pass was evident against Stoke as he managed to complete a pass in the opposition every 1.9 minutes.
De Guzman has also excelled in his crossing so far this term, with his ability to deliver the ball a key weapon in Swansea’s armoury. The Dutchman has swung in a total of 8 crosses this term, the most in the Swansea squad.