Arsenal v Reading 15:00
– Arsenal return from the international break having last played in the Premier League against Swansea, coming away with a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Nacho Monreal and Gervinho
– Gervinho may have had a hard time from sections of the Arsenal fans this season, but he has averaged a goal every 208 minutes 15 seconds in the Premier League this season, within seconds of being equal to Podolski’s goal scoring record and better than Giroud’s goal every 225 minutes 7 seconds.
– While Arsenal fight for fourth in the Premier League, Santi Cazorla looks set to finish the season top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passes in the opposition half. Cazorla has completed 1115 passes this season, 117 more than his nearest rival Yaya Toure. Behind Cazorla and Toure, Mikel Arteta is ranked third with 943 passes completed.
– Monreal has also taken on his team mates’ passing philosophy, and despite having only played 484 minutes for the Gunners has completed 102 passes in the opposition half, also now having a goal and an assist to his name.
– Reading are known for their wing play, but they will find an unlikely obstacle to their crosses in Olivier Giroud. Giroud has made more clearances this season than any other striker with 28. To put that in context, that’s just 3 fewer than Spurs’ centre back Jan Vertonghen.
– Nigel Adkins has 8 games to make up the 7 points on Aston Villa and clear the relegation zone after Reading fell to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United in their last game.
– One player who may yet haul the Royals clear of trouble is striker Adam le Fondre. Le Fondre has scored ten goals this season, averaging one every 141 minutes 54 seconds this season. Le Fondre has played 1419 minutes this season, but if he had maintained that minutes per goal rating while playing every minute available to him he would have 20 goals to his name and be the league’s second top scorer after Luis Suarez.
– Of the players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have scored ten goals Le Fondre has also taken the fewest shots at goal to hit the milestone, needing just 39 shots for 10 goals. Compare that to Spurs and England striker Jermain Defoe, who has taken 98 shots to hit ten goals this season.
– Hal Robson-Kanu came close to scoring against Manchester United and adding to his four goals already this season. Robson-Kanu has hit his goals from an efficient 23 efforts.
– Reading’s main threat will come from the wings, with Nicky Shorey having delivered 56 crosses, the joint second highest from a full back in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index after Leighton Baines. Gareth McLeary, meanwhile, has delivered 40 crosses, second only to Robin van Persie among the league’s strikers.