STATS: Gorkss’ great defensive work for Reading vs Rafael is Manchester United’s best tackler

Reading vs. Manchester United (Saturday, 17:45)

 

Reading just missed out on a point at Aston Villa on Tuesday, conceding a late header to lose 1-0.  The side created several good chances though, and will be hopeful of taking points off the league leaders in Saturday’s late game:

 

Kaspar Gorkss has been solid for the Royals this season, having racked up 84 interceptions and successfully completed 63% of his tackles. He needs to improve his work on the rare occasion he gets up the other end of the field though. He’s had 9 shots on goal this season, none of which have been on target.

 

Jobi McAnuff has been toiling to try and spark Reading’s season, the midfielder having dribbled more often that any of his teammates with 13 and providing 33 crosses to boot.

 

– Defender Adrian Mariappa has been more than happy to put his body on the line for the Reading cause this season. He’s racked up 12 blocks according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

 

– Midfielder Mikele Leigertwood continues to underline his importance in the Reading engine room having successfully completed more tackles that any other Royal’s player with 34.

 

Robin van Persie struck after just thirty seconds to win three points against West Ham, and is on fantastic form.  His Manchester United side remains top of the pile, and will be looking to add another victory against relegation-threatened Reading:

 

–          Van Persie continues to impress, but trails Liverpool’s Luis Suarez in the golden boot standings.  Interestingly, the Dutchman hasn’t scored a brace in eleven games for United, with Suarez achieving the feat twice in the same period.

 

–          Anders Lindegaard got the nod ahead of David de Gea to start in goal for United in midweek, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows there is little to choose between the pair statistically.  Lindegaard has saved 79.4 percent of the 34 shots on target he’s faced while De Gea has saved 76.2 percent of 42 shots on target.

 

–          Michael Carrick set up United’s early strike and was their second hardest worker for the third consecutive match against West Ham.  He covered 6.32 miles according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, just short of Van Persie’s 6.46 miles.

 

–          Rafael continue to develop under the watchful eye of Sir Alex Ferguson. He’s Man Utd’s most successful tackler this season, winning 24 of his challenges along with 329 successful passes.

 

–          United have only kept one clean sheet in seven away games this season.  Keeping Reading’s attackers at bay will be a priority as the Royals have scored seven in their last four games at home.