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STATS: Hughes’ clean defensive record for Fulham vs Lucas’ tackles for Liverpool

Fulham v Liverpool, 15:00

– Fulham are five points clear of the relegation zone with two games to play, but need to be cautious of complacency after relegated Reading beat them 4-2 last weekend.

– Two goals from Bryan Ruiz were not enough to distract from the fact that Fulham now have just one point from six games, and still have an outside chance of being dragged into the relegation fight.

– However, Fulham fans can take heart that against a different keeper the scoreline could have been different. Alex McCarthy made 13 saves against Fulham, the most by any keeper in the last round of games.

– At their own defensive end, Aaron Hughes holds the second cleanest defensive record in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, having averaged 541 minutes and 15 seconds between fouls this season, committing just four in total.

– Brede Hangeland, meanwhile, is one of five players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have made 200 or more interceptions so far this season. Hangeland has 203 to his name in total. Hangeland is also ranked third for blocks with 37 this season, and second overall for defensive contributions with 338.

– Behind Hangeland, Mark Schwarzer will become the third goalkeeper in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to make 200 saves this season. He’s made 199 to date.

– Liverpool battled out a 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby in their last league outing.

– Pepe Reina can be thanked for keeping a clean sheet in that game, making 12 saves in total, the second busiest keeper in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for the last round of games.

– Glen Johnson has impressed going forward this season, but he may wish to concentrate on setting up colleagues rather than going for goal. He has the most ‘expensive’ goal in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, having required 44 shots at goal to score once, more than any of the other players in the Premier League to be stuck on one goal.

– That’s 8 more shots at goal than any other defender in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, ahead of second placed Daniel Agger who has had 36 shots at goal in total, scoring three goals in the process.

– Liverpool’s defenders may feel they can get forward and have an attempt on goal with a midfielder of the defensive quality of Lucas in front of them. Lucas is one of 22 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have attempted 100 or more tackles this season, and one of five to have done so maintaining a tackles won percentage of 60% or over (62.1%).

– Even more impressive is how quickly Lucas has got to that milestone. He has attempted 100 tackles in just 1862 minutes this season. To put that in context, Lucas has made 111 tackles in 1862 minutes, while Mohamed Diame of West Ham, who has made the next highest number of tackles, has taken 759 minutes longer to attempt just two more tackles.

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