Everton vs. Norwich City, Saturday 15:00
Everton have had an impressive start to the season and are in the race for a European place. Manager David Moyes will be pleased that his side remain unbeaten at Goodison Park, but has expressed his displeasure at the fact that nine other teams have scored more goals than the Toffees in home games this season. Fans will be hoping for some much needed action in front of goal this weekend:
– Marouane Fellaini has committed more fouls per minute than any other player this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index (28 in 1049 minutes, or an average of 2.4 per game). Even playing from midfield, he’s also the Toffees top scorer with six goals, averaging one every 174 minutes 50 seconds. Fellaini also has four assists to his name, meaning he contributes directly to an Everton goal once every 104 minutes 54 seconds and he has had a direct hand in 45% of their goals this season
– Phil Jagielka will be an equally important ingredient for what Everton hope will be a straight forward win. Statistically he’s the Premier League’s best tackler, having won 86% of the 29 challenges he’s gone in for this season- his record is particularly impressive in light of the fact that no player has made more than 35 successful tackles.
– Everton may well be able to tire the Norwich outfield before pressing for a winner late on. For four rounds of fixtures on the trot, the Toffees have covered a greater total distance than the Canaries- work rate is always key, and Moyes will be happy with the effort his men have been putting in lately. That included a team distance of 65.84 miles against Reading, the most ground covered by an Everton team so far this season. That data is at odds with pundits who claimed that Everton’s players ran out of steam after half the squad were involved in mid week internationals.
– Steven Naismith scored Everton’s consolation goal in their 2-1 defeat to Reading in their last game. Naismith has had limited opportunities this season, making eleven appearances but totaling just 472 minutes of pitch time from them. His goal against Reading was his second of the season though, and he has hit all five of his efforts at goal on target.
Norwich are on a massive high at the moment, with millions across Britain enjoying their defeat of Manchester United last week. The Canaries need to keep their feet on the ground and grind out results as a pair of away fixtures four days apart begins with a visit to Everton on Saturday:
– Simply getting onto the score sheet will be seen by Norwich as a challenge. Three goals in six games for the travelling Canaries to celebrate is the poorest away scoring record in the league apart from Aston Villa’s three from seven.
– Everton will need to be wary of the strength of a rejuvenated Sebastien Bassong, who has the best minutes per clearance ratio in the league with one every 31 minutes 31 seconds
– The Canaries are also the cleanest team in the league so far according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index- eight cautions and no red cards is an admirable record from twelve games
– Anthony Pilkington scored the winner against Man Utd, his first goal of the season despite 14 efforts at goal with exactly half on target. Pilkington has also delivered 29 crosses for his team mates, enough to put him tenth in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and second among Norwich City players after Robert Snodgrass, who has delivered 39