Aston Vila v Fulham, 15:00
– A contender for goal of the season from Matthew Lowton helped Aston Villa to a 1-3 win over Stoke as Paul Lambert’s side strode towards a desperately needed three points last weekend.
– Matthew Lowton’s wondergoal last weekend certainly showcased his ability in the attacking third but it is in his own half that he has been leaving his stamp on Aston Villa’s season. He sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total tackles attempted with 103, coming out on top in an impressive 73.8% of them.
– Keeper Brad Guzan may have been left exposed at times this season but he has been repeatedly rising to the threats posed on his goal. He has made more saves than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season with 204, remaining the only keeper so far to have broken the 200-save barrier.
– Retaining the services of Christian Benteke will be crucial to Aston Villa’s hopes for success next season, no matter which league they find themselves competing in. The Belgian hitman has been by far and away Villa’s most potent threat in front of goal. He’s racked up an impressive 70.9% shot accuracy rate from 93 attempts, meaning he’s had a shot on target on average once every 27.8 minutes he’s been on the field this season.
– A goal at the death denied Fulham a point as they fell to a 0-1 defeat away to Newcastle last weekend.
– Martin Jol this week hailed the impact of Giorgos Karagounis and the Greek midfielder has the stats to back up this praise from his manager. He’s been important in breaking up the play in the Fulham midfield this season, completing 68.8% of his 45 attempted challenges according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– The mercurial talents of Dimitar Berbatov have been central to Fulham’s attack this season, the Bulgarian international being given a free rein at Craven Cottage to express his full range of talents. He has the best minutes per shot tally in the Fulham squad, firing at effort goalwards on average every 39.2 minutes.
– Phillippe Senderos recently signed a contract extension at Craven Cottage and has been putting in some solid performances to help earn himself a new deal. He’s so far compiled a record of 75 interceptions and 20 clearances for the Cottagers this season.