Manchester City vs Southampton 12:45
Manchester City could not capitalise on an early goal from David Silva as they eventually drew 1-1 with Arsenal at the Emirates. A spirited fightback denied Manuel Pellegrini’s side the chance to move back to the top of the Premier League and they face by no means an easy task this weekend against a Southampton side capable of beating anyone on their day.
Midfield maestro David Silva has appeared to be approaching something like his best form in recent weeks. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the gifted Spaniard is fast approaching the 1000-pass barrier for passes completed in the opponent’s half (974) and has so far completed one on average every 1.82 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.
Despite not grabbing the same amount of headlines as some of his colleagues, Pablo Zabaleta continues to be one of City’s standout performers this season. He’s attempted more challenges that any other City player with 128, winning an excellent 73.4% of them.
City fans may be keen for Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo to be firing up front once again but they needn’t worry with a player like Edin Dzeko also amongst the ranks. In the City squad only Aguero has a better minutes to shot ratio than the Bosnian frontman, Dzeko having an attempt on average once every 23.2 minutes this season compared to Aguero’s 20.7 minutes and Negredo’s 31.2 minutes.
Southampton were rampant last weekend as they blew away Newcastle 4-0 at St Marys. England hopeful Jay Rodriguez grabbed a brace, whilst fellow international colleagues Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana also got on the scoresheet in an impressive win for the Saints.
The Saints have been back playing some exceptional football in recent weeks, with Adam Lallana unsurprisingly at the centre of some of their best play. The 25 year-old midfielder is so far the only Saints player to have moved into triple figures for both attacking contributions (135) (shots on goal, assists, crosses, dribbles) and defensive contributions (109) (blocks, interceptions, tackles won, clearances) for the season.
Luke Shaw’s stock continues to rise this season, the England youngster turning in some exceptionally mature performances for a player of his limited top-level experience. He currently has the best tackle success rate of any Saints player to have made more than 60 tackles, winning 76.6% of his 77 attempted challenges to date according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Keeping with Southampton’s England contingent, Jay Rodriguez shows no signs of dropping off in form as the season enters it’s final weeks. He’s racked up 15 goals this season, maintaining an average of having a shot on goal once every 37.3 minutes, a stat he will no doubt be hoping to improve even further before the summer.