Manchester United vs Arsenal 16:10
Manchester United look like they might finally be coming accustomed to the workings and methods of manager David Moyes, and they play host to table-toppers Arsenal.
Centre half Nemanja Vidic may not be getting any younger, but he does continue to produce world class performances. The Serb cleared the ball 11 times against Fulham – which was the fourth most clearances in the league.
Wayne Rooney’s performances this season have wetted the appetite of Manchester United and England fans who are delighted to see him back to his best form. The former Everton man has scored 5 goals this term, but part of the brilliance of Rooney is not only his goalscoring exploits, but his passing ability. He showcased this excellent skill of his on Saturday, as according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he completed 32 passes in Fulham’s half. No other striker managed to complete the same number in an opposition half.
Patrice Evra has suffered something of a rejuvenation under David Moyes, with the former Everton manager encouraging the Frenchman to bomb forward at every possible opportunity. This attacking intent of Evra’s is evident in both his crossing and also his passing. Evra has completed a pass in the opposition half every 3.8 minutes this season, and he has also swung in 12 crosses – which is more than any other defender.
David Moyes has been quick to praise the strike partnership of Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney, stating that they are the best duo in the league. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights the cogency of Moyes’ claim, as Rooney has made 10 goalscoring contributions this season (based on goals and assists), and Van Persie 8.
Goals from Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla gifted Arsenal the victory against Premier League title contenders Liverpool.
Whilst at Everton, Mikel Arteta was very much seen as a primary playmaker for the team, fashioning chance after chance for his teammates. Arsene Wenger has, however, converted the Spaniard into a defensive midfielder – and looking at the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it appears to have worked. On Saturday, the Arsenal skipper won 7 tackles, which was more than anyone else in the league.
Arsene Wenger has expressed his belief that Mesut Ozil has the capability to win the Ballon d’Or whilst he remains at Arsenal, and the German was at his brilliant best against Liverpool on Saturday. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the German completed 61 passes in the opposition half – this was the fifth most in the league.
Arsenal’s attacking midfielders have been gaining plaudits for their outstanding form this season, which has meant that the performances of Wojciech Szczesny have been overlooked. He may have had his critics last season, but the Polish international has made 34 saves this term – this is the third most in the league. Perhaps the arrival of Emiliano Viviano has forced Szczesny to up his game?
Arsenal skipper Thomas Vermaelen has found it tough to get into the Arsenal side this term, and looking at the performances of Laurent Koscielny, it isn’t difficult to see why the Belgian has found starts hard to come by. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the Frenchman has made 85 defensive contributions this season (based on clearances, interceptions, blocks and tackles won). This is the most in the Arsenal squad.