STATS: Manchester United’s Scholes’ best passing rate vs Stoke’s Shawcross’ clean tackling

Man Utd v Stoke 15:00

– Manchester United remain second in the Premier League after goals from Jonny Evans, Patrice Evra, and Tom Cleverley completed a comprehensive 3-0 victory against Newcastle

– Evans’ progress into the United first team has been fast tracked in recent seasons by injuries. The defender has contributed nine clearances, three interceptions and three blocks so far this season

– Evra, on the other hand, has been an established part of the United back line for years and continues to stamp his authority, winning nine of the eleven tackles he’s attempted so far this season while also getting forward to deliver 15 crosses

– Tom Cleverley has stated his intention to score more goals this season, and his goal against Newcastle was his first in the Premier League so far this season. Cleverley had got four of his six shots at goal on target this season, and if he continues that ratio it will surely only be a matter of time before he adds to his tally

– United will also be hoping that Wayne Rooney’s return will see more goals for United. Only one player (Papiss Cisse) has had more shots without a Premier League goal than the England striker, who has attempted 14 shots without scoring

– Carrick put in a virtuoso performance against Newcastle, covering 6.75 miles, the highest by any United player so far this season

– Michael Carrick will also be looking forward to Rooney’s return. Carrick has completed more passes in his opponent’s half without being credited an assist than any other player, having completed 213 passes without an assist.

– Carrick’s ongoing impact and development of passing play mirrors the sort of performances seen by the evergreen Paul Scholes. Scholes has completed 189 passes in his opponent’s half so far this season, one every 1 minutes 57 seconds – the best passing rate for time on the pitch in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index

– Stoke earnt a point against Liverpool in their last game, and could have taken all three points if Pepe Reina hadn’t saved well from Charlie Adam and Michael Kightly

– Kightly has seen nine of his ten shots at goal on target so far this season, an accuracy rating of 90% which is the best in the league (for players who have had 6 or more shots at goal)

– Clean tackling Ryan Shawcross has played his part in Stoke’s clean sheets this season. He has attempted 20 tackles so far this season without conceding a single foul, the most of any player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index

– Peter Crouch has four Premier League goals so far this season, but he has also continued to unsettle defenders with his ball winning. Crouch has 42 defensive contributions so far this season across tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks

– Crouch has also received the ball more times than any other Stoke player, with 289 ball receptions, showing how he proves a focal point for his team up front

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