STATS: Mata’s hard work and skills for Chelsea vs Van Persie’s impressive goal rate for Manchester United

Chelsea v Man Utd, Sunday 16:00

Chelsea and Manchester United occupy the top two slots in the Premier League this season, and Sunday game already looks like a potential turning point in the title race

Despite a disappointing Champions League outing in the week, Chelsea’s Premier League form has been dominant. Last weekend they dispatched Spurs 4-2, with goals from Gary Cahill, a brace from Juan Mata, and the final goal from Daniel Sturridge

That performance means Chelsea now have four of the top five ranked players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with Juan Mata now sitting in top spot ahead of Fernando Torres in 2nd, Eden Hazard in 3rd, and Branislav Ivanovic in 5th.

Mata now has three goals and five assists to his name and has completed 271 passes in his opponents half. That’s the fifth highest number of passes overall in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index

Mata covered 6.95 miles against Spurs, the most by a Chelsea player in a single game so far this season, while Ramires 6.69 miles in the same game was the second highest, and the 64.62 miles as a squad the most by Chelsea as a team so far this season

Cahill will increasingly be in the spotlight as John Terry serves his four match ban. Cahill already has two goals to his name this season, and has made an impressive six blocks

With Cahill’s defensive team mates Branislav Ivanovic scoring three and Ashley Cole also on the score sheet in the Premier League so far this season that means six of Chelsea’s eighteen goals have come courtesy of their defenders this season

Brazilian wonder kid Oscar has netted twice in the Champions League this season but is still to find the net in the Premier League competition. Oscar has had 13 attempts at goal without scoring, including nine on target. No other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index has had so many shots on target without a goal.

Manchester United were also 4-2 victors in their last game, beating Stoke. Rooney scored twice with his first goals for United this Premier League season (as well as putting into his own net) while Robin van Persie and Danny Wellbeck added to the scoreline.

Van Persie remains joint top goalscorer in the Premier League with an impressive six goals from eight games. Van Persie’s goals have come from 17 shots at goal. His rivals for the golden boot, Michu and Demba Ba, are both also on six goals this season, but have required 20 and 30 efforts at goal respectively to reach that total

Van Persie has a shots on target percentage of just 47% percent, but still has one of the best minutes per goal ratios in the league with one every 106 minutes and 40 seconds so far this season. Frighteningly, that means if the Dutch striker can get more of his efforts on target then his goal scoring rate can improve even further

Paul Scholes picked up his fourth yellow card in just 440 minutes of play this season against Stoke, though the midfielder may consider his reputation has gone before him as he had committed just nine fouls for those cards compared to Aston Villa’s Karim El Ahmadi who has committed 17 fouls and received four yellow cards

Rooney looked determined for United, and his 6.75 miles against Stoke was the joint highest distance covered by a United player in a single game this season. Meanwhile Carrick’s 6.63 miles was enough to put him fourth overall in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for distance covered with 49.56 miles

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