Newcastle vs West Brom 17:30
Newcastle secured a third successive league win with a 2-1 victory over Norwich last time out, with goals from Loic Remy and Yoan Gouffran helping the Magpies towards all three points against their former manager Chris Hughton.
Striker Loic Remy has added some much needed impetus to the Newcastle forward line this season. His activity alone in front of goal has been highly impressive, the Frenchman attempting more shots on goal than any other Newcastle player with 23.
Cheick Tiote may be well-known for his destructive abilities in the midfield but on the evidence of last weekend he still has some work to do on his work around the opposition goal. He ranks joint first on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total off-target attempts during the last round of fixtures with 4.
Mathieu Debuchy continues to turn in some stellar defensive performances this season, establishing himself as one the Magpies most effective defenders. He’s won a superb 82.5% of his 40 attempted tackles so far this term.
Perhaps surprisingly, it is not Yohan Cabaye who leads the passing stakes for Newcastle but Moussa Sissoko. His fellow Frenchman leads the Magpies squad with 235 passes completed in the opponent’s half, at a very solid average rate of one every 4.2 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.
An incredible fightback from Aston Villa saw West Brom surrender a 2-goal advantage and see honours split in the West Midlands derby. Steve Clarke will have been massively disappointed to see all his side’s good work and Shane Long’s brace cancelled out and will be looking for an immediate response this weekend.
Jonas Olsson continues to put in a titanic effort for West Brom at the back this season providing the bedrock of his team’s efforts. He currently sits third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won) with 157.
Baggies striker Shane Long will have felt particularly disappointed not to get more from their game last weekend, with a superb solo display and a brace for his efforts. Long was amongst the best performing forwards in the league last weekend, recording 4 on-target attempts against Villa, the joint second highest total from the last round.
Youssuf Mulumbu is proving himself to be a truly vital cog in the Baggies machine this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He’s racked up an impressive 306 passes in the opponent’s half, a full 110 ahead of his nearest squad rival in Liam Ridgewell.
Fellow midfielder Claudio Yacob has been showcasing his value in disrupting opposition possession this season, leading the Baggies’ squad as he does for total tackles attempted with 62.