West Ham vs. Chelsea (12:45)
West Ham fought bravely at Old Trafford on Wednesday, just losing out to a first-minute Robin Van Persie strike. A stuttering yet talented Chelsea side will provide a tough test at Upton Park:
– Jussi Jaaskelainen kept the Hammers in the game against United with a string of fine saves. He’s the league’s second best performing keeper this season, having saved 82.4 percent of the 91 shots on target he’s faced.
– James Tomkins frustrated United’s attack for much of the game, and is statistically the Premier League’s most successful tackler according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He’s won a massive 94.1% of the seventeen tackles he’s gone in for.
– Chelsea can expect a physical battle at Upton Park, as Mark Noble has also been one of the league’s toughest tacklers. He’s one of only seven men in the whole league to have put in 35 successful tackles this season.
– The Hammers have had an impressive season so far and look highly unlikely to become involved in a relegation battle. The team will be aiming to score more often however, as it has now gone six games without
striking more than once.
Two games into his managerial tenure at Chelsea, and Rafael Benitez’s team are yet to score. They haven’t looked like conceding however, and will be full of determination to end their recently inconsistent run of form:
– Eden Hazard had a difficult time against Fulham on Wednesday, with little space to operate. He remains the Premier League’s assist leader with nine however, one ahead of Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez.
– Juan Mata is third on the same list, but was left out of Chelsea’s team on Wednesday. His return could well spark the Blues into life this weekend, as the Spaniard is currently the league’s ninth most prolific passer- the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows him to have made 387 so far at a rate of one every 2.4 minutes.
– Covering 7.12 miles, Nascimento Ramires was Chelsea’s hardest worker on Wednesday. This has been the case for the last three consecutive games in which the Brazilian has played the full 90 minutes.
– Fernando Torres’ lack of form may be grabbing all the headlines at the moment but the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows his is most certainly still willing to let fly. He’s had 23 attempts on goal this season, 74% of which have been on target.
– Fans at Stamford Bridge will be hoping December produces better results. Chelsea took just one victory from seven in November, the first month this season in which the Blues missed out on at least a two-thirds win rate.