Norwich v Liverpool 15:00
– Norwich fell to a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle last time out in a match where they wasted too many of the chances they carved out for themselves. Chris Hughton’s return to Newcastle was clearly not the one he would have hoped for and he will be looking for greater sharpness in front of goal this weekend against Liverpool.
– Wesley Hoolahan covered more ground than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index last weekend, putting in a shift of 7.05 miles against Newcastle. He was one of four players to put in a performance worthy of the top ten for distance covered in a game so far this season.
– Hoolahan’s team mates also put in a massive performance in that game, and the 66.64 miles covered by Norwich against Newcastle is the biggest distance covered by a team in a single game so far this season.
– That’s put Norwich up to fourth in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for overall distance covered as a squad with 304.1 miles on the clock.
– Summer signing Robert Snodgrass is keeping pace with some of the league’s most dangerous wide players this season, having put in 19 crosses so far, behind only Leighton Baines and Steven Gerrard. The former Leeds man must be cursing his luck, however, as he is yet to register an assist.
– On an emotional weekend for Liverpool, as they remembered the victims of the Hillsborough disaster before kick-off, the Reds fell to a 1-2 defeat at the hands of their historic rivals Manchester Utd. Despite Steven Gerrard’s goal, Liverpool supporters will likely feel hard done by after losing Jonjo Shelvey to a red card and seeing Robin van Persie score the winner from a controversial penalty.
– Despite the result, there are signs that Liverpool are forming a good team and results should come soon. Joe Allen has worked hard to earn the Kop’s respect and is third in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for distance covered with 31.9 miles.
– Steven Gerrard is also looking to be back to his imperious best, and is second only to Merseyside rival Leighton Baines for crosses delivered this season with 23 compared to Baines’ 29.
– Gerrard continues to be the focal point of his team’s efforts moving forward. He’s completed 169 passes this season according to the EA Sports Player Performance Index, the highest in the Liverpool squad.
– While his confidence should be applauded, Luis Suarez really needs to tighten up some of his work in front of goal. Worryingly for Brendan Rogers, 52% of his 27 shots on goal have been off target this season.