Stoke vs Manchester City 15:00
– As Mark Hughes prepares to face his former club, he must be quietly optimistic of securing a good result. The Potters come into the game having beaten the resilient West Ham away, whereas Manchester City were far from convincing in their win at home to Hull.
– It can’t be long until the big boys come knocking for Stoke midfielder Steven N’Zonzi. The Frenchman has made an impressive 91 passes in the opposition half so far this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– N’Zonzi’s worth to Hughes’ side is clear when looking at the attacking contributions (headers, crosses, dribbles, passes and shots). Sitting on 98, N’Zonzi has made 32 more attacking contributions than any of his teammates.
– N’Zonzi has been spraying the ball about this season, but don’t ignore the contribution of Marc Wilson. The Irishman has been the foil behind N’Zonz as he has made 24 tackles so far this season, the most in the league.
– Geoff Cameron’s defensive contribution is also evident when examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index – he has a tackle success percentage of 82%. 888sport.com have offered 17/4 for the Stoke team to shut the Citizens out on Saturday.
– It is likely that Stoke will try to capitalize on Manchester City’s defensive woes by swinging the ball into the box. However, they will need to improve on last week when they only managed to cross the ball twice in the whole game.
– Pellegrini’s men are sitting third in the table after the opening three games, but the stat of real interest at this stage is that they have scored more goals than any other team.
– David Silva must take much of the credit for this, with the Spanish maestro completing 129 passes in the opposition half so far this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that this is more than anyone else in the league.
– David Silva also tops the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in attacking contributions this season with 139. This is judged on shots, passes, crosses and dribbles. Silva is yet to score this season, but you can find him at 10/1 with 888sport.com to open the scoring on Saturday.
– Powerhouse Yaya Toure has also demonstrated his ability to pick out a man so far this campaign, completing a pass in the opposition half every 2 minutes.
– At the other end of the pitch, Aleksander Kolarov has been making a case to oust Gael Clichy as City’s first choice left back. He made the joint top most interceptions in the league last weekend, with 6.
– After his goalscoring heroics two years ago, it could be thought that Sergio Aguero had a disappointing campaign last year. He’s certainly shown his dribbling ability this year though, completing 4 dribbles – more than any other City player.