Sunderland v Everton, 15:00
– Sunderland host Everton on a high after new manager Paolo di Canio masterminded a famous 3-0 win over Newcastle in their last league game, the first victory for the Black Cats at St James’ Park in 13 years.
– Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan were all on target to help ease Sunderland fans’ concerns over top scorer Steven Fletcher’s ankle injury.
– Fletcher has some of the most impressive striking statistics in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, getting 75.5% of his shots on target (compared to van Persie’s 57.8%) and averaging 4.54 shots per goal (compared to van Persie’s 5.52). However, Fletcher has struggled for chances so far this season, having just 49 efforts at goal compared to van Persie’s 116.
– While the goalscorers naturally took the headlines for Sunderland, John O’Shea also made a telling contribution making six clearances against Newcastle, the second highest from the last week of games.
– Carlos Cuellar has also excelled in defence this season winning an incredible 87.9% of tackles he has attempted while only conceding one foul for every 7.25 tackles this season. Both stats are the best in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for players who have attempted 50 or more tackles this season.
– Everton were in action against Arsenal in mid-week in a tough game which ended 0-0.
– The pace and physicality of the game are clear when you see that Marouane Fellaini, never shy of going in for a tackle, attempted 11 tackles against Arsenal. That’s the second highest from the Premier League fixtures taking place last weekend or in midweek. It’s also the second time this season Fellaini has attempted so many tackles in a game, the other occasion coming against Villa back in August.
– Kevin Mirallas got the headlines for off the pitch reasons after the game against Arsenal, but his performances on the pitch this season suggest that he may be good for more than his current tally of five goals next season. Depsite averaging 13.5 shots at goal for each of his four goals, Mirallas has the most accurate shooting percentage of any player to have had 50 shots or more in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Mirallas has got 74% of his 54 shots at goal on target this season. However, of the players to have had 50 of more shots on goal he has got the fewest goals, a statistical anomaly that suggests the goals may start flowing for Mirallas soon.
– In defence Phil Jagielka also continues to shine, having attempted 67 tackles but given away just 11 fouls, a rate of a foul every 6.1 tackles, one of the best in the Premier League. He has also come away with the ball from 83% of those tackles, second only to Sunderland’s Carlos Cuellar in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.