Everton v Newcastle, Monday 20:00
– Everton’s 100% start to the season ended last time around against West Brom, falling to a 2-0 defeat at the Hawthorns.
– While many have been hailing his eye for goal at the start of the season, Marouane Fellaini’s defensive work has been less impressive. He’s lost out in 75% of his 24 tackles so far, giving away 11 fouls in the process. Fellaini can’t be faulted for effort though. He’s ran the furthest of any Everton player this season clocking up 17.99 miles.
– Steven Pienaar’s consistent involvement in Everton’s play continues to be a great asset for the Toffees. He ranks 6th overall for passes in the EA SPORTS Player Index with 98. The South African midfielder has also been one of Everton’s most regular threats in front of goal. He has the highest number of shots on target of any Everton player this season with 6.
– Leighton Baines continues to be the model of consistency at the back for Everton. Alongside his 75% successful tackle rate, he’s also drilled in 12 crosses this season, the 3rd highest on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Newcastle may struggle to get any change out of the Everton defence this week. Their centre back partnership of Sylvain Distin and Phil Jagielka have been in a domineering mood at the beginning of the season, racking up 37 interceptions and 19 clearances between them.
– Newcastle were spared defeat at the hands of Aston Villa with a spectacular strike from mercurial midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa securing the point. Hatem Ben Arfa’s stunning effort against Villa is just one way he has been tormenting opposition this season. He’s also delivered 8 crosses and 5 trademark dribbles in his opening matches.
– It’s been a typically hard-working start to the season for Jonas Gutierrez. He’s covered more ground than any Newcastle player this season with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index clocking him at 17.08 miles.
– Demba Ba was Newcastle’s fastest player against Aston Villa, recording a speed of 19.58mph.
– Yohan Cabaye proved there is more to his game than just elegant passing. He was Newcastle’s hardest working player against Villa as the diminutive Frenchman clocked up 5.94 miles in the Newcastle engine room.