Reading v Southampton 12:45
– Reading are now bottom of the Premier League on goal difference after falling to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Arsenal in their last league game.
– A Hal Robson-Kanu goal was scant consolation in that game. Robson-Kanu has been in good goal scoring form since the new year, and his goal against Arsenal was his fifth of the season. It has take him just 24 efforts to hit that tally, averaging a goal every 4.8 shots.
– Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, in the absence of goal scoring opportunities, found himself supporting his defence, and was one of only two players to make 5 clearances in the last round of games (along with Jan Vertonghen).
– Meanwhile, Adrian Mariappa made a stinging 7 blocks in the game, the second highest in a single game of the season so far
– Southampton have enjoyed a very different season to their fellow newly promoted opponents today. They secured a stunning 2-1 victory over Chelsea in their last game thanks to goals from Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez.
– Lambert’s winner increased the volume of cries for an England call up. He has now scored 14 goals in the Premier League this season, more than any other English player (Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard are joint second with 12 each).
– Lambert has taken just 73 shots to hit his 14 goals. In comparison, Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke has taken 91 shots for the same tally, while Demba Ba has taken 101 shots for just one more goal.
– While Lambert has taken the headlines this season,Jay Rodriguez has also contributed with five goals, coming from 62 shots at goal. However, a wasteful shot conversion rate of 12.4 shots per goal should only be taken in context of an impressive shots on target percentage of 56.4%. If Rodriguez keeps getting his shots on target his tally will surely be closer toLambert’s by the end of the season.
– Unsung hero Jos Hoosiveld, meanwhile, helped the Saints frustrate Chelsea by making 25 interceptions, more than any other player in the last round of games.Morgan Schneiderlin also remains top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles won, with 79.