Reading v Newcastle 15:00
– Reading continued to struggle to find their form in the league against West Brom as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Hawthorns. Despite it being a relatively closely contested encounter, with Gareth McCleary and Jobi McAnuff in particular impressing, the Royals could not force their way through a very well organised West Brom defence.
– Jobi McAnuff delivered five dribbles in that game, a figure beaten only by Yao Gervinho and Santi Carzola for dribbles in a game so far this season.
– Kaspars Gorkss has been at the heart of some of Reading’s best defensive work this season. He’s won more tackles than any other Royal’s player with 8 on the EA Sports Player Performance Index.
– A first half goal from Demba Ba proved enough to earn Newcastle a deserved 1-0 win over Norwich. The Magpies should have won by a much greater margin but they were unable to convert their chances, with Hatem Ben Arfa at the centre of most of them.
– Newcastle built their excellent start to last season on a great work rate, and are showing signs of returning to that form. They are now up to second in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for distance covered as a team with 306.66 miles covered.
– In fact, the 66.4 miles covered by Newcastle in their last game is second only to their opponent’s in the same game, Norwich, who covered 64.4 miles, as a team performance this season.
– Yohan Cabaye also covered more ground than any other Newcastle player has in an individual match this season with 6.83 miles.
– Demba Ba is clearly focused on forcing his way into Alan Pardew’s plans on a more regular basis. He’s been in great form in recent weeks and now sits 3rd on the EA Sports Player Performance Index for goals with 4.