West Ham v Southampton
The Irons have made a solid start to the season, having been unlucky to lose out to London rivals Tottenham at home, before triumphing in their second London derby of the season at Crystal Palace. Their 3-1 victory means that they will enter this fixture in a buoyant mood.
The Hammers will rely on a good defensive record to turn their home ground into a solid platform for results, and EA SPORTS Player Performance Index suggests that their shot stopper is in good form. West Ham keeper Adrian has already made seven saves in just two appearances this season, meaning West Ham have conceded just one goal in two games. He will need to keep up his good form to keep Southampton at bay come Saturday.
In defence, Winston Reid has started the season well according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, by winning both of his two tackles, making three interceptions and three blocks and an impressive 20 clearances. His good work has been mirrored by the man playing in front of him, Cheikhou Kouyate, who has won all 10 of his tackles, made five clearances and also made six interceptions. He has been equally impressive going forward and has managed to hit the target twice, attempted three crosses and eight dribbles whilst maintaining a 86.49% pass completion rate.
Last weekend saw Carlton Cole and Mauro Zarate find the back of the Crystal Palace net, but it is the third goal scorer Stewart Downing who looks to be in top form. According to EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Downing has hit the target three times in two games; more than any other player in the West Ham squad. Along with his 75% shooting accuracy, Downing has looked a threat from wide areas by delivering fourteen crosses in just two games; nine more crosses than any other West Ham player. Downing has hit a top speed of 35.1km/h this season, which is the fastest in the West Ham squad, and it is this pace that will worry the Southampton defence.
Southampton had a turbulent period over the summer with the loss of so many key squad members and with the loss of Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham. After an opening day defeat at Anfield and a home draw with West Brom, Southampton will be looking to kick start their season into life with three points for their travelling army to take back to the South coast.
With the sale of Adam Lallana in the summer came room for new creativity from the Southampton midfield, and EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that this void has been filled by Dusan Tadic. Whilst he is yet to score, the Serbian midfielder has hit the target with two of his three efforts and completed three of his six dribbles. It is his creativity where he comes into his own, having already got an assist and has delivered a staggering 22 crosses in just 164 minutes of playing time.
Defensively, Nathaniel Clyne has been very impressive and added to his defensive performances with a goal at Liverpool. EA SPORTS Player Performance Index also shows us he has also won nine out of his 11 tackles, made two clearances and two interceptions and delivered three crosses. He has also reached a top speed of 33.3km/h, which is the fastest in the squad, having also registered 92 sprints in the Saints’ first two games, which is again the most in their squad.
The Saints will look to dominate in the middle of the park, which will mean they will require a big performance from French international Morgan Schneiderlin. EA SPORTS Player Performance Index tells us that he has covered 24.9km in his first two games this season, nearly 3km more than the next closest member of the Southampton squad. Whilst hitting the target with both of his attempts on goal and successfully delivering his only cross, it is defensively where Schneiderlin has most impressed. He has won eight tackles, made four clearances, two interceptions and one block whilst managing to complete 83.94% of his passes. He will be a key asset to Southampton getting their first win of the season.