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STATS: Sidwell’s challenges for Fulham vs Mariappa’s defensive contributions for Reading

Fulham v Reading, 15:00 


Fulham left Merseyside with nothing last weekend following a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Everton at Goodison Park. 


Hugo Rodallega continues to compile some impressive figures this season, despite spending the large majority of it in the shadow of the in-form Dimitar Berbatov. The Colombian front man has the best shooting accuracy rate in the Fulham squad, managing to get 68.1% of his 47 efforts on target, at an average rate of one every 48.8 minutes. 


– Midfielder Steven Sidwell remains the Cottagers most enthusiastic defender this season, racking up a squad-high 127 attempted challenges this term nearly double that of his nearest team mate (Sascha Reither – 69). However Sidwell has also concede the greatest number of fouls in the Fulham squad at 51. He must keep his defending tight to prevent the ball from returning to a Reading side with nothing to lose this weekend. 


– Although noted for his finishing ability, Bryan Ruiz has been highly effective in his link-up play this season. He’s completed 588 passes in the opponent’s half this season, at an average rate of one every 3.9 minutes. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this is the third best rate of any striker in the Premier League to have broken the 500-pass barrier so don’t be surprised if he registers an assist this weekend. 


Reading’s fate was confirmed for next season as they were relegated to the Championship along with fellow bottom side QPR following a 0-0 draw last weekend. 


– Captain Jobi McAnuff will want his Reading side to finish the season on a high for the sake of the fans after a disappointing season which resulted in their relegation from the top flight. Expect him to be driving their  play forward against Reading, especially given his record of providing more attacking contributions (assists, shots on target, crosses or dribbles) that any other Royals player this season with 139. 


– A lack of goals has been one of the key factors in Reading’s drop to the Championship for next season, which makes it difficult to understand why leading goalscorer Adam Le Fondre hasn’t featured more as a regular starter. Despite having a slightly wasteful 47.7% shot accuracy rate from 44 attempts, Le Fondre has still managed to get a shot on target on average once every 35.5 minutes. That this is the best rate in the Reading squad becomes even more impressive when you consider that most of Le Fondre’s appearances this season have come as a second-half substitute. 


– Although their defence has at times been found wanting this term, Adrian Mariappa has certainly put in his fair share of shifts at the back. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he’s made a squad-leading 316 defensive contributions this season (block, clearance, interceptions, successful tackles), at an average rate of one every 8.2 minutes, another squad-best.

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