Southampton v Aston Villa 15:00
– Southampton were brushed aside by a free-flowing Arsenal as they fell to a heavy 6-1 defeat. Although two own goals from Jos Hooveld and Nathaniel Clyne certainly didn’t help the scoreline’s appearance, the Saints will have had few complaints after being outplayed in a clinical display from the Gunners.
– Although Morgan Schneiderlin continues to impress in the middle of the park for Southampton, he’s been successful with 66% of his 21 tackles this season, he’s also conceded 7 fouls to go along with it.
– However on the day Schneiderlin certainly attempted to stem the tide of relentless Arsenal pressure at the weekend with some effective defensive work. He was successful with 86% of his 7 tackles and made 5 interceptions.
– Hopefully Nathaniel Clyne’s own goal against Arsenal will not have affected his confidence as he’s been in good form at the back so far for Southampton. An 81% tackle success rate from 16 challenges should not to be overlooked.
– Southampton certainly did their fair amount of chasing as Arsenal dominated the possession at the weekend. Youngster James Ward-Prowse led the charge as he ran for a game-leading 6.59 miles.
– Southampton’s team work ethic has been a plus to their start to Premier League like. After four games they remain top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for overall distance covered as a team with 255.39 miles, led by Schneiderlin with 27.72 miles
– Nigel Adkins will likely be looking for more of an impact from his front men as the season continues. The Saint’s biggest goal threat so far this campaign has been midfielder Adam Lallana who’s had 10 shots on goal, 60% of which have been on target.
– Goals from Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke gave Aston Villa a deserved three points against Swansea on Saturday. Villa managed to effectively disrupt Swansea’s much vaunted creativity in attack whilst playing some attractive football themselves, with Eric Lichaj and Benteke particularly impressing for the home side.
– Lowton’s goal at the weekend will have been a coup for the English defender but it is in some of his more regular duties that he has excelled this season. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he’s been successful in 80% of his tackles in his four appearances this campaign and has also chipped in with 19 interceptions.
– Villa midfielder Karim El Ahmadi would do well to tighten up some of the defensive work he has produced so far this season. The Moroccan midfielder has lost out on 15 tackles in his opening appearances, placing him second highest on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Australian striker Brett Holman will be risking the wrath of Villa boss Paul Lambert if he continues to give away fouls so readily for the rest of the season. He is the highest ranked striker on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for fouls conceded having already given away 10 this season.
– Ahmadi can’t be faulted for his work ethic against Swansea last weekend though. He covered a solid 6.74 miles, second only to teammate Barry Bannan with 6.76 miles.
-While this weekend’s opponents Southampton top the charts for distance covered as a squad, Villa are no slouches either and are currently fourth in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for distance overall with 239.86 miles
– Ciaran Clark continues to grow as an authority figure at the back for Aston Villa. He made more successful tackles than any other player on the pitch against Swansea with 4.