STATS: Southampton vs Cardiff

Southampton v Cardiff

Southampton will seize every opportunity when they entertain Cardiff this weekend. The Saints, who are currently 8th with 48 points, were convincingly beaten by title contenders Manchester City at the Etihad last weekend 4-1; their biggest away defeat of the season. Southampton fans will feel hard done by after the referee missed an obvious offside in the build up to a City goal before halftime. The days unfortunate score line was however overshadowed by Jay Rodriguez’s injury which will now force him to miss this years World Cup in Brazil. Saints fans will hope that the absence of Rodriguez, who has scored 17 times in 45 appearances for the Saints, too much this weekend.

In a disappointing day for the Saints, Ricky Lambert certainly gave the fans something to cheer about. The England international maintained his 100% penalty record for Southampton, netting his 31st spot kick for the Saints; briefly levelling the scoreboard. Lamberts impressive spot kick ability will certainly work in his favour when Hodgson announces the squad for Brazil. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Lambert has scored 11 times in 33 appearances and has a shot accuracy of 50%; finding the target 34 times.

Morgan Schneiderlin created plenty of attacking opportunities for the Saints against City. The Frenchman completed 41 passes in the opposition half. The 24 year old has completed the most passes in the opposition half this season at Southampton with an impressive 793. Saints fans will be hoping that Schneiderlin can create plenty of attacking play to compensate for Rodriguez’s absence.

Despite giving away a penalty within 3 minutes, Jose Fonte played a vital role in Southampton’s defence. Fonte made 12 defensive contributions (tackles won, clearances, interceptions and blocks) including 8 clearances and 3 interceptions. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has won 62 out of a possible 82 tackles this season; giving him a tackle accuracy of 76%. He currently leads the way in defensive contributions this season for the Saints with 418.

Cardiff’s Premier League survival hangs in the balance this weekend when they travel to Southampton with the Bluebirds currently 19th with 26 points. Cardiff’s hopes of survival were severely damaged when they were convincingly beaten at home by Crystal Palace last weekend. Cardiff now have 5 games in which to prevent a return to the Championship after just 1 year in the top flight.

Jordon Mutch will hope he can give his side a much needed win whilst adding to his haul of 7 goals this season. The 22 year old is Cardiff’s top scorer with 7 goals in 30 Premier League appearances. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has found the target 18 times out of a possible 35, giving him an accuracy of 51%.

Steve Caulker will be integral to Cardiff’s survival hopes this week. The defender has won 35 out of a possible 45 tackles this season, that’s a 78% accuracy rating. In addition to his defensive influence, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows he is also the 3rd highest scoring defender this season 5 goals. Bluebird fans will expect Caulker to provide a game changing influence at both ends of the field.

Ben Turner will feel himself capable of dealing with the attacking threat of Lallana and Lambert. The Englishman made 12 defensive contributions (tackles won, interceptions, clearances and blocks) last week against Palace. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has made 369 defensive contributions this season.