Southampton vs West Ham, 16:00
– Southampton’s last outing saw them lose their unbeaten record this season as they were beaten 1-0 by Norwich at Carrow Road. The visitors felt hard done by with a penalty decision which didn’t go their way and will be looking to get things back on track this weekend.
– Rickie Lambert’s confidence is shining brightly at the moment following a successful start to his international career with England. His buoyant mood has clearly translated onto the pitch, the new England frontman ranking joint second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total attempts on goal with 9. He will be hoping for greater accuracy this weekend though as only 55.5% of these have been on-target.
– At the other end of the park, once again few can seem to match the imperious Jose Fonte for overall defensive work. The classy Portuguese has made the joint highest number of defensive contributions of anyone in the league with 47.
– Victor Wanyama has wasted no time in implementing his tough-tackling style on Premier League opposition since arriving from Celtic. The Kenyan international has quickly established himself as a dominant force in the Southampton midfield, racking up a tackle success rate of 80% from 5 challenges.
– James Ward-Prowse, yet another talented product of the Southampton academy system, appears set to kick-on this year. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Ward-Prowse has the best pass completion rate of any player in the Southampton squad, successfully completing a pass in the opponent’s half on average once every 2.9 minutes this season.
– A spectacular free kick from Jermaine Pennant condemned West Ham to a 0-1 defeat at home to Stoke last time out. Sam Allardyce will be looking for a step up in performance when his team travel to the south coast on Sunday.
– Sam Allardyce will have been especially pleased to have retained the services of Mohamed Diame this summer with the Senegalese midfielder being an integral part of his engine room. Despite Diame’s defensive capabilities, he also leads the Hammers’ squad for attacking contributions (12), proving his worth at both ends of the park.
– Allardyce will be looking for his squad to up the game in terms of accuracy in front of goal. So far Joe Cole boasts the best accuracy rate in the West Ham squad, with 50% of his 4 attempts heading goalwards according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Alongside him, Mark Noble is unsurprisingly once again playing as the heartbeat of the West Ham squad. No Hammers player has so far completed more passes than Noble in the opponent’s half, his tally of 65 so far setting the benchmark for his teammates.