Stoke vs Sunderland
A late penalty from Charlie Adam earned Stoke a dramatic point in a 3-3 draw against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. Goals from Jonathan Walters and Stephen Ireland looked to have put the Potters in the driving seat but they gave their supporters something of a scare after yielding what was at one point a 2-0 lead.
Marko Arnautovic has made quite the impact since arriving at the Britannia, bolstering the Stoke squad with his considerable power and confidence. He’s already racked up a squad-high total of 18 attempts on goal according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
However Charlie Adam remains Stoke’s most effective attacker when presented with opportunities to let fly in front of goal. The Scot has a squad-best shot accuracy rate of 88.8% from 9 total attempts so far this term.
Centre-back Robert Huth continues to be Stoke’s standout performer at the back this season. The big German has compiled some impressive statistics according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, including a tackles success rate of 82.8% from 29 attempted challenges, as well as a squad-leading 119 total defensive contributions (tackles won, clearances, blocks, interceptions).
Geoff Cameron has been highly impressive when taking the game to the opposition this term, showcasing that there is much more to his game that just a very solid defensive record. Cameron has amassed 18 dribbles this season, a figure only surpassed by one other defender in the league (Seamus Coleman – 18).
Sunderland secured a famous win and what could prove to be a truly landmark victory in the tenure of Gus Poyet, as they ran out 1-0 winners over Manchester City at the Stadium of Light. A fine Phil Bardsley finish was all that separated the two teams for the majority of the match and the Black Cats showed great resilience and desire to battle for their win to send their fans into rapturous celebrations come the final whistle.
Phil Bardsley is enjoying something of a renaissance under Gus Poyet, his goal last time out a just reward for some great defensive statistics. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Bardsley has compiled a 94.1% tackle success rate from 17 attempted challenges this season.
Gus Poyet appears to have the Sunderland players working hard for each other and actively seeking the ball again following his arrival at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland now have a very solid 6 players with a total pass in the opponent’s half of 100 or more.
Emanuele Giaccherini came out this week and stated that he intends to force his way into Italy’s World Cup squad whilst continuing as part of the Sunderland revival. His stats this season have been impressive enough to possibly warrant such a call-up, as he currently places second in the Sunderland squad for attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, dribbles, crosses) with 24.
John O’Shea was at the very heart of the defensive effort against Manchester City, the former Utd man clearly relishing the chance to grab a result against his former local rivals. It will come as little surprise that O’Shea leads the Sunderland squad for clearances this season with 73.