Stoke v Swansea 15:00
– Stoke lost 1-0 to Chelsea last weekend on an afternoon where Tony Pulis’ side had largely provided a typically bullish resistance to Chelsea’s attempts on their goal. The Potters even looked as though they might pull off the upset as Jonathan Walters came close just before half-time but was unable to convert.
– Walters was one of the top performers in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for distance covered last season, and he put in the best distance of a Stoke player so far this season with 6.82 miles against Chelsea, while the 65.06 they covered as a squad is also a season high. Walters has also contributed 13 interceptions, more than any other striker in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Peter Crouch may be returning to form in front of goal but his defence could still use some improvement. He is the highest ranked striker on the EA Sports Player Performance Index for tackles lost with 20 and has the unwelcome distinction of being the player with the largest gap between tackles won and tackles lost. He’s lost out on 95% of his 21 tackles.
– Goals are likely on the way for midfielder Michael Kightly. He’s had more shots on target than any other Stoke player this season with 8.
– Swansea’s great home record this season was tarnished as they fell to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of an in-form Everton. It was an afternoon to forget for Michael Laudrup’s side as they lost Nathan Dyer to a red card and saw Angel Rangel miss with the goal at his mercy.
– Despite that miss, Rangel has kept up his work rate from last season and has covered 31.5 miles so far, enough for fourth place in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Michel Vorm has been the second busiest goalkeeper in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index so far this season, making 28 saves, second only behind Mark Schwarzer. Eleven of Vorm’s saves came in the last game against Everton, the joint highest in a single game this season.
– Defender Ashley Williams has also been busy, making ten blocks so far this season, the most of any player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Williams is also the highest ranked defender on the EA Sports Player Performance Index for passes received with 263.
– Michu could do with improving the consistency of his tackling this week. He’s ranked fourth on the EA Sports Player Performance Index having lost out on 17 challenges so far this season.