Stoke v West Brom, 15:00
– Stoke were leading Newcastle 1-0 right up until the 72nd minute last weekend, before going on to lose the game 2-1.
– Jonathan Walters won a penalty and then scored from the spot to put the Potters ahead. Walters has six goals in the Premier League this season and is now Stoke’s top goal scorer after over taking Peter Crouch who has five.
– Walters’ goals have come from 39 shots at goal, although he has got just 43.6% of shots on target. Crouch, meanwhile, may consider himself unlucky as he has the better on target percentage of 63.2%, and has had just one fewer shot, with 38, but has scored just five goals compared to Walters’ six.
– The one thing Walters and Crouch do have in common is the urgency to try and win the ball back. The two are ranked third and fourth in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s strikers for tackles attempted, with 63 and 62 respectively.
– Matt Etherington must be hoping either will start converting his crosses this season. Only two player’s in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index (Angel Rangel and Luke Shaw) have delivered more crosses than Etherington’s 31 without being credited an assist
– Asmir Begovic once more excelled to keep Stoke in the game, making 11 saves in total, the joint highest of any keeper in the Premier League last weekend.
– West Brom come into the game on the back of the same scoreline as Stoke, but were on the happier end after goals from Romelu Lukaku and a Jonathan de Guzman own goal saw off Swansea in their last game.
– Lukaku’s strike means he has now over taken Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko to have the second best minutes per goal rating in the league. Lukaku has scored 13 times in the Premier League this season, averaging 112 minutes 28 seconds. Only Chicarito has a better minutes per goal rating with a goal every 93 minutes 30 seconds.
– Graham Dorrans enjoyed a fantastic game in midfield for West Brom, completing 50 passes in the opposition half, more than any other player in the last round of games, while James Morrison ranked 3rd with 41.
– Meanwhile, Gareth McAuley is ranked fourth overall in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for defensive contributions across tackles won, blocks, clearances and interceptions with 262 overall.
– McAuley has excelled in particular in clearances, where he is ranked third with 69 so far this season, while his team mate Jonas Olsson is ranked first with 77, making for a fascinating battle in the penalty area between McAuley and Olsson and Walters and Crouch.