Sunderland v Wigan 15:00
– Steven Fletcher was again the difference for Sunderland as they drew 1-1 away to West Ham. Martin O’Neill will undoubtedly be concerned as his side’s poor away form in the league stretched on for yet another week.
– Sunderland defender Titus Bramble has divided opinion throughout his Premier League career, but he was in dominant form against West Ham making 21 interceptions, the most by a single player in a match so far this season.
– Steven Fletcher will likely need more support from his team mates in providing more threats on goal as the season progresses. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, his 4 shots on target is double that of his nearest team mate in the Sunderland squad.
– Sebastian Larsson needs to refine some of his defending this week. He’s conceded 7 fouls so far this season and has lost out on 45% of his 11 tackles.
– Wigan were foiled partly by returning striker Hugo Rodallega as they dropped to 15th in the table after a 1-2 defeat to Fulham. Despite the efforts of the likes of Jordi Gomez amongst others, Arouna Kone’s last gasp goal was not enough for the Lactics to take anything away from the game.
– Jean Beasejour delivered 12 crosses in the game against Fulham in an attempt to turn around the game, that’s the joint highest from a player in one game this season.
– Craig Gardner has been throwing himself into his defensive work this season. The Wigan man is the highest ranked midfielder on the EA Sports Player Performance Index for blocks with 4.
– Ivan Ramis has had an incredible start to the season defensively speaking. He is the highest ranked defender on the EA Sports Player Performance Index for tackles won with 17, and is second overall for interceptions with 43.
– In fact Wigan’s reading of the game at the back has been superb this season. They have three of the top five players on the EA Sports Player Performance Index for interceptions, Ramis, Gary Caldwell and Maynor Figueroa, who have racked up 120 between them.