Swansea vs. Sunderland
– Sunderland travel to Swansea hoping that Gus Poyet can transform their season, with the Black Cats only taking 1 point from their opening 7 games.
– One player who Poyet’s men will have to deal with is tricky winger Nathan Dyer. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the former Southampton man swung in 5 crosses against Southampton – this was more than any other player in the league.
– Nathan Dyer is very much in the classic winger mould, as in addition to his eagerness to deliver the ball into the box, he is keen to take on opposition defenders whenever possible. He has completed 9 dribbles this season – more than any other player in the Swansea squad. This is a particularly impressive figure when one considers that he has only played 386 minutes so far this term.
– Another Swansea player who has impressed this season is midfielder Jonjo Shelvey. The former Liverpool man has been a creative force for the Swans, completing a pass in the opposition half every 2.8 minutes.
– Nail Taylor will certainly have his work cut out when trying to oust left back Ben Davies. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that the academy graduate has made 172 attacking contributions so far this campaign (based on crosses, passes in the opposition half, dribbles, and shots), and also 74 defensive contributions (based on clearances, interceptions, tackles and blocks). Only 1 Swansea player has made more attacking contributions, and 2 more defensive contributions.
– Michael Laudrup’s teams are renowned for their offensive possession based game, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights the emphasis that he places on his full backs bombing forward. Ben Davies and Angel Rangel have completed 161 and 147 passes in the opposition half this season, the third and fourth most of any defenders in the league.
– Gus Poyet should look towards Craig Gardner in his quest to improve Sunderland’s defensive fortunes. Despite only featuring in 350 minutes this campaign, the midfielder has made 21 tackles – the second most in the team.
– Gardner’s passing has also been incredibly impressive, as he’s managed to complete a pass in the opposition half every 2.6 minutes.
– Valentin Roberge is a new arrival at Sunderland this year, and he’s certainly got stuck in since his arrival. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he has attempted 14 tackles, and been successful in 93% of them.
– Adam Johnson will be integral to Sunderland’s hopes of avoiding the drop due to his ability to deliver the ball into the box. The former Manchester City winger has delivered 10 crosses this season, the second most in the league.
– Johnson has also completed 12 dribbles this term, the most in the Sunderland squad.