Tottenham vs Newcastle, Sunday 12:00
Spurs missed the chance to go up to second in the Premier League when they drew away to Everton, and they host a Newcastle side buoyant following their victory over Chelsea.
Despite being an advocate of squad rotation, Andre Villas-Boas has been reluctant to chop and change his defence, with Michael Dawson, Kyle Walker and Hugo Lloris all completing every minute of the campaign. By examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index it isn’t hard to see why AVB refuses to budge from these key players, as Michael Dawson made 11 clearances against Everton – the fourth most in the league.
Andros Townsend continued his sparkling form on Sunday, as he managed to complete 4 dribbles – the third most in the league. Townsend’s dribbling has been outstanding this season, evident in the fact that he has completed 50, 19 more than any other player.
Sandro has come back into the fold for Tottenham in recent weeks, with the midfield powerhouse playing the enforcer role, shielding the back four. Moussa Dembele, however, may feel slightly aggrieved to be replaced by the Brazilian, as his tackling this season has been absolutely outstanding. The Belgian has been successful in 22 of his 24 tackles this term, with a success rate of 92%.
There have been calls for Jermaine Defoe to come back into the Tottenham lineup as the team continue to struggle for goals. This, however, shouldn’t be at the expense of Roberto Soldado. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the Spaniard has made 6 goalscoring contributions, based on goals and assists. He has scored 4 times, and assisted 2.
Newcastle come into this match against Spurs having recorded an impressive victory against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has come in for criticism at times this season, but the Frenchman certainly silenced any sceptics with his performance on Saturday. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that the Frenchman made 13 clearances – the second most in the league. Yanga-Mbiwa also made the second most blocks in the league on Saturday, with 3.
Chelsea dominated possession on Saturday, with Newcastle holding onto the ball for only 39% of the game. When they did have the ball, Yohan Cabaye proved to be the focal point of the attacks as he made a total of 27 attacking contributions (based on passes in the opposition half, crosses, dribbles and shots). This was more than any other Newcastle player.
Many Newcastle fans were relieved when Cabaye’s proposed move to Arsenal fell through, as many consider him the lynchpin of Newcastle’s offensive play. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, however, shows that their worries could have been allayed when looking at the performances of Moussa Sissoko. Sissoko has made 244 attacking contributions this season, 66 more than Cabaye.
Upon first arriving in England, Cheick Tiote developed a tendency to pick up yellow cards at regular intervals, but this was the price to pay for the volume of tackles he was required to make. This season, though, it has been the best of both worlds for Newcastle fans, as not only has the Ivorian picked up only one booking, but he has also won an impressive 67.5% of his challenges.