Norwich v Reading, 15:00
– Norwich came within five minutes of beating Arsenal at the Emirates in their last league outing just to find themselves undone by a late salvo from the Gunner and leave on the end of a 3-1 defeat.
– Michael Turner’s 56th minute goal had given the travelling Canaries fans reason to cheer, but they now find themselves just four points clear of the relegation zone ahead of what could be a vital game against bottom club Reading.
– That was Turner’s third goal of the season, despite having had just nine efforts at goal. Turner has been more effective in employing his defensive duties this season, making 114 interceptions, 47 clearances and 20 blocks.
– Robert Snodgrass has had a strong first season for Norwich, though he may be forgiven for being frustrated that his hard work hasn’t come to more. Of the 38 players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index who have had 50 or more shots at goal this season, Snodgrass is one of six to have a return of just five or fewer goals to his name. However, with a 63% on target rating more goals will surely come for the former Leeds winger.
– Snodgrass is also the leading player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance for crosses delivered this season with 128, 13 more than Leighton Baines and 20 more than Gareth Bale. Those crosses have resulted in 6 assists.
– Snodgrass has also won 66 tackles this season, the fifth highest for a midfielder in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Alex McCarthy drew all the plaudits after a string of sensational saves in Reading’s last game to earn them a 0-0 draw against Liverpool. McCarthy made 12 saves in total, the sixth highest by a goalkeeper in a single game in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this season.
– That takes McCarthy’s number of saves this season to 67 from just 766 minutes of football. With most goalkeepers having played around 3,000 minutes this season, that would take McCarthy to the top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for saves this season if he had averaged the same performances for the whole season.
– At the other end of the pitch Noel Hunt and Jobi McAnuff both brought the best out in McCarthy’s Liverpool counterpart Pepe Reina. Hunt has two goals to his name this season, though he has had just 14 shots at goal this season with 10 on target.
– McAnuff, meanwhile, is running out of time to break his Premier League duck, still being goalless despite 31 shots at goal with 20 on target.
– Adam le Fondre has been stuck on ten goals this season for a long time, but still boasts the best shots per goal rating in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for those hitting ten goals this season, needing just 4.3 shots per goal, something Norwich will need to be wary of.