Tottenham vs Norwich 15:00
– A battling performance from Tottenham was not enough to prevent them slipping to a 1-0 defeat to local rivals Arsenal in what was considered as perhaps something of an upset given Tottenham’s moves in the transfer window this summer. Chairman Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and Andre Villas-Boas have moved quickly and confidently in the spending of the fee received for Gareth Bale but it was evident on this display that their new-look side will require further time to gel before reaching their potential.
– Nacer Chadli has been highly touted since his arrival at White Hart Lane, with many pundits commenting that he could be one of the best signings for Tottenham this summer. As with all new Premier League arrivals however, it appears Chadli will need some time to acclimatise to the rigours of English football. The Belgian has yet to register a single on-target attempt on goal, despite his 6 strikes so far this season. This is the most attempts on goal any player in the league has taken this season without testing the keeper.
– Young right-back Kyle Walker has come in for a tough time of it in recent weeks, most recently in a difficult outing against the Ukraine for England. People should not be so quick to discount Walker’s talents though, he has a solid tackle success rate so far this season, coming out on top in 70.6% of his 17 attempted challenges.
– Andros Townsend will be looking to build on what has been an excellent start to the season for him, capitalising on his momentum from his loan spell with QPR in the last campaign. No Spurs player can top his 19 attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, crosses, dribbles) so far this year, a stat which should hopefully safeguard his involvement this weekend despite the influx of new players at White Hart Lane over the summer.
– Indeed, his 9 contributions in attack last time out were the most of any player in the league who still ended up on the losing side during the last round of fixtures.
– Youngster Nathan Redmond bagged his first Premier League goal in what also turned out to be the decisive strike against Southampton. The result gave Norwich their first league win of the season but they face an even sterner test against Spurs this weekend.
– This season may well be remembered for the attacking exploits of some of the league’s younger players if some of the early signs are to be taken seriously. Redmond has been one of those standout performers so far, his 13 dribbles drawing him so much attention that the word is an England call-up might not be too far away.
– He sits atop a trio of English players (Ross Barkley and Andros Townsend) with an average age of just 20 who lead the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for dribbles so expect youth to flourish even further if given the chance as the season progresses.
– Ricky van Wolfswinkel continues to be the most heavily penalised player in the league this season, the Dutch striker racking up 10 fouls at a rate of one every 27 minutes.
– Defender Michael Turner’s influence continues to grow for Chris Hughton’s side this season. The centre-half still leads the Norwich squad for overall defensive contributions (tackles won, interceptions, clearances, blocks) with 35.
– Hughton will be expecting to see greater ambition and adventure from some of his midfield players as the season continues. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, defender Steven Whittaker leads the Norwich squad for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 65.