West Brom vs Newcastle 15:00
Nicolas Anelka grabbed a brace as West Brom twice came from behind to record a thrilling 3-3 draw with West Ham on Saturday. It was a battling performance and they will be looking to find a similar level of resilience this weekend against Newcastle as they continue to stabilise following Steve Clarke’s departure.
No player in the Baggies squad has been more defensively committed this term than the impressive Claudio Yacob. The Argentinian has the second highest total number of tackles of any player in the league with 98, winning an excellent 70.4% of them.
The Baggies have been misfiring at times in front of goal this season despite some impressive performances against the likes of Manchester Utd back in September. Saido Berahino started the season in fine form but his shooting statistics have tailed off in recent weeks, something West Brom fans will be hoping can be addressed as they look to climb further up the table. So far the talented youngster has only found the target with 28.6% of his 21 attempts this season, the second lowest total of any player to have had more than 20 shots this season.
Youssuf Mulumbu continues to be highly impressive in the middle of the park for the Baggies this term, the DR Congo international providing the platform for most of West Brom’s attacks. He’s completed the highest number of passes in the opponent’s half in the squad this campaign with 434, at an average rate of one every 3.4 minutes.
A tight game at St James’ Park on Sunday did not see Newcastle get their reward their hard work and endeavor deserved against Arsenal. After being unable to break down the Gunner’s defence, they went down 0-1 thanks to a second half Olivier Giroud header.
Left back Mathieu Debuchy will have been as disappointed as anyone after Arsenal left Tyneside with all three points having been repelled by the Frenchman and his colleagues throughout the game. Debuchy is enjoying an overall excellent season though and is currently joint fifth on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total tackles won with 63. Moreover, this gives him an overall tackle success rate of 85.1%, one of the best in the league.
Keeping hold of Loic Remy come the end of his loan deal from QPR is clearly going to be a top priority for Alan Pardew, the Frenchman impressing during his time so far at St James’. He easily has the best goals-to-minutes ratio of any Newcastle player this term, taking on average just 127 minutes to register each of his 10 goals this season.
His goals have been of vital importance to Newcastle in recent weeks but Yoan Gouffran clearly has even more to offer to Alan Pardew’s side, displaying some solid defensive nous this season. The Frenchman is the highest ranked forward in the league for interceptions with 24, as well as attempting 33 tackles with a solid 69.7% success rate. Gouffran is an industry best 3/1 to score at any time against West Brom with 888sport.com.