Swansea vs Liverpool, 20:00
– Goals from Ben Davies and Pablo Hernandez secured Swansea’s first league win of the season and Michael Laudrup must have been pleased with his side’s dominant display against a solid West Brom outfit. His side now face former manager Brendan Rogers who has taken a similar passing, technique-focused style of play with him to Merseyside.
– Ashley Williams has started the season in typically committed fashion, making the joint third most blocks (4) in the league so far this season.
– His defensive colleague Ben Davies stormed into the first team last season, grabbing his chance to impress with both hands following injuries to more established players. His eagerness for work has clearly not diminished over the summer break, given that he leads the Swan’s squad for total attempted tackles with 12.
– Jonjo Shelvey has wasted no time in settling into the setup at his new club, establishing his passing game with immediate effect. He tops the pile in the Swan’s squad for passes completed in the opponent’s half with 86 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– A superb 1-0 win over a disjointed Manchester United saw Liverpool continue their stellar start to the season, with yet another goal from the red-hot Daniel Sturridge securing their place as Premier League leaders.
– Sturridge’s flying start to the season has been bolstered by his coolness in front of goal, an obvious requirement for any striker. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Sturridge ranks joint second for on-target attempts with 5, and has scored, on average, from just over every 1 in 3 (37.5%) strikes he has had on goal this season.
– Lucas Leiva’s evolution into one of the most solid central midfielders in the Premier League is showcased well by his superb defensive stats so far this season. He has attempted the second most tackles in the league (21), yet has done so with an excellent success rate of 85.7%.
– As if further evidence was needed of how important Lucas will be to Brendan Rogers moving forward, the Brazilian is also the first Liverpool player to move into double-figures for both clearances (10) and interceptions (11). It is the defensive tenacity of Lucas and the Liverpool back four which might explain why the Reds are the only team in the Premier League who have yet to concede a goal.
– Although much has been made of the impact made by Phillippe Coutinho following his move to the Premier League from Inter Milan, his midfield partner Steven Gerrard is still doing the business alongside him. The Liverpool skipper not only has a typically excellent tackle success rate of 91.7% from 12 attempted challenges, he’s also completed more passes in the opponent’s half than any other Liverpool player (107) so far this season.