Stoke vs Crystal Palace, 15:00
Stoke put in an impressive defensive performance in their opening fixture against Liverpool, with Steven Nzonzi winning nine tackles, more than an other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Team mate Marc Wilson also signaled Stoke’s intentions for the new season by attempting 10 tackles, the most of the weekend, winning 7. That contributed to 20 defensive contributions by Wilson in the game, the second highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index after the first round of game
Meanwhile Ryan Shawcross was one of four players to make three blocks in their first game of the season. Shawcross ended last season having won an impressive 62.8% of tackles attempted (49 out of 78) and made 179 interceptions, ending the season at the highest ranked Stoke player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Undoubtedly the hero of Stoke’s display was, however, Asmir Begovic who delivered a man of the match display to limit Liverpool to one goal. Begovic made ten saves in the game.
Crystal Palace impressed on their first game since their return to the Premier League. Mile Jedinak in particular put in an impressive midfield display, making 14 defensive contributions overall across tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks, second only to Everton’s Marouane Fellaini in the opening round of games.
Dean Moxy will be disappointed to have conceded the penalty which ultimately gave Spurs victory, but after captain Jedinak Moxey did more defensively for the Eagles than any other player. Moxey attempted 6 tackles (winning 4), and also made 4 clearances and 2 interceptions.
Despite their defensive grit, Palace will need more quality in the attacking half to unlock Premier League defences. Owen Garvan was the only Palace player to complete more than 20 passes in the opposition half against Spurs, while no player attempted more than one shot at goal in the match against Spurs
Palace fans will be hoping that play-off hero Kevin Phillips can recreate his form in the Premier League this season. In his last season in the Premier League with Blackpool Phillips scored just one Premier League goal and contributed one assist in 555 minutes on the pitch. However, the veteran striker’s accuracy in front of goal suggests that some things never age. Phillips got 80% of shots on target in that campaign.