West Brom vs. Stoke City (15:00)
West Brom’s excellent run of four straight wins came to an end on Wednesday, with the Baggies falling to defeat against battling Swansea. The home side remain a force to be reckoned with though, and are level on points with third-placed Chelsea:
– Romelu Lukaku scored again in the midweek defeat, bringing his season tally to five. His 83.3 percent shooting accuracy rate (20 shots on target from 24 attempts) is excellent, and the Belgian is the only player on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with at least 20 goalbound efforts to have maintained a rate of 80% or more.
– Claudio Yacob looked solid against Swansea, and has made 35 winning tackles so far this season. Only three league players have made more, and Yacob’s tally of 24 lost tackles is lower than them all.
– The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows the Baggies to be the only side to lose midweek despite covering more ground than their opponents, and manager Steve Clarke will be telling his team to let the ball do more of the work at the weekend.
– In all competitions this season, the Baggies have only failed to find the net once, they are the only team in the entire league other than Everton who can boast this record, and will be looking to score early against Stoke.
Stoke’s home results this season have been incredible, with the side taking fifteen from a possible twenty-one points. If they can replicate this form on the road, the Potters will be strong contenders for a European place:
– Asmir Begovic almost cost his side the points on Wednesday with an unfortunate blunder, but remains the league’s best performing keeper this season. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the Bosnian stopper has saved 75 of the 87 shots on targets he’s faced, notching up an unmatched 86.2 percent success rate.
– Stoke were one of only two Premier League teams to win in midweek despite covering less total distance than their opposition, covering 63.9 miles compared to their Newcastle’s 65 miles.
– Cameron Jerome scored his side’s late winner on Wednesday, and will be hoping to get more time on the pitch in the next few matches. He’s only played 96 minutes this season, making eight successful passes and five attempts on goal according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Stoke’s win extended their unbeaten home record this season to seven matches, an even more impressive run considering the Potters have only let in two goals at the Brittania. West Brom may well be relieved to be playing at home at the weekend.