Stoke v Aston Villa 15:00
– After falling to a 1-0 loss against Everton, Stoke are now just four points above the relegation zone and have scored just once in their last five matches.
– Stoke’s issues in front of goal are made clear when comparing their top goalscorer to other clubs’ top goalscorers. Jonathan Walters is Stoke’s top goalscorer this season with six goals. All but three other clubs in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index have more prolific top goalscorers. The only clubs with a top goalscorer with fewer than 7 goals are West Ham (Kevin Nolan – 6), Norwich (Grant Holt – 5), and QPR (Adel Taarabt – 5).
– Of those four players, Walters has reached top goalscorer status with the fewest shots at goal. He’s taken just 42 efforts for his six goals this season.
– Stoke fans can’t complain about their team’s defensive effort’. After the last round of games Robert Huthbecame one of just 15 players who have contributed more than 250 times defensively across tackles, clearances, interceptions and blocks.
– Huth’s joined in that group by Ryan Shawcross, who has made 268 this season, ranking him 8th overall defensively in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Aston Villa missed out on the chance to rise out of the relegation zone against Liverpool last weekend, falling to a 2-1 defeat against Liverpool despite taking the lead through Christian Benteke.
– Of the top twenty players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total shots at goal, Benteke is the only one to have maintained an on target percentage over 70% (70.3%).
– Bradley Guzan was once again kept busy in keeping the scoreline respectable. He made 9 saves against Liverpool, the joint highest in the last round of games. That took Guzan’s total for the season to 200, the most in the Premier League this season.
– Matt Lowton also remains among the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s top defensive performers. He’s won more tackles (74) than any other defender in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. All being well, he will attempt his 100th tackle in the game against Stoke, and with a tackles won percentage of 74.7% you can make a safe bet that he’ll come away with the ball.
– Ciaran Clark is Villa’s third highest ranked player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index behindBenteke and Lowton. Clark is ranked 10th overall for interceptions so far this season with 154, and 7th for clearances with 49.