Swansea v Stoke 15:00
– Swansea eventually succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in their FA Cup replay with Arsenal on Wednesday evening, a disappointing result after their 0-0 draw with Everton in the league the previous weekend. It fell to keeper Michel Vorm to come to Swansea’s rescue on several occasions, with their highly regarded attacking threats of Michu, Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer were unable to conjure.
– Star man Michu will likely have been disappointed to miss out on the chance to start against Arsenal in mid-week, but you can guarantee he will be looking to remain the Swans’ biggest goal threat against a normally stoic Stoke defence. The Spaniard shows no signs of slowing down from his incredible start to the season and boasts a shot-to-goal ratio of 4.6 from 60 attempts according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Jonathan de Guzman has proven to be an almost tailor-made replacement for Joe Allen this season, the Canadian midfielder successfully completing 441 passes in the opponent’s half this season, the highest in the Swansea squad.
– The best leaders are the ones who demonstrate their expectations for the teammates through their own actions and Ashley Williams has been doing exactly that this season. He’d made 239 defensive contributions this season, placing him second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Given his performance on Wednesday night, midfielder Nathan Dyer looks to be approaching somewhere near his elusive best. He’s racked up 387 successful passes in the opponent’s half and also has 4 assists to his name.
– If international caps were won on performance alone, Wayne Routledge would be knocking hard on England’s door. The pacy winger has an excellent 89% shot accuracy rate from 18 attempts, 5 goals and 4 assists.
– Stoke suffered a 4-0 at the hands of Chelsea last weekend, with Jonathan Walters enduring a particularly torrid afternoon after scoring two own-goals and missing a penalty. Asmir Begovic turned in another fine performance but was not able to keep the scoreline from running away from the Potters.
– South-after keeper Asmir Begovic remains one of the busiest keepers in the league, with his 118 saves placing him 5th on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Despite having an evening to forget, Jonathan Walters still turned in the kind of performance so prized at the Brittania Stadium, running for a squad-high 6.28 miles against Chelsea.
– Robert Huth’s general defensive performances continue to be excellent in all areas this season. The big German leads the Stoke squad for interceptions with 133, also registering 20 blocks and 34 clearances.
– Steven Nzonzi has already endeared himself to many of the Stoke faithful with some committed performances. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows him as contributing decisively in both defence and attack this season, racking up 320 passes in the opponent’s half this season, along with 77 interceptions.