Southampton v Burnley – Saturday 21st March, 15:00
A Man of the Match performance from Fraser Forster helped Southampton hold Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in an enthralling encounter at Stamford Bridge last weekend. It was an important result for the Saints, very much keeping them in the hunt for a top-6 finish.
When discussing the state of the Premier League, the lack of English players regularly featuring for their clubs is a topic hot on the agenda. One area, though, where England don’t appear to be short of quality is in goal with ‘keepers Joe Hart and Ben Foster, amongst others, making a compelling case for inclusion. One goalkeeper who must be firmly in Roy Hodgson’s thoughts is Southampton stopper Fraser Forster, who was in inspired form against League Leaders Chelsea. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that the former Celtic man made a total of six saves – which was the most in the league in the last round of Premier League fixtures.
Central midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama put in a big defensive shift to help keep Chelsea’s fine array of attacking talent at bay. Between them, the duo covered a total of 23.5km with Schneiderlin covering 12.2km and Wanyama 11.3km respectively.
Many expected the loss of Dejan Lovren to hit Southampton hard at the start of the campaign, as he had been a mainstay of the Saints defence in their impressive 2013/2014 season. In his absence, though, skipper Jose Fonte has stepped up to the mark, becoming a rock in the heart of Ronald Koeman’s back line. The Portuguese defender was in imperious form against the Blues, stifling any attacks as they approached the Southampton goal. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates how impressive his performance was, as it shows that he made a total of 23 defensive contributions (based on blocks, tackles won, clearances and interceptions), the second most of any defender in the league in the last round of Premier League fixtures. If you fancy Fonte to head up the other end of the pitch, head to 888sport.com who have him at 15/2 to score at anytime.
Burnley travel to the South Coast with their tails up, after an astounding victory over champions Manchester City in their last Premier League fixture.
George Boyd may have scored the winner on Sunday with an expertly taken finish, but to say he was the only Burnley midfielder making inroads into the City defence would be doing a disservice to his teammates. Both David Jones and Scott Arfield showcased their excellent creative ability against the Champions, completing an impressive 23 passes each in the opposition half – more than any of their teammates.
Finding the back of the net was a just reward for George Boyd for his endeavours, as he covered every blade of grass for his team in an attempt to thwart Manuel Pellegrini’s men. In total, Boyd covered 13.3km for his side – more than any of his teammates. If you fancy Boyd to make it two in two this weekend, head to 888sport.com who have the Scotsman at 7/1 to score at anytime!
Michael Keane is a defender who has always shown a lot of promise and Sean Dyche will have been delighted to purchase him on a permanent deal in January. In particular, this season, he’s shown an excellent eye for a tackle – winning an impressive 74% of the challenges that he has attempted.
Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars at http://fantasy.premierleague.com/ or with FIFA Ultimate team.