Category Archives: EA PPI PReviews

Southampton v Burnley: PPI Preview

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.

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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.

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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.

WBA v Southampton: PPI Preview

West Brom vs Southampton – Saturday 28th February, 15:00

West Brom will be looking to go a fifth game unbeaten this weekend when they face Southampton at home this Saturday. The Baggies are on a good run of form but will need to perform well to beat the Saints.

Saido Berahino, partnered with Brown Ideye, has picked up his performances to return to his early season form recently, and although he didn’t score last time out, the striker now sits on nine Premier League goals. He has scored from exactly a fifth of his shots and has put 48.9% of his shots on target, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Berahino has also played more minutes in the Premier League than any other player in the West Brom squad (1905). Berahino is 21/4 to score first with 888sport.com.

One of Berahino’s main suppliers is midfielder Stephane Sessegnon. The creative playmaker has completed more dribbles than any other West Brom player with 29 successful dribbles to his name, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He is second in the club rankings for assists with four, one behind Chris Brunt.

Craig Gardner has been a key cog in the West Brom midfield this season, both going forward and defensively. Although his contributions have largely been defensive, Gardner has the second most shots on target in the West Brom squad (12) behind Berahino. Defensively, Gardner has made the seventh most tackles in the entire division, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

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Southampton have only won one of their last four games, scoring just one goal in the process, but they are still sat in fifth place, only two points off of Arsenal in third place, and will want to keep the pressure up and possibly leapfrog those above them by recording a win against West Brom.

Nathaniel Clyne has arguably been the outstanding player in the Southampton side this season. The England right back has made 88 successful tackles, the second highest total in the league, as well as the seventh greatest number of sprints, with 1458, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Sadio Mané has also excelled under Ronald Koeman this year and the Senegalese winger is Southampton’s second top goalscorer. Mané has five goals so far this season and has recorded 51.9% of his shots on target, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Mané is 6/1 to score first with 888sport.com.

A big bonus for Southampton this weekend will be the return of Ryan Bertrand from suspension. Bertrand has missed the last three games but is likely to return to the start against West Brom. Bertrand has made the seventh highest number of successful crosses in the Premier League with 21, finding his man 27.6% percent of the time, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

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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.

Southampton v Liverpool: PPI Preview

Sunday 22nd February

Southampton vs Liverpool 16:15

In arguably the standout game of this weekend’s round of Premier League fixtures, Southampton host fellow Champions League-hopefuls Liverpool in a clash that could be billed as a ‘six-pointer’.

Southampton were unlucky to only come out with a point in their last fixture against West Ham. They were knocking on the door all game, as they dominated possession (67%) and also registered an impressive 21 shots. Midfielder Steven Davis was central to their attacking threat, covering every blade of grass in a buccaneering performance. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he covered an impressive 11.1km against the Hammers, more than any other player on the pitch, with Morgan Amalfitano (10.9km) his closest rival. You can find Davis at 17/2 with 888sport.com to score at any time on Sunday.

Pundits and fans alike bemoaned the loss of midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin to injury early in January, as the Frenchman has been integral to the Saints’ impressive campaign. However, to just sing the praises of the Frenchman would be doing a disservice to fellow central midfielder Victor Wanyama, who has certainly played his part in helping to boss the centre of the park. The combative midfielder produced another all-action performance against the Hammers, completing 41 passes in the opposition half and winning every challenge that he attempted.

It was perhaps a sign of Southampton’s dominance against the Hammers that they could afford to push their defenders higher up the pitch to help orchestrate their attacks. In Nathaniel Clyne (27), Jose Fonte (21) and Maya Yoshida (29) they had three defenders who completed an impressive number of passes in the opposition half, helping to carve out chances for their teammates.

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A last-gasp winner from maverick striker Mario Balotelli handed Liverpool all three points in their crucial fixture against Tottenham in the last round of Premier League fixtures. It was a vital victory for the Reds as it reduced the gap between themselves and the Champions League slots to just four points – a gap that could be cut even further should they emerge victorious at St Mary’s on Sunday.

One player who has caught the eye over recent weeks is talented winger Jordan Ibe. Liverpool chief Brendan Rodgers has always shown a willingness to give youngsters a chance to stake their claim in the first team and, following a successful spell on loan at Derby, Ibe has grasped his opportunity with both hands. Operating in an unfamiliar right-wingback role, the South London-born youngster proved to be a solid ‘out-ball’ for his teammates and was a constant ;thorn in Southampton’s side. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he made a total of 27 attacking contributions (based on passes in the opposition half, dribbles completed, crosses completed and shots on target). This was nine more than his closest teammate. If you think that Ibe’s recent good form could translate into goals, head over to 888sport.com who have the winger at 9/1 to score the first goal of the game.

In Vice-Captain Jordan Henderson, Liverpool fans know that regardless of level of performance, they have a player who is guaranteed to run himself into the ground. Once again, Henderson produced a lung-busting display, covering 11km – which was more than any of his teammates. Time and time again this season, Henderson has demonstrated his outstanding level of fitness, something that can be shown by the fact he has covered 260.7km this term, again comfortably the most in the Liverpool squad.

Daniel Sturridge may not have scored against Spurs, but Liverpool fans will be delighted that he’s back on the pitch as he poses such a big goal threat. The England international has never been shy to take a pop at goal, which is demonstrated by the fact that he took four shots against Spurs – which was the second most of any player in the last round of Premier League fixtures.  It was a sign that Sturridge is picking up where he left off as although his season has been blighted by injury, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has averaged a shot on goal every 22 minutes that he has been on the pitch. This is a better rate than any other Liverpool player and suggests that it won’t be too long until the goals go flying in again.

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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.

Southampton v West Ham: PPI Preview

Southampton vs West Ham – Wednesday 11th February, 19:45

A last gasp goal from Saido Mane gave Ronald Koeman’s side all three points as they continue their charge towards the European places come the end of the season. They face a West Ham side this week who have similarly defied expectations this term in what could be an intriguing match-up.

Responsibility for repelling the West Ham attack will likely fall primarily to Jose Fonte who is currently enjoying an outstanding season. The Portuguese centre half not only has the best tackle success rate of any Saints player, winning 83.9% of his 56 challenges to date, he’s also compiled the greatest number of defensive contributions (blocks, tackles won, interceptions, clearances) in the Southampton squad, with 264 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Midfielder Steven Davis rarely grabs the headlines but is nonetheless a crucial part of the Southampton machine. He has now completed a squad-best 542 passes in the opponent’s half, which gives him an average rate of one every 3.3 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season. West Ham will have to work hard to prevent Davis from dictating the play from the centre of the park.

Graziano Pelle started life in the Barclays Premier League with a bang with a glut of goals in his first few games and according to his EA SPORTS Player Performance Index statistics, more shouldn’t be far away. The Italian striker is certainly not short on industry, given that he has now not only covered more ground than any other Southampton player, but more than any other striker in the league with 240.8km to his name. Pelle is 25/19 to score at any time with 888sport.com.

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West Ham were denied a famous win against Manchester Utd as Daley Blind rescued a point for the Red Devils last weekend after Cheikhou Kouyate’s opener. This week’s fixture will see two sides both enjoying strong season pitted against each other in what could prove to be a pivotal game for both their seasons.

Defender Aaron Cresswell has been garnering rave reviews for his performances this season and his EA SPORTS Player Performance Index statistics provide us with some insight as to why. Not only has he covered more ground than anyone in the West Ham squad this season (253.6km), he’s also completed the second highest number of passes in the opponent’s half of any Hammers player (351), behind only Alex Song (364).

The Southampton backline will have to be mindful of the threat posed by Cheikhou Kouyate should he feature this week. No doubt buoyed by his goal at the weekend, the Senegalese midfielder will be looking to utilise his speed to good effect to add to his two goals and two assists so far this campaign. He recorded the highest speed of any player on the pitch against Manchester Utd, clocked at an impressive 20.7mph. Kouyate is 11/1 to score at any time with 888sport.com.

Looking to provide yet more assists will be the revitalised Stewart Downing who is currently enjoying an excellent season after being moved into a more central role by Sam Allardyce. He is still more than willing to roam out wide when the opportunity presents itself though, shown by the fact that he currently ranks third in the Barclays Premier League for successful crosses this season with 32 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

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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.

 

QPR v Southampton: PPI Preview

QPR vs Southampton – Saturday 7th February, 15:00

QPR go in to the game against Southampton this weekend under the guidance of Chris Ramsey and Kevin Bond, after Harry Redknapp’s shock resignation this week. The caretaker managers will be hoping for a win in what could potentially be their only game in charge of the club.

Mauricio Isla has been impressive this season, despite QPR’s league positioning, and is ranked ninth in the league for number of successful tackles with 61, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. This is especially impressive, as Isla has featured in 18 games this season, which is less than every player ranked above him.

As well as Isla, Steven Caulker has put in some impressive performances at the back for QPR, and has made the fifth most clearances in the Premier League, clearing his lines on 215 occasions so far this season, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Further up the pitch, Leroy Fer is having an equally important impact. Fer is twelfth in the league for successful dribbles with 45 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Fer also has the most passes in the opposition half out of any QPR player, making 398. Fer is 16/1 to score first with 888sport.com.

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Last weekend, Southampton slipped to their first defeat in the Premier League since December. Manager Ronald Koeman will be keen to ensure they bounce back to the winning ways that helped the Saints on their climb in to the top four.

Steven Davis has been a regular for Southampton this season; featuring in 22 of the 23 Premier League games. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that, with 522 passes, Davis ranks in the top twenty in the Premier League for number of passes in the opposition half.

Southampton have some pacey players in attack, including the likes of Saido Mane, but it is their right back Nathaniel Clyne who tops the speed charts for the Saints. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Clyne has been recorded running at 34.5km/h (21.4mph).

Centre forward Graziano Pelle has run the furthest of any Southampton player, alongside the suspended Ryan Bertand. Both players have covered 230.6km in total this season, which ranks them both inside the top 20 for distance covered in the Premier League, Pelle has also had the most shots on goal in the league (66) and is 16/5 to score first with 888sport.com.

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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.

Southampton v Swansea City: PPI Preview

Southampton vs Swansea – Sunday 1st February, 16:00

Southampton continue to push for Champions League qualification and remain in third place in the league. Southampton are unbeaten in six in the league, including wins against Everton, Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as a draw against Chelsea.

Nathaniel Clyne has been one of the key factors in Southampton’s form, putting in solid displays both offensively and defensively. The right back has made the most tackles of any Premier League player with 83, averaging out at 4.15 successful tackles per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Ryan Bertrand, on the other side of the Southampton defence, has been equally impressive. Bertrand has covered more ground than any other Saints player this season, covering a total of 22.1km, averaging out at 10.5km per game, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Ahead of Bertrand and Clyne, Southampton’s wingers have been in top form this season, particularly Dusan Tadic. Tadic is joint second in the Premier League assists chart having set up his teammates on eight occasions, largely due to the quality of his crossing. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Tadic has put in the second most successful crosses in the Premier League, finding a man 34 times in total this season. Tadic is 6/1 to score first with 888sport.com.

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Swansea sit in 9th place in the league, but are currently on a run of four games without a win and will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways against Southampton.

Swansea captain Ashley Williams has had a great season at the back for Swansea and has recorded some very impressive statistics on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Williams has made the most clearances of any Premier League player (263) as well as making the fourth most interceptions in the division (55).

Gylfi Sigurdsson will definitely be a big miss for Swansea following his suspension. Sigurdsson is joint second in the Premier League assists charts, alongside Southampton’s Dusan Tadic, on eight assists. Sigurdsson has made 445 passes in the opposition half, more than any other player in the Swans’ squad, and in addition to his assists he has netted four goals in the Premier League. Swansea will be looking to their other attacking players to step up in his absence.

One of the players looking to step up in his place will be Jefferson Montero. The pacey winger has completed the eighth most successful dribbles in the Premier League according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, with 52, which is especially impressive as Montero has only featured in seventeen of the 22 Premier League fixtures so far. Montero is 20/1 to score first with 888sport.com.

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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.

NEWCASTLE UNITED V SOUTHAMPTON: PPI PREVIEW

Newcastle United v Southampton – Saturday 17th January 17:30

This weekend will see Newcastle look to get back to winning ways having suffered a defeat to league leaders Chelsea in their last outing. The Geordies sit in tenth place in the league at the moment and will look to solidify their position with another victory this weekend.

Newcastle will look to please the toon faithful with a victory this weekend, and there is nothing that fans like to see more than hard work. The EA SPORTS Player Performance can highlight that Jack Colback has been an instant hit in Newcastle having covered a squad best 232.9km already this term. That hard work will be vital in an engine room going up against Southampton’s talented array of midfielders.

Moussa Sissoko will join him in midfield, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index also demonstrates what a fabulous season he is having in the black and white stripes. Sissoko has proved his box to box nature by bagging two goals, winning 63.3% of his 30 tackles and racking up 580 completed passes, with an accuracy of 79.3%.

At the back, yet also a threat going forward, Daryl Janmaat has had a great first half to his debut season on Tyneside. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has won 57 tackles so far this term, winning 76% of his tackles overall, racking up 52 clearances and 48 interceptions. Having already found the net once this season, he is 15/1 to score anytime with 888sport.com.

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This weekend’s visitors to St. James’ Park will come into the Saturday fixture brimming with confidence after a fantastic victory at Old Trafford saw them leapfrog the Manchester side and climb into third place. The Saints are now unbeaten in five, winning four of those matches, and will look to make it five wins from six.

A massive part of their form has been keeper Fraser Forster, as Southampton have the best defensive record in the league. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that the England international shot stopper has now made 42 saves this season, at an average of 2.8 saves per goal conceded. He will be looking to keep his third consecutive clean sheet.

It should be no great surprise that Dusan Tadic was Southampton’s match winner last weekend, as explained by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has had a fine debut campaign with the Saints, netting three times and also completing a squad best 34 crosses. He will both be a danger in front of goal and when he looks to turn provider.

One man who will thrive off that service is Graziano Pelle. The Saints top scorer has been in scintillating form this season, as demonstrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He has now scored eight times, converting 36.3% of his 22 shots on target. Like Tadic, he has the ability to both score and turn provider having also racked up five assists. He is 16/4 to score anytime with 888sport.com.

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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.

MANCHESTER UNITED V SOUTHAMPTON: PPI PREVIEW

Manchester United v Southampton – Sunday 11th January 16:00

Manchester United have been on a great run of form that has seen them go undefeated in their last 10 games, winning seven of those in the process. United will go in to this game with confidence given their form, especially considering that this run has already included a 2-1 victory over Southampton.

Manchester United’s new captain this season Wayne Rooney is really starting to fire on all cylinders, and now holds eight goals to his name. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that Rooney has actually converted 61.5% of his shots on target, and that he is equally capable of creating goals for others as well having grabbed four assists and a squad best 475 completed passes in the opposition half. He is 33/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.

Whilst Rooney has dropped slightly deeper for United this season, Robin van Persie still has nothing but goals on his mind, and also has eight to his name. His work rate has been crucial to his success this year, as highlighted by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, which has revealed that he has covered a squad best 187.07km so far this campaign.

Arguably United’s player of the season so far, David de Gea has continued his outstanding form. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that the Spain international has upheld this form all season, making 58 saves at an average of 2.9 saves per goal conceded. He has kept four clean sheets in his last 10 Premier League appearances and will hope to add another one to the collection.

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This weekend’s visitors Southampton will be anything but a walkover and will fancy their chances on Sunday. Southampton lie in fourth in the league and can leapfrog their hosts with a victory. They have conceded just twice in their last four outings where they have also remained unbeaten, winning three games against Arsenal, Everton and Crystal Palace, and picking up a point against league leaders Chelsea.

One man who has been in inspired form is England squad member Fraser Forster. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index can reveal that the Saints’ shot stopper has made 42 saves already this season at an average of 2.8 saves per goal conceded. He has been instrumental in Southampton maintaining the best defensive record in the league.

In front of Forster, Ryan Bertrand has been Southampton’s outstanding performer at the back, as highlighted by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The left back has covered 198.84km already this season, and will pass the 200km mark this weekend. He has also hit a searing top speed of 34.1km/h this term and his combination of fitness and frightening pace will pose a major threat to United going forward, and a challenge in breaking his defensive resolve.

The main man up top for Southampton this season has undoubtedly been Graziano Pelle, as revealed by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. His hard work is key to his eight goals this season, having covered a squad best 199.83km so far. He has also assisted a further four goals this term and will prove a threat either scoring himself or bringing team mates into play. He is 47/20 to score anytime with 888sport.com.

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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.

Southampton v Manchester United: PPI Preview

Monday night’s clash at Saint Mary’s should prove to be a thrilling encounter as Southampton will look to continue playing their free-flowing football that has seen them climb to third place in the league. The Saints will be confident that they can take all three points from the game against the side that sit a place below them in the league, and extend the margin to four points.

Whilst Southampton were unfortunate to go down to a late goal against Arsenal on Wednesday night, one man who didn’t deserve to be on the losing side was goalkeeper Fraser Forster. The England international made seven saves during the game to keep his side level until the 88th minute. The 6’7’’ shot stopper is averaging 2.7 saves per goal conceded according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, and will look to keep his fifth clean sheet in seven games on Monday.

At the back, Nathaniel Clyne is in the form of his life at the moment, as backed up by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. The full back has already created one goal and scored two this season, and his top speed of 34.2km/h shows why he is such a threat. Defensively, his statistics only get better and he has won 63 tackles this season, winning 80.8% of his tackles overall. He has also racked up 26 interceptions which, combined with his pace, help Southampton turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye.

Up top, Graziano Pelle has been on lethal form so far this season, and he will look to continue in the same vain on Monday night. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows us that the Italy international has already bagged six goals this season and unselfishly laid on a further four goals for his teammates. Pelle has covered 138.8km already this season and it is the non stop movement and work rate that will not give United a second’s rest on Monday. He is 9/5 to score anytime with 888sport.com.

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Manchester United will provide a tough test for Southampton on Monday night, as they look to become only the second team this season to record five back-to-back wins, alongside Newcastle. The Red Devils will be looking to make the long trip down to the South coast worthwhile with a victory that would see them leapfrog their opponents.

Much like Southampton, United find themselves with one of the league’s in form goal keepers, in the shape of David De Gea. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index reveals that the Spain international did not have to make a save until the final minute of the game against Stoke, but his two saves in the week earned his side all three points. De Gea is averaging 2.25 saves made for every goal conceded, and will be hoping that his fifth clean sheet of the season will only increase that figure.

Defender Luke Shaw will be looking to make his first return to St. Mary’s following his move to Old Trafford, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows us what a good start he has made to his career for United. The left back has won an impressive 85.7% of his tackles so far this campaign, also adding another 27 clearances to that tally. He has also illustrated his attacking qualities with 12 dribbles and 17 crosses into the box, and will hope that he can have a successful return to his boyhood club.

In the middle of the park, Marouane Fellaini is currently showing the type of form that saw United stump up the requested transfer fee from Everton. The Belgian international, as illustrated by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, has not only created a goal and scored twice, but also shown his all round qualities. Fellaini has won 69.4% of his 36 tackles and made 10 interceptions, and shown his quality on the ball by completing 87.9% of his 415 passes this season. He is 6/1 to score for the second game in a row with 888sport.com.

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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.

Aston Villa v Southampton: PPI Preview

Aston Villa host high flying Southampton on Monday night, with Villa sitting two points above the relegation zone while Southampton are enjoying an incredible start to the season in second place.

Villa turned around a run of six straight defeats with a heard earned point against another of the Barclays Premier League’s in form teams, West Ham, in their last outing, and so will feel confident facing West Ham.

That point was earned by a tight Aston Villa defence, including a superb performance by Brad Guzan. Guzan made five saves in the game, the second highest in the last round of games after Sunderland’s Costel Pantilimon. Overall, Guzan is ranked fourth this season for total saves, with 34 in 11 games.

Nathan Baker was another star performer, making 18 clearances, the third highest in the last gameweek. That took Baker’s tally of clearances so far this season to 71, ranked 17th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Ali Cissokho also put in a shift in defence in earning the clean sheet, winning six tackles and not losing out on a single one attempted. Cissokho’s hard work has epitomised his season, having covered the second most miles among the Aston Villa squad with 67.87 miles on the clock so far this season.

Ashley Westwood is the only player in the squad to have covered more ground this season than Cissokho, with 72.34 miles covered, the 14th highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. That feat is made all the more remarkable when you consider that Westwood is the only player in the top 25 for distance covered to have played ten games rather than 11 this season. Averaging 7.23 miles, he’s ranked sixth for average distance covered per game.

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Much may have been made of Villa’s struggle to score goals, but fans may be surprised to hear that Weimann’s conversion rate this season is on a par with that of Sergio Aguero. Weimann has averaged 3.67 shots per goal this season – exactly the same as the Argentine hitman, and significantly better than Monday’s rival Graziano Pelle who averages 6.67 shots per goal. The stats show that if Weimann is given shooting opportunities then he is as reliable as any striker in the Barclays Premier League at putting the ball in the back of the net. Weimann is 10/1 to score first with 888sport.com.

Southampton have defied all expectations this season, sitting in second place after eleven games and four points above Manchester City despite losing a number of players over the summer.

Graziano Pelle was known for his free scoring in the Eredivise, and his continued this in the Barclays Premier League. Pelle has scored six goals this season from 40 shots on goal with 26 on target. Averaging 6.67 shots per goal, the Italian striker is not afraid to have a shot when the opportunity arises, though his conversion rate is not as clinical as some strikers.

Pelle’s goals have certainly helped Southampton’s rise up the league, but their defensive qualities have given him license to get forward. Nathaniel Clyne has won more tackles than any other players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 55. To put that in context, the second ranked player (Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak) has won 46. Pelle is 11/9 to score with 888sport.com.

Incredibly, Southampton have three of the top five players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for tackles won. As well as Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin is ranked third with 43 won and Victor Wanyama fifth with 39.

Schneiderlin is also the engine room of the Southampton team, having covered more ground than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 83.44 miles. Aston Villa shouldn’t expect too much time on the ball against this defensively tough and hard working side.

Interestingly, Southampton only have one player in the top 30 for interceptions (Jose Fonte ranked 8th with 30) showing that Koeman’s side prefer to allow their opponents to receive the pass and then make a tackle, rather than attempt an interception and risk being caught out of place.

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