Aston Villa

Saturday’s Big 8 Predictor

 

Chelsea v Tottenham Sat 24 Mar 12:45

Gary Cahill scored for the second successive game to give Chelsea a goal lead, before surrendering it to Man City in their last game

That was Cahill’s third goal of the season, having had 85% of 20 shots at goal on target

Cahill has won 73% of 52 tackles attempted and made 33 clearances and 19 blocks this season

Juan Mata covered the most ground for Chelsea in that game with 7.14 miles, meaning he has been the player to run furthest for the blues in six of their last eight games. That takes his total for the season to 142.11 miles.

Spurs secured a dramatic late equaliser against Stoke to keep within a point of North London neighbours Arsenal in the fight for third place

Scott Parker covered the most ground for Spurs in that game with 6.09 miles. Parker has now covered 148.6 miles so far this season

Rafael van der Vaart was second to Parker in the distance charts with 5.87 miles and also scored Spurs’ goal

That was van der Vaart’s 8th goal of the season, coming from 68 shots at goal with 59% on target

Spurs have had more shots at goal than any other team this season, with 535 in total and 60% on target, while Chelsea are third in the shots league with 497 shots at goal, making for an entertaining afternoon at Stamford Bridge

Spurs have two individual players in the top five for shots on target, Bale with 55 and van der Vaart with 48

Chelsea and Spurs also share joint second place for dribbles completed with 357, behind Swansea. Prediction 1-3.

Arsenal v Aston Villa Sat 24 Mar 15:00

Thomas Vermaelen scored the winner for Arsenal against Everton in their last game, making him the top scoring defender in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with five goals this season

Vermaelen has had 28 shots at goal with 68% on target, the third highest number of shots from a defender in the league (behind Ryan Taylor and John Arne Riise)

Mike Arteta covered the most ground for Arsenal in that game with 5.93 miles, the 7th time in the last ten games the Spaniard has covered the most ground for the Gunners

Arteta has now also completed over one thousand passes in his opponent’s half, with 1009, the highest by any one player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index

Only Man United and Man City have a better chance conversion rate than Arsenal this season. Arsenal have averaged 7.6 shots for every goal, while United have average 6.1 shots to the goal and City 7.3.

Arsenal are also behind only Man United and Bolton on shots on target, with 61% of the Gunner shots hitting the target compared to 63% of United’s and 62% of Bolton’s Andreas Weimann’s first Premier League goal gave Villa a 1-0 win over Fulham in their last Premier League game Villa have won more tackles than any other team in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 619, 70% of all tackles attempted

That’s led by three Villa players in the top 5 for tackles won by individuals, Warnock with 72, Dunne with 71, and Petrov with 69. Petrvos has also won more tackles than any other midfielder in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Villa have also made the highest number of interceptions, with 943 interceptions made so far this season. Prediction 4-0

Bolton v Blackburn Sat 24 Mar 15:00

Bolton have been left reeling by the sudden collapse of Fabrice Muamba in their last game against Spurs

Muamba had covered 83.11 miles this season, peaking with 6.39 miles against Liverpool, showing the tremendous shape the midfielder had been in

Bolton have the second best shots on target percentage in the EA SPORTS Player Performance index after Man United, with 62% of the Trotters shots hitting the target compared to United’s 63%

Meanwhile a third goal in two games from David Hoilett and one from Yakubu have given Steve Kean’s Blackburn side a six point cushion above the relegation zone

As well as scoring six goals this season, Hoilett has also won 39 tackles this season, the second highest by a striker in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index

Blackburn have made 332 clearances so far this season, more than any other team in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index

Blackburn have also made the highest number of blocks with 135  Prediction 0-0

Liverpool v Wigan Sat 24 Mar 15:00

Liverpool surrendered a two goal lead in their last Barclays Premier League game to lose 3-2 against QPR

A wonder goal from Sebastian Coates and a close range effort from Dirk Kuyt seemed to have the red cruising before QPR’s late fightback

Kuyt’s goal was just his second of the season in the league, coming from 36 efforts at goal with 58% on target

Kuyt also covered the most ground for Liverpool with 6.13 miles
Coates has played just 326 minutes for Liverpool this season, making 23 interceptions, 3 blocks and 2 clearances

Liverpool have put in more crosses than any other team in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 467

However, Liverpool’s lack of finishing touch is personified in Stewart Downing, who has the joint second highest number of shots without a goal (54), and even talisman Steven Gerrard who has put in more crosses without being credited an assist than any other player with 42 crosses delivered

Wigan remain second from bottom of the Premier League after missing numerous chances against West Brom in a relegation six pointer in their last league game

James McArthur put Wigan ahead before conceding an equaliser shortly after
McArthur also covered the most ground for Wigan with 4.59 miles, the third time in four games he has done so

Franco di Santo missed three good chances, while several inviting Jean Beausejour crosses went unconverted by Wigan’s strikers

Di Santo has had four goals this season from 46 shots at goal with 61% on target

Beausejour has put in 31 crosses this season, averaging one every 21 minutes 50 seconds, putting him in the top 6 in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for minutes per cross. Prediction 1-1

Norwich v Wolves Sat 24 Mar 15:00

Norwich suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle in their last Barclays Premier League game

David Fox covered the most ground for Norwich in that game with 6.81 miles
It has now been over a month since Norwich last scored more than once in a game

Grant Holt is the Canaries top scorer this season with ten goals, having come from 47 efforts at goal with 57% on target. That puts Holt’s chance conversion rate on a par with Barclays Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie, as both have averaged 4.7 shots to every goal scored

Kyle Naughton is level with Steven Gerrard in one discipline that he may not feel flattered by, the two players are the joint as the players to have delivered the most crosses (42) without being credited with an assist in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index

Wolves suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Manchester United in their last Premier League game

David Edwards covered the most ground in that game with 7.12 miles
A series of defensive errors condemned Wolves to bottom of the table on goal difference

Defender Stephen Ward is Wolves’ top ranked player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in 67th place, having won 80% of tackles this season
Ward has also made 29 clearances, 100 interceptions, and 13 blocks. Prediction 4-0

Sunderland v QPR Sat 24 Mar 15:00

Sunderland’s last Premier League game was a 2-0 defeat at the hands of a resurgent Blackburn side

Craig Gardner covered the most ground for the Black Cats for the fourth game in a row with exactly six miles

As well as covering the miles for Sunderland, Gardner has scored three goals from 33 attempts at goal with 64% on target

Gardner has also won 82% of 6 tackles attempted
QPR staged a stunning fight back against Liverpool in their last Premier League game, coming back from two goals down to win 3-2

Goals from Shaun Derry, Djibril Cisse, and Jamie Mackie gave QPR a dramatic victory and moved them out of the relegation zone

The evergreen Shaun Derry also covered the joint highest amount of ground in that game, clocking up 6.1 miles along with Luke Young

Derry has won 68% of tackles attempted this season and also made 42 interceptions

Mackie’s goal was his fifth of the season from just 26 shots at goal, with 54% on target

QPR have the dubious honour of having the two players to have had the most shots at goal without scoring in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index – Taarabt with 60 and Wright Phillips with 54. Prediction 3-0

Swansea v Everton Sat 24 Mar 15:00

Two goals from on loan midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and one from Joe Allen gave Swansea an impressive 3-0 win over Fulham in their last Premier League game

Allen also covered the most ground for the Swans with 6.24 miles, the third time in a row he has done so. Only Scott Sinclair has now covered more ground over the course of the season

Sigurdsson has scored five goals in nine appearances since joining Swansea on loan, having 29 shots at goal with 69% on target. He also has three assists to his name, meaning he has had a hand in eight of twelve Swansea goals since he joined

Swansea have completed more dribbles as a team than any other in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 366

Everton put in a battling display as they lost 1-0 to Arsenal in their last league game

Marouane Fellaini covered the most ground for Everton in that game with 5.9 miles, the fourth time in a row the Belgian has done so for Everton

Royston Drenthe but the ball in the net but had it ruled out for offside against Arsenal.

The Dutch winger has three goals from 23 shots at goal this season with 61% on target

Drenthe also has six assists to his name, having delivered 27 crosses and completed 199 passes in his opponent’s half this season Prediction 2-1

Stoke v Man City Sat 24 Mar 17:30

It took a last minute equaliser from Rafael van der Vaart to stop Stoke from taking all three points against Spurs in their last Premier League game

Cameron Jerome scored the opener for the Potters from a Glen Whelan free kick flicked on by Robert Huth

Man City came from a goal down to win 2-1 against Chelsea and keep their title hopes alive

Goals from Samir Nasri and a penalty scored by Aguero and won by Zabaleta kept them within one point of rivals Manchester United

Man City have the second best chance conversion rate in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, averaging 7.3 shots to every goal behind United’s 6.1 shots to the goal

City are also second in the shots on goal category, having had 503 shots at goal behind Spurs’ 535 shots

City also, unsurprisingly, lead in the category of passes completed in the opponent’s half, having completed an incredible 6908 passes in their opponent’s half so far this season

That’s led by three City players in the top five for passes completed – Silva with 988, Yaya Toure with 906, and Nasri with 761 Prediction 1-3

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