West Brom vs Everton
Pepe Mel watched from the stands as his new team slid to a 1-0 defeat away to Southampton.
Southampton’s victory could have been all the more convincing had they made the most of the outstanding amount of possession they had, and taken more of the chances that fell their way. Part of the reason that they were only restricted to one goal was down to the performance of Gareth McAuley. The Northern Irishman entered professional football at a fairly late stage, so it is something of a fairytale to see him plying his trade in the Premier League week-in, week-out. However, if he continues playing like he did on Saturday, he could extend his career for a while yet. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he made a total of 16 defensive contributions (based on clearances, blocks, tackles won and interceptions) – no other West Brom player made more.
Morgan Amalfitano has impressed for West Brom this term with his classic wing play, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Baggies attempt to tie him down to a permanent deal. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he has registered a total of 21 crosses and also 19 dribbles.
Youssuf Mulumbu has become an essential member of the West Brom engine room since he arrived in 2009. One of his key assets is his tackling, and this outstanding ability of his has been on show this term as he has won an impressive 73% of his challenges.
Saido Berahino has won plaudits this year after making an impressive start to the campaign, and many pundits have tipped him as a surprise package for this Summer’s World Cup. His natural eye for goal is evident in the fact that he has taken a shot at goal at an average of a shot every 25 minutes this term. Berahino is 17/2 with 888sport.com to score the first goal on Saturday.
Everton’s impressive start to life under Roberto Martinez continued on Saturday as they recorded a 2-0 victory over Norwich.
Leighton Baines played a vital role in the victory, with his rampaging runs down the flank causing headaches for Norwich all game. His attacking intent is clear in the fact that he completed a total of 38 passes in Norwich’s half on Saturday, which was the second most of any defender in the league.
Seamus Coleman has been given a license to roam forward by Roberto Martinez, and the manager has set the Irishman a goal target of double figures this season. When looking at the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it is unsurprising to see why Martinez has viewed this as a realistic target for the full back, as he has registered a total of 19 shots so far this campaign – the second most in the league.
Compatriot James McCarthy has been another colossal figure for the Toffees this term, fully justifying the money that was spent on him in the Summer. He produced another impressive all-round midfield performance on Saturday completing 28 passes in the opposition half, and also making 4 interceptions – the most in the Everton squad.
Ross Barkley has been in scintillating form all campaign with many commentators taking delight in his passing, dribbling and general creative ability. What is frequently overlooked, however, is that he has shown great competency in defence. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he has completed an impressive 68% of his challenges this term.
Can Albion beat Everton on Monday night? Have your say here at Baggies Banter.