Chelsea vs. Fulham (19:45)
Rafael Benitez will be keen to improve his reputation with Chelsea’s fans by putting together a series of winning results- a home tie against Fulham will be his second chance to secure a win after last week’s Manchester City draw:
– The Blues will be hoping for goals against the team with the second weakest defensive record on the road this season. Fulham have conceded sixteen in just seven games, and Chelsea’s attacking firepower will be hoping to add to that figure.
– Fernando Torres will be pleased to be playing under his old Liverpool manager, and is the most accurate finisher in the league according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. 70 percent of his 20 shots have been on target, a figure matched only by West Ham’s Kevin Nolan.
– Juan Mata is the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s best performing player in away league games this season. With an average points score of 30 on the road, he’s been 20 percent more effective than Dimitar Berbatov in second (25). He also covered more distance than any of his team mates against City, 6.42 miles at an average speed of 4.52 miles per hour.
– For three matches in a row, the Spaniard has also been Chelsea’s fastest outfield player. His average speed of 4.79 miles per hour against West Brom recently was the fastest any Chelsea man has recorded in a league game, and the Spaniard will be looking to outpace the influential John Arne Riise on Wednesday.
– Frank Lampard will be proud to have been nominated for the FIFA World XI Shortlist this week, and is enjoying another strong season. With 112 successful passes in the opposition half at a rate of one every 3 minutes and 45 seconds, he’s Chelsea’s most prolific play maker this season.
After a late push, Fulham were unfortunate to lose out at Stoke on Saturday. A win at Stamford Bridge would haul them closer to European qualification, and the Cottagers will be keen to ensure their London rivals fail to win for a fifth consecutive game:
– Fulham were unlucky not to score against Stoke at the weekend, with Dimitar Berbatov continuing to impress for the Cottagers. They will take heart from the fact that only Manchester United have topped their impressive twelve goals in seven away games this season, or just under one every 52 minutes.
– Berbatov can take plenty of the credit for this statistic. Having taken an average of just over 164 minutes to score each of his five goals, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index ranks him in the league’s top ten most efficient goalscorers this season.
– Steve Sidwell has been getting stuck into the action at a tireless rate this season, having gone in for 61 tackles in 911 minutes. At a rate of more than one every 15 minutes, no other Premier League player has matched this statistic.