Premier League: Tottenham vs Chelsea 12.45
– As we approach a match many have touted as the master vs the apprentice, both Andre Villas Boas will be desperate to set down a marker for the rest of the season. A late goal from Paulinho ensure Tottenham left Cardiff with all three points after a game they had largely dominated but been repeatedly denied by an inspired performance by opposing stopper David Marshall.
– Andros Townsend continues to impress this season, grabbing the chance to shine for this new-look Tottenham side under AVB. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performances Index he is joint first in the league for on-target attempts on goal with 8. The former QPR loanee is 15/1 with 888sport.com to open the scoring on Saturday.
– At the weekend, however, Brazilian Paulinho proved to be the main goal threat for AVB’s men. The central midfielder took 5 shots against Cardiff, more than any of his teammates.
– Fellow central midfielder Moussa Dembele was also proving his offensive worth on Saturday. He completed 5 dribbles against Cardiff, the second most in the league.
– Neither of these players, however, managed to match defender Kyle Walker in their total number of attacking contributions (based on shots, crosses, dribbles and passes) this season. The former Sheffield United man has made a total of 203, more than any of his teammates.
– This is, in part, due to the number of passes that Walker has made in the opposition half this season. The England international has passed the ball 189 times in the opposition half, which is more than any other defender. Leighton Baines is Walker’s closest rival, passing the ball 160 times in the opposition half.
– Mourinho’s start to the season in his second coming hasn’t lived up to the success of his first spell, with a particular point of contention being his decision to name Oscar as his number 10. Oscar, however, is repaying the faith shown in him by Mourinho, completing a pass in the opposition half every 2.3 minutes.
– Another Chelsea player who has impressed with his passing is midfielder John Obi Mikel. Many criticize the Nigerian for his lack of creativity, but,the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he completed 42 passes in the Fulham’s half last Saturday.
– Fellow defensive midfielder Ramires has also been showcasing his passing ability. The Brazilian has completed 169 passes in the opposition half this year, only Eden Hazard has completed more in the Chelsea ranks.
– Branislav Ivanovic is a fantasy football player’s dream due to his propensity to hit the back of the net. He’s taken 9 shots so far this season, which is more than any defender. 888sport.com have Ivanovic at 19/1 to open the scoring on Saturday.