Monday 3rd February
Manchester City vs Chelsea 20:00
This top of the table clash could be pivotal in the race for the title, with a Chelsea win sending them level on points with City. Earlier in the season Chelsea came out on top 2-1 thanks to a last minute winner from Fernando Torres.
Midweek City were flying scoring 5 against a Spurs team who had previously been enjoying a strong run under new manager Tim Sherwood. City’s last loss came on 10 November at the hands of Sunderland.
Chelsea will be hoping Sergio Aguero, who has 15 league goals this season, misses out through injury after going off with a hamstring injury midweek. Only Luis Suarez has scored more than the Argentinean.
Whilst Aguero would be a loss to City, you know that any potential replacement will always be top quality. City have scored more goals than anyone this season, with an incredible total of 68 already this term, with Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo chipping in with 16 league goals between them. Dzeko is 6/4 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows only Mesut Ozil has made more passes (856) in the opposition half than Yaya Toure (826) this season. Toure is also the league’s top scoring midfielder this season with 12 goals, ahead of Aaron Ramsey’s 8. Starving the big Ivorian of possession must be central to Jose Mourinho’s plans this weekend.
Fernandinho has partnered Toure many times in the middle of the park and has helped to solidify the midfield, making 107 tackles and winning 62% of them. However, he has also committed 37 fouls the sixth highest in the league so he will need to mindful of his technique this weekend.
Pablo Zabaleta made 11 tackles against Tottenham, the highest total of any player during the last round. The only defender in the league to have attempted more total tackles is Stoke’s Erik Pieters with 116, compared to the City defender’s 99.
Chelsea were frustrated by West Ham midweek, playing out a goalless draw, much to the ire of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho who saw his side thwarted by some solid defending by the Hammers.
Chelsea ‘keeper Petr Cech only had to make 1 save against West Ham, a stat which is shown in stark contrast to that of West Ham ‘keeper Adrian who made 9 stops, more than any other ‘keeper in midweek.
City will need to watch Willian and Eden Hazard this weekend, the two providing much of the Chelsea’s attacking impetus along the flanks so far this season. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that between them this term they have a remarkable combined attacking contributions (shots on target, dribbles, crosses, assists) total of 112.
Jose Mourinho clearly sees Ramires as an integral cog in the Chelsea team, the Brazilian having played in all but one league game this season. He performances have warranted this faith though, the midfielder attempting 114 tackles and winning 61% of them. Only Claudio Yacob and Erik Pieters have attempted more tackles this season.
As you would suspect from a Jose Mourinho team, Chelsea have the best defensive record in the Barclay’s Premier League. John Terry has been an important factor in this regard, playing every minute of every league game. The defender has made 161 clearances, 28 interceptions and 16 blocks this term according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, an admirable total.
Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars at http://fantasy.premierleague.