Aston Villa vs Stoke City
Aston Villa Stat Attack
Aston Villa fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Hull last time out in the league, a result which left them in the bottom three and on a run of five straight league losses. New manager Tim Sherwood will be hoping to make an instant impact and gain all three points on his first outing as Villa manager.
Villa fans will be hoping that Sherwood can not only get their team back on track, but get star striker Christian Benteke firing again. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the big Belgian has so far racked up 38 attempts on goal, the highest total in the Villa squad (despite his injury), suggesting that if a bit of luck comes his way he won’t be far off finding his best form.
Defender Aly Cissokho has been quietly going about his business this season following his summer arrival at Villa Park, quickly establishing some impressive stats. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he’s covered the most distance of any Villa player this season, with a total of 230.2km to his name.
Villa’s opponents this weekend are a physical and well-organised Stoke outfit, meaning that Villa’s best chance of a win may come from getting around their defence rather than through it. This is not a Villa side bereft of quick players though, with striker Gabriel Agbonlahor their foremost speedster. He hit the highest top speed of any player on the pitch against Hull, registering 33.8km/h. His pace, amongst others, may well be a key weapon should he feature this weekend. After rumours and pictures suggesting he may miss the rest of the season, he was back in training this week!
Stoke Stat Attack
Despite initially drawing level through Peter Crouch after Sergio Aguero’s opener, Stoke struggled to contain City’s attacking threat and eventually fell to a 1-4 defeat that left them just inside the top half of the table.
Stoke will be without captain Ryan Shawcross to marshall the Stoke defence against what will likely be a rejuvenated Villa outfit in their first game under a new manager. The big centre half has once again been the key defensive focal point for Mark Hughes’ side this season, racking up a squad-best 253 total defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions and tackles won) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Jonathan Walters has been one of Stoke’s key threats this season, finding the back of the net seven times to top the scoring charts for the Potters. He’s scored on average with every 2.1 shots he’s had on goal this season, meaning he will need to be carefully marked by the Villa defence this weekend.
Although perhaps most noted for his technical ability with the ball, midfielder Steven N’Zonzi has nonetheless been making waves with his workrate off it. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he’s covered the fourth highest total distance of any player in the Barclays Premier League this season with 279.3km to his name.
Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars at http://fantasy.
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