A wonderful goal from Jay Rodriguez secured a point for Southampton against Newcastle last weekend. Another solid result against Spurs will see them still well in the hunt for European places come the new year.
Victor Wanyama may still top the league for fouls conceded (33) but he’s still getting the job done when it comes to recovering possession for the Saints. He’s won 77.2% of his 57 attempted challenges this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
When given the opportunity, Jack Cork has acquitted himself well this season. His 6 tackles was the joint second highest during the last round of fixtures.
Luke Shaw continues to draw the attention of some of the Premier League’s most financially powerful clubs. A continuation of his impressive form from last season has seen his list of suitors grow ever-longer and his EA SPORTS Player Performance stats show why. Despite being only 18, Shaw has some of the most solid defensive numbers in the league, winning 64.8% of his 37 attempted challenged this season and conceding just 8 fouls.
Although more known for his stamina and work ethic in the centre of the park, Morgan Schneiderlin has shown he’s no shrinking violet when it comes to having an attempt on goal this season. He has the best shot accuracy rate in the Saints’ squad, seeing 62.5% of his 8 attempts this season work the opposition ‘keeper.
A 5-0 thrashing at the hands of a Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool preceded the firing of Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas this week, meaning it will fall to ex-Spurs player Tim Sherwood to take charge against Southampton. He faces an uphill task against such a buoyant Saints outfit but a change in leadership may well galavanise an undoubtedly talented Spurs squad.
Despite arguably their poorest display of the season to date against Liverpool, Spurs certainly have the quality in their squad to dig out of the hole they currently find themselves in. Chief amongst these players would be Andros Townsend on current form, who currently finds himself second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total attacking contributions (crosses, dribbles, shots on goal, assists) this season, with 99 to his name.
Whoever takes over the manager’s hotseat permanently at White Hart Lane may well look to embed Danny Rose even further into the starting XI for Spurs. Rose’s development since returning from Sunderland on loan has been stark, the 23-year old winning a superb 90.9% of his 11 challenges this season.
Garnering the support of key senior figures in the dressing room is always key for any new manager coming in and no doubt Michael Dawson will fall into that category. He leads the Spurs squad for total defensive contributions this season (blocks, clearances, tackles won, interceptions) with 179 to his name.
The talents of Hugo Lloris have been well-documented this season, the athletic Frenchman defining the modern role ‘sweeper ‘keeper’. Amazingly, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, not only has he attempted 3 tackles this season, the highest of any goalkeeper in the league, he’s won all of them.
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