Manchester City’s troubles on the road continued as they lost 1-0 to Sunderland at an atmospheric Stadium of Light last time out. Despite dominating position for large periods they were unable to break down a very organized Sunderland outfit and Manuel Pellegrini will have to address his side’s chronic lack of form away from the Etihad if they are to mount a sustained title challenge this season.
The attacking brilliance of Sergio Aguero so far this season has been well-documented following a series of spectacular strikes. Aguero is rarely a flash in the pan during a match though, being a consistent threat around the opposition box for the course of the 90 minutes. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Aguero has had the joint most on-target attempts of any player in the league this season with 18.
Fellow City talisman Yaya Toure has been similarly destructive at times for City this season. The big Ivorian is on the cusp of a remarkable statistic this weekend, given that he is currently sitting on a league-leading 492 completed passes in the opponent’s half and will certainly be expecting to become the first player this season to break through the 500-barrier.
It will have pleased Manuel Pellegrini to see Samir Nasri start to show flickers of the form which seemed to have deserted him in recent months. Even in defeat, the Frenchman was one of the most influential players on the pitch against Sunderland, completing 78 passes in the opponent’s half, the highest in the league during the last round.
It seems there will be no stopping Pablo Zabaleta’s sterling form this season as the Argentinian continues to compile some of the league’s best defensive figures. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index has so far recorded him as coming out on top in a superb 82.9% of his 47 attempted challenges this season, the best rate in the league for players who have attempted 40 challenges or more.
An inspired performance from Tim Krul kept Tottenham at bay and condemned them to a 0-1 defeat at White Hart Lane. On a day when they could have made up ground on several of their rivals, Andre Villas-Boas will have been highly frustrated that his side were not able to convert on a huge number of chances which fell their way. He faces an ever greater test when he takes his team to the North-West this weekend.
Winger Andros Townsend has grabbed his chance to impress in a team now full of superstars following a summer spending spree at White Hart Lane. He has fast become a Tottenham’s go-to player in attack, amassing a league-leading 93 attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, crosses, dribbles).
Jan Vertonghen is well-known for a tendency to burst forward when the opportunity arises, the Belgian centre-half possessing a level of technique to rival many midfielders. Vertonghen had the fourth highest number of attempts on goal last time out (4) according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Kyle Walker has been in typically marauding form down the right flank for Spurs so far this term, the England man more than happy to get forward whenever the opportunity presents itself. Indeed, he’s completed more passes in the opponent’s half than any other defender this season, with 355 to his name so far.
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