– Spurs came from a goal behind to win 2-1 against Stoke in their penultimate Premier League outing thanks to goals from Clint Dempsey and Emmanuel Adebayor. They come into this final game one point behind North London neighbours Arsenal in the race for fourth place.
– Despite his name unusually not appearing on the score sheet, Bale has 8 shots at goal with 5 on target against Stoke, the joint highest of the last round of games.
– Bale’s season will end with some of the most impressive stats in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. He’s had 151 shots at goal getting 62.9% on target and converting 20 goals. He’s ranked third for dribbles completed with 48 so far this season, and 4th for crosses delivered with 114.
– Bale has taken the headlines this season, but Jan Verthongen has also excelled. He’s attempted 102 tackles this season, winning 79% of them. That’s the highest tackles won percentage of the 25 players who have attempted 100 or more tackles in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index this season.
– Jermain Defoe hit fine goal scoring form earlier in the season, but has struggled for goals of late. Of the nine players in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index to have had over 100 shots at goal Defoe has the lowest goal tally with 11 (joint with Carlos Tevez).
– Sunderland come into the game knowing they are safe from relegation after Arsenal beat Wigan in midweek. Their last league outing saw them draw 1-1 with Southampton thanks to a Phil Bardsley goal.
– Paolo di Canio singled out Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and John O’Shea as players that he knew were “exciting” when he signed as Sunderland manager, but has promised wholesale changes elsewhere in the team.
– O’Shea once again showed his impressive reading of the game against Southampton, making 15 interceptions, the second highest by a player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in the last round of games. He is ranked fourth overall for interceptions this season with 217.
– O’Shea’s defensive contributions overall across tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks number 361 – the third highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– O’Shea, and the rest of the Sunderland back four, have been shown impressive protection by the tough tackling of the Sunderland midfield this season. James McClean and Craig Gardner are ranked second and seventh respectively among the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index’s midfielders for tackles won, with McClean wining 76 and Gardner 66. Gardner has made the third highest number of defensive contributions of any midfielder this season, totaling 242 across tackles won, clearances, interceptions and blocks.
– Not named by Di Canio but undoubtedly vital to Sunderland’s survival this season has been the performance of Simon Mignolet. Mignolet made 13 saves against Southampton, the joint highest by a goalkeeper in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index in the last round of games and the third highest in a game all season. Mignolet has been the busiest goalkeeper in the Premier League this season making 224 saves in total.
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