Statistical Preview: Can Aston Villa See Off Newcastle Challenge?

What a coup it might be for Aston Villa that Christian Benteke decided to stay at the club. The Belgian powerhouse leads the Premier League goalscoring charts, hitting the back of the net 3 times in the opening three fixtures. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that his goal tally is unsurprising; as he has hit the target with 75% of his shots.

Benteke hasn’t been the only Villa player gaining plaudits for his performances this season. Fabian Delph has been one of the outstanding players in the league so far, and this is in part due to his dribbling ability. He has completed 11 dribbles this campaign, the third most in the league.

The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index also suggests that Delph has been equally prolific in defence as he has won 12 tackles; more than any other Villa player.

Paul Lambert’s boys didn’t have the best campaign last time around, but Ron Vlaar was one of the few positives, making a real impression. He seems to have picked up where he left off last season, as he has made 21 clearances thus far this season. The most of any Villa player.

Ashley Westwood is a player that many regard as a future international, and he has been showing his credentials this season. Sitting in the middle of the park for Aston Villa, he has averaged a pass every 4.1 minutes – a better average than any other Villa player. have him at 24/1 to score the first goal of the game on Saturday.

Christian Benteke might be banging it in on a regular basis for Aston Villa, but the same cannot be said of Hatem Ben Arfa. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index he has had 10 attempts on goal, but failed to score once. No other player has had as many shots without scoring. have him at 15/4 to break this goalscoring duck and score at any time on Saturday.

Despite scoring just once this season, Ben Arfa has still managed to showcase his skillset completing a total of 10 dribbles.

Only Moussa Sissoko matches Ben Arfa, as he too has managed to complete 10 dribbles.

Fellow French international Mathieu Debuchy has also been putting a shift in for the Magpies. He has attempted 13 tackles so far this season, which is six more than any other Newcastle player.

Yohan Cabaye might be returning to first team action for Newcastle, but he would do well to dislodge Moussa Sissoko. The midfielder has completed 82 passes in the opposition half so far this season, a staggering 20 more than any of his team mates