Statistical Preview: Martin Jol’s Fulham take on Cardiff

Despite a battling performance, particularly in the middle of the park, from Martin Jol’s Fulham against Chelsea last weekend, they were unfortunately not able to hold out till the end and eventually succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to the men in blue.

Fulham knew they were bringing in a potent attacking force when they acquired Adel Taarabt on loan for the season and he has so been delivering exactly that. He leads the Fulham squad for attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, dribbles, crosses) with 12. Taarabt is an industry-best 7/2 with to get himself on the scoresheet at any time this weekend.

Another smart move was the signing of Scott Parker, the England international bringing stability and consistency to the Fulham midfield. He is so far the only Fulham player to have completed more than 100 passes in the opponent’s half (124) and he has done so at an impressive average rate on one every 2.9 minutes.

Brede Hangeland may not have committed himself to that many tackles so far this season (8) but that is because he is reading of the game is clearly at such a level that he doesn’t feel the need to. He leads the Fulham squad for interceptions with 38.

Despite a performance which shows they have what it takes to hang with the best the Premier League has to offer, Cardiff will have been desperately disappointed not to come away from last weekend with at least a point after a goal at the death from Tottenham.

Unsurprisingly after his heroics last weekend, David Stockdale has rocketed up the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for saves made. He currently sits in 2nd place with 24.

Stockdale has not been short of commitment from his defence so far this season though. Steven Caulker has shown his physical commitment to his new side with a league-topping 10 blocks so far this season.

Indeed, Cardiff were always going to find the Premier League to be a step up in terms of quality but so far their collective defensive unity has been shown to be more than up to the task. So far the have 9 nine players in total  (Cowie, Whittingham, Campbell, Bo-Kyung, Gunnarsson, Connolly, Bellamy, Medel, Caulker) with a tackle success rate of more than 50%, a superb stat for a club new to the rigours of the Premier League.