Statistical Preview: Crystal Palace vs Arsenal

Two stunning goals from Fulham saw Crystal Palace continue their slow start to the season as they fell to a 1-4 defeat at Selhurst Park. Palace looked to have control thanks to Adrian Mariappa’s goal inside 7 minutes but a wonder strike from Pajtim Kasami changed the complexion of the game and Palace struggled to regain a foothold. With Ian Holloway resigning on Wednesday evening, this weekend’s match-up with Arsenal could be a chance for the club to start this season afresh.

Palace supporters knew they were in for a tough task upon promotion to the Premier League, with some of the world’s most vaunted attacking players coming to Selhurst Park to test the Eagles’ mettle. So far though Palace’s players seem to be standing up well to the challenge, with 7 players have tackle success rates of 75% or above according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Captain Mile Jedinak’s reading of the game continues to be superb this season, his defensive contributions in the Palace vital to his side. Only Manchester United’s Michael Carrick can better his 31 interceptions to date according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Jason Puncheon’s shooting has been somewhat wayward of late. The winger has only managed to get 14.3% of his 7 shots on-target, a disappointing stat for one of Southampton’s most consistent players last season.

Whoever takes over the hotseat at Selhurst Park will have to address an inability to fashion a serious number of chances in front of goal so far this season. So far only Dwight Gayle numbers in double figures for the season (10) and even he has a shot accuracy rate of just 30%.

Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the Barclay’s Premier League with a solid 4-1 win over Norwich last weekend. Mesut Ozil grabbed a brace in a game graced by one the finest goals seen at the Emirates by Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey grabbing what is becoming his almost obligatory goal to give the scoresheet some extra polish.

Ramsey’s well-taken goal against Norwich was a strike by a player brimming with confidence, something that is coming from the standard of his all-round play this season. No other player has successfully completed more tackles than him (39) and to top it off, his 31 attacking contributions (total shots, assists, dribbles, crosses) is more than the next 13 players behind him in the tackle stats.

Frontman Olivier Giroud has been praised from almost every corner for his much improved play this season, the Frenchman displaying the confidence in his ability to let fly much more often this term. He currently sits joint second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total attempts on goal with 22.

Unsurprisingly in Giroud and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal also have two of the league’s most consistent assist providers. Both are ranked joint first on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 4.

While Mikel Arteta may not have been the most noticeable member of the Arsenal squad so far this season, he is apparently their most effective distributor of the ball. For player to have completed more than 100 passes in the opponent’s half, only Manchester City’s David Silva has done so at a better rate than Arteta’s average of 1.87 per minute.