Statistical Preview: Southampton vs Fulham

Both teams come into this fixture on the back of impressive results in the last round of Premier League fixtures.

A last minute equalizer from skipper Adam Lallana handed the Saints a draw against champions Manchester United.

Lallana produced another impressive performance to continue knocking on the door of England manager Roy Hodgson. The Saints academy graduate completed a pass in Manchester United’s half every 3.3 minutes.

Without looking at the statistics, one would be forgiven for presuming that Saints were clinging on against the Red Devils, and a resolute defensive performance kept the champions at bay. However, the statistics tell a totally different story. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, Morgan Schneiderlin totally bossed the game – completing more passes in the opposition half than any other player on the pitch (30). To emphasise the Saints dominance, Adam Lallana was the player who completed the second most (27)

Southampton invested a lot of money in the signature of Croatian Dejan Lovren this Summer, but he is certainly proving to be worth the investment. The centre half has attempted 21 challenges this season, and completed a staggering 95% of them.

Pablo Osvaldo may have only scored once so far this season, but he certainly hasn’t been afraid to get stuck in. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has completed an impressive 88.9% of his challenges this term.

Strike partner Rickie Lambert may have been dropped to the bench against Manchester United, but his offensive worth to the Southampton team should not be overlooked. The England international has made 135 attacking contributions this season (based on shots, crosses, dribbles and passes in the opposition half). This is more than any other Saints player.

A wonder-goal from Pajtim Kasami helped Fulham on their way to an impressive 4-1 victory over strugglers Crystal Palace.

Steve Sidwell may feel slightly aggrieved that his exquisite volley has been practically ignored, due to the quality of Kasami’s strike. However, Sidwell should at least be comforted by the fact that he produced a solid defensive display to help Fulham on their way to victory. The ex-Reading man completed 7 of his 8 challenges against Crystal Palace.

A challenge for Martin Jol will be attempting to work out how to get the best out of Darren Bent and Dimitar Berbatov. Thus far, it seems that Jol will look to play Berbatov in a slightly withdrawn role, allowing him to thread passes into the channels for Bent to run on to. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that berbatov appeared to warm to this new role, as he completed 37 passes in Crystal Palace’s half. This was more than any of his teammates. 

Bryan Ruiz was a creative lynchpin against Crystal Palace, registering 3 assists. These were Ruiz’ first assists of the season, which is surprising considering he has completed a pass in the opposition half every 4 minutes so far this term.

Scott Parker may prove to be the catalyst in Fulham’s push for a comfortable top half finish this season, as the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he has been effective at both ends of the pitch. Not only has Parker won an impressive 82% of his tackles this campaign, he has also completed more passes in the opposition half than any other Fulham player (156).