Statistical Preview: Stoke vs Southampton


Mark Hughes’ return to Old Trafford wasn’t a happy one, as despite a spirited display, the Potters lost 3-2 to the champions.

– Manchester United could barely get a look-in in the first half on Saturday, with Robin Van Persie’s equalizer coming out of absolutely nothing. This could, in part, be attributed to the performance of Robert Huth. The German produced a stellar display on Saturday clearing the ball 12 times – the third most clearances in the league.

– Huth has been a rock at the back for Stoke all season, with his tackling being particularly impressive. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has completed an impressive 83% of his challenges this season.

– Stoke have found it difficult to hit the back of the net this season, scoring just 6 goals all season, so it has been fortunate for Mark Hughes that his defence have maintained a high standard of performance. Erik Pieters in particular has excelled for Mark Hughes’ team, making 101 defensive contributions (based on clearances, blocks, interceptions and tackles).

– When examining the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, it is unsurprising to see why Stoke have struggled for goals this season, as no Stoke forward has managed to hit the target with more than half their shots. Peter Crouch has the best accuracy record, hitting the target with half of his attempts. Crouch is 11/2 with to score the first goal on Saturday.  

– Full back Geoff Cameron has shown his attacking intent for Stoke so far this term, frequently bombing down the right flank. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights his effectiveness, as he has completed 14 dribbles – more than any other player in the Stoke team. 

– Southampton continued their outstanding start to the season with an impressive 2-0 victory at home to Fulham.

– Southampton’s academy has been a much discussed topic over recent weeks, with fans and neutrals alike applauding their enthusiasm to bring through homegrown talent. Two starlets have been skipper Adam Lallana, and teenager James Ward-Prowse, and both were impressive again against Fulham on Saturday, with the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlighting that they completed a pass in the opposition half every 2.2 and 2.3 minutes respectively.  James Ward-Prowse is 17/2 with to score at any time on Saturday. 

– Another young English talent who has been impressing for Southampton is Jay Rodriguez. Mauricio Pochettino has utilized his dribbling ability by deploying him on the left wing, encouraging him to take his full back on and either cross the ball from the byline, or cut inside to take a shot. The strategy appeared to be a success against Fulham, as the former Burnley man completed 5 dribbles – the second most in the league.

– The emergence of Callum Chambers has put pressure on Nathaniel Clyne to up his game, as he could soon find himself out of the side. Clyne, however, has responded to the challenge in some fashion – particularly in the tackling department. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that he has attempted 31 tackles, and has been successful in 88% of them.

– A vital cog in the Southampton machine is the role played by midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who sits in the centre of the park dictating the tempo of play. It is not just his passing where he excels, but his tackling too, and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index highlights that the central midfielder has completed 51 tackles this term – the fourth most in the league.