Statistical Betting Preview: Chelsea vs Newcastle

A managerial master class from Jose Mourinho meant that Chelsea left the Etihad with all 3 points ending Manchester City’s 100% home record, and they host Newcastle who are still coming to grips with the departure of talisman Yohan Cabaye.
Prior to their loss on Monday, Manchester City had been a force to be reckoned with at home, scoring at least one goal in every home game since 2010. It was always going to be tough for the Blues to keep them at bay, and much of their rearguard effort can be credited to centre half Gary Cahill. The England man’s career has come on leaps and bounds since joining Chelsea, and his performance on Monday could arguably be his best game to date. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that Cahill made a total of 19 defensive contributions (based on blocks, clearances, tackles won and interceptions), the most in the Chelsea squad.    

Mourinho set-up his team with 3 holding midfielders, and instructed the players to attack on the break. Shouldering the burden for the counter attack were midfield duo Eden Hazard and Willian, who were charged with producing the creative sparks that could hand Chelsea the win, and throughout the match on Monday they demonstrated their excellent passing ability. The pair completed 25 passes in the opposition half respectively, more than any other players in the Chelsea squad.

Hazard’s outstanding ability on the counter was particularly evident in the number of times that he beat his opposition man. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index demonstrates that he completed 11 dribbles on Monday, more than any other player in the league. Hazard is 7/5 with to score at anytime on Saturday.

Calls for John Terry to return to the international fold will continue to grow stronger if he maintains the fine form that he’s shown all term. He’s the only outfield player in the Chelsea team to have featured in every minute of the campaign so far, and in the process has made the most defensive contributions (230).

If Cheick Tiote was affected by the departure of his former central midfield partner he hardly showed it on Saturday, as the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows that he produced an excellent offensive performance. He completed a total of 35 passes in Sunderland’s half on Saturday, at an average of a pass every 2.6 minutes.

Shola Ameobi has earned himself the name ‘Mackem Slayer’ as a result of his excellent goal-scoring record against Sunderland, and he will consider himself unlucky not to have added to his already impressive tally. He registered a total of 6 shots on Saturday, which was the second most in the league.  

Sylvain Marveaux will be hoping for more minutes on the field now that Cabaye has departed, particularly if Alan Pardew continues with his experiment of moving Ben Arfa more central. He hasn’t featured as much as he would have wished, but when he has been on the field, the Frenchman has showcased his excellent eye for a pass completing a pass in the opposition half at an impressive rate of a pass every 2.5 minutes.