Stoke vs Fulham – Statistical Preview

Stoke come into the game with Fulham following an away defeat to Tottenham last weekend.  The Potters currently sit tenth in the league and will be eyeing up Newcastle who are just two points ahead of them in ninth.  The Britannia Stadium has been a tough place to visit this season and Stoke will be hoping to shut out Fulham who are fighting for survival.

 Marko Arnautović was Stoke’s stand out player against Tottenham last weekend.  The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows the Austrian took the most shots (5), made the most passes (36) and made eight attacking contributions (shots on target, dribbles, crosses and assists) the most in the Stoke side.  Arnautović has netted three times this season, four behind top goal scorer Peter Crouch on seven.  With Stoke safely sitting mid table the Austrian will want to be a more regular scorer next season.

 In defence, Marc Wilson made 12 defensive contributions (blocks interceptions, crosses and clearances) against Spurs, the most in the team.  Ryan Shawcross and Geoff Cameron were also busy in defence, both making nine defensive contributions each.  With Fulham fighting for survival they are sure to give the Stoke defenders a serious work out.

 In goal, Stoke have one of the best keepers in the Premier League.  Amir Begovic has been one of Stoke’s best players for several seasons and he has been mentioned in a few transfer rumours for this summer’s window.  He has made the 5th highest amount of saves this season (103) more than the likes of David de Gea (92), Simon Mignolet (102) and Hugo Lloris (95).

 Fulham yet again missed out on another chance to exit the relegation places with a 2-2draw against Hull.  Felix Magath felt it was two points lost last week and games are running out for Fulham to secure another season in Premier League.  A win against Stoke will do their survival chances no harm but they will also be keeping a keen eye on the results of teams around them.

 Fulham started the scoring against Hull with a superbly taken goal from Ashkan Dejagah.  The Fulham forward has now scored five goals this season, two behind top scorer Sidwell (7).  With the highest amount of attacking contributions during the match against Hull (4) he is having a strong finish to the season but will need his teammates to put in a huge effort in their last two remaining games.

 Jonny Heitinga joined Fulham in January and has proved to be a good signing since his switch from Everton.  The Dutch defender made the most defensive contributions (14) against Hull but will be disappointed that his side let a two goal lead slip so late on in the game.

 In midfield Steve Sidwell and Scott Parker have developed a good partnership.  Although only playing 53 minutes against Hull, Sidwell still made the most tackles for Fulham (5) and is committed to keeping Fulham up.