A virtuoso solo performance saw Luis Suarez bag four goals and assist another in a 5-1 demolition of Norwich at Anfield on Tuesday evening. A solitary consolation goal from Bradley Johnson took very little sheen off of what was a quite incredible performance by Liverpool’s mercurial Uruguayan, with two of his four goals looking to be immediate contenders for goal of the season.
Aside from wonderful technique and balance, perhaps one of Suarez’s most devastating qualities is his tenacity and relentless pursuit of goals, his almost perpetual movement bewildering defences and creating numerous scoring opportunities. He currently sits joint top of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total attempts on goal with 44 to his name so far this season.
Unsurprisingly Suarez also leads the league in numerous categories for the last round of fixtures, including total on target attempts on goal (6) and total attempts (7). Suarez is 8/15 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Lucas Leiva continues to provide a selfless platform for the likes of Suarez to shine this season though, pulling in some quite superb defensive statistics. Not only has he won more tackles than any other player in the league with 59, giving him a quite incredible total tackle success rate of 78.6%.
Summer signing Simon Mignolet has perhaps settled into life at Anfield the quickest of any of his fellow new recruits, stringing together some excellent performances for the Reds. He’s had a fair bit of work to do though this term, as evidenced by the fact that he currently sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total saves with 55.
Steven Gerrard continues to stamp his mark on Liverpool’s season with a series of excellent performances. The standards of the England captain rarely, if ever, seem to dip and once again he has the statistics to prove it. Following Wednesdayevening’s fixture against Norwich, Gerrard became one of only four players in the league this season to surpass the 500-barrier for passes completed in the opponent’s half, with 504 now to his name.
West Ham became the first casualties of the Tony Pulis era at Selhurst Park as they lost 1-0 to the Eagles on Tuesdayevening. Sam Allardyce will be looking for an immediate response from his side but they face a tough task to starve Luis Suarez & co of possession at Anfield this weekend.
West Ham have found goals hard to come by for the majority of this season, especially in the absence of star frontman Andy Carroll. The Hammers have not helped themselves at times though, with some wayward shooting also contributing to the problem. Mohamed Diame ranks joint third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total off-target attempts on goal with 18 to his name this season. He also has the lowest total shot accuracy rate of any player in the top 25 in this category (25%).
Guy Demel’s defensive work in the middle of the park has been exceptional for West Ham so far this term, the Ivory Coast bringing steel to the Hammer’s midfield. He’s won an exceptional 91.3% of his 23 attempted tackles so far this season.
Midfield colleague Mark Noble continues to drive forward West Ham’s play as well this campaign, racking up a squad-high total of 413 completed passes in the opponent’s half at an average rate of one every 3 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Goals may be difficult to come by this season for West Ham, but that certainly doesn’t appear to have stopped Kevin Nolan from letting fly when he’s in sight of goal. He has 19 attempts on goal to his name, the joint highest in the West Ham squad. Nolan is 5/1 with 888sport.com to score at any time with 888sport.com.