Match preview: QPR v Saints
Southampton travel to QPR today in what is a massive game for both sides. QPR are still yet to win this season whilst Southampton do have one win to their name.
Signs of improvement are there with the Saints, who limited Swansea to very few chances last weekend. Hopefully an unchanged team will help bring some much needed stability to the squad and give the players a platform on which they can push forward on.
Here’s a look at the top performing players from both sides, with stats provided by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index:
- QPR fans will have been relieved to see Djibril Cisse’s equalizer vs. Reading last weekend. Not only did it rescue a point at home for his side, but it was also his opening goal this season in the Premier League. In 10 appearances Cisse has had 16 shots at goal this season, with 10 on target
- Former Inter Milan keeper Julio Cesar has made 40 saves in 8 Premier League appearances, some way behind the league’s top goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi who has made the most saves with 66 so far
- Ryan Nelsen is second in EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for most blocks with 14, behind James Collins who has made 15 for West Ham
- Anton Ferdinand has also contributed with 10 blocks, putting him at joint 6th in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with Mariappa, Jagielka and Cahill
- According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, England international Bobby Zamora has been QPR’s best player so far this season. The imposing striker has 3 goals in 10 games, scoring from just 9 shots on target and shooting wide only 3 times.
- Southampton boss Nigel Adkins is the bookies favorite to be the first Premier League managerial casualty of the year. A defensive error with 15minutes to go threw away 2 points last time out against Swansea
- Last weekend was the fifth time this season Southampton have dropped points from winning positions
- For the 6th time this season, Morgan Schneiderlin leads the Southampton stats for most distance run during the game, covering 7.38 miles against Swansea, the second highest distance run by a single player all season. Schneiderlin now holds five of the top ten slots for distance covered in a single game this season and has 69.81 miles on the clock in total
- The French midfielder also scored Southampton’s only goal vs. Swansea, his second of the campaign
- He has also won the second most tackles in the league (32), behind only Mark Noble (34)
- Rickie Lambert has started this season in good form, scoring 4 goals in 11 appearances. That is currently the same number of goals as scored by Premier League stars Javier Hernandez, Fernando Torres, and Carlos Tevez, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Lallana v Taarabt
- Saturday’s game will see an interesting midfield battle between Adam Lallana, 24, and Adel Taarabt, 23. Although both players pose attacking threats for the opposition, their roles within their teams are very different. The Englishman has created 4 goals for Southampton, swung in 26 crosses and linked with teammates 246 times in the opponents half. He has also contributed in defense, making 18 tackles and 14 interceptions.
- Taarabt is far more direct with his attacking, with 29 attempts on goal, 10 dribbles and just 8 crosses with 0 assists.