It was Gareth Bale who stole the show in the previous round of Premier League fixtures, picking up the best WhoScored rating (9.82) following 2 decisive goals against Newcastle. The likes of Michu, who also bagged a brace to end a barren run, Daniel Sturridge, Santi Cazorla and penalty saving Ben Foster also picked up a rating in excess of 9.
It’s little surprise that the aforementioned Welshman, along with Sturridge, registered the most shots at goal in the previous gameweek (8). Meanwhile, Luis Suarez’s tally of 11 key passes over Liverpool’s two matches was way ahead of Wes Hoolahan in second (5).
Arsenal’s Cazorla was the match winner at Sunderland and he also produced 6 successful dribbles to pip Bale (5) to the most of the round. In a more defensive sense it was a busy but eventually excellent Monday night for Claudio Yacob, whose 8 tackles to help West Brom to a shock win at Anfield was the most of the round ahead of Mark Noble (7).
Gameweek 27 Suggested XI
David De Gea
United have improved a great deal in a defensive sense since all of their backline options returned to fitness and the Spaniard has profited in turn. The increased competition is getting the best out of them and the league leaders have only conceded 3 goals in their last 7 league games, while QPR have failed to score in their last two at home.
John Arne Riise
There's only been one draw in the last 11 encounters between Fulham and Stoke, with at least one of the sides keeping a clean sheet in 6 of the last 7. The fact that the respective home side has won the last 4 times that the two have come to blows suggests Fulham should be confident of a clean sheet, with the Potters only winning once away from home all season.
West Brom have won to nil in each of their last three matches at the Hawthorns in the Premier League against Sunderland. The Baggies also boast the second best defensive record at home in the top flight, with a tally of just 12 goals conceded only bettered by Man City. The Black Cats, meanwhile, have drawn a blank in 2 of their last 3 matches.
Everton are deemed likely to score from a wing play situation and Leighton Baines has delivered 26 more accurate crosses (77) than any other player in the league, as well as racking up the most key passes, with 88. Norwich have scored just one goal in their last 6 matches in all competitions, with top scorer Grant Holt failing to net since early December.
According to the WhoScored match forecast Arsenal are likely to score from a through ball situation and a direct free-kick against Villa on Saturday. Although Podolski may compete with the Spaniard for set piece duties around the box, Cazorla is the Gunners' puppet master, completing 7 more accurate through balls than any other player in the league (18).
Villas-Boas' Tottenham side look highly favoured in the match forecast ahead of their short trip to Upton Park, deemed very likely to score from a fast break, as a result of individual skill and from a through ball. Of all players to complete at least 10 through balls in Europe's top 5 leagues this season, Holtby is third most accurate and could unlock the Hammers' defence.
The new signing is already a fans’ favourite at St. James’ Park after just 3 league appearances for the club. A tally of 3 goals and 2 assists from the Frenchman in that time is likely to have something to do with it, and with hosts tipped to score from a through ball situation against Southampton, Sissoko may get a chance to emulate the sort of pass that earned him an assist on his debut at Villa Park.
Although it’s likely to be a tight and intense game in the basement battle between Reading and Wigan there should be goals at the Madjeski. Only the Latics have conceded more at home than McDermott’s side this season (24) so Wigan may trouble the hosts. Maloney is a man in form right now, scoring in back-to-back league games and picking up 2 assists in 5, so he could be key.
Villa's Belgian powerhouse has scored in each of his last 5 appearances in all competitions (netting 6 in that time) and has been directly involved in 44% of the team's league goals this season - a higher percentage than any other player in the division. Only three players have scored more goals from outside the box in open play this season and Arsenal are weak at preventing shots from distance.
Robin van Persie
With goals in 10 of his last 13 league appearances it really is impossible to avoid tipping van Persie as United make the trip to bottom club QPR. The visitors are likely to score from an opposition error and through a piece of individual skill as well as from a set piece situation, so goals and assists should be attainable for the Dutchman, who managed one of each in his last league game vs Everton.
The Baggies have netted 13 goals in the last 4 encounters between West Brom and Sunderland, including 4 in each of the previous two meetings. Romelu Lukaku should be back in the side after making an impact from the bench to score against Liverpool and the Belgian has 4 goals at home having only started 5 times in the league at the Hawthorns.