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Since the start of last season no goalkeeper has made more saves than the Poland international (145), who has really proven his worth since making the swap from Arsenal. Despite Swansea’s impressive start to the season, the 30-year-old will still need to be at his best to stop a Watford side desperate to earn their first win back in the top-flight.
The former Augsburg left-back joined the Premier League champions as an unknown quantity to most over the summer, but his reputation is more than respected elsewhere on the continent. Rahman is expected to make his Chelsea debut this weekend in place of a struggling Branislav Ivanovic. Staggeringly, Mourinho’s side have already conceded 60% of the goals they shipped during his first title winning side at Stamford Bridge 11 years ago (9) and Rahman’s promotion should harden their defence. In the Bundesliga last season only Naldo (197) made more tackles and interceptions than Rahman (192).
The Southampton defender was unfairly seen as the weak link to their defence when the exodus began last summer, but since then has emerged a real leader on the south coast. No player has made more tackles or interceptions than the Saints captain since the start of last season (219) and Koeman's men finally seem to have hit their stride this season after a stumbling start. Additionally, Southampton haven’t conceded a league goal at home to West Brom in their last two meetings.
The City captain has turned in dominant performances of old this season and he has already managed two goals in the league having failed to score in his previous 25 outings. The two-time Premier League champions are yet to concede in the league and could well continue that streak at Crystal Palace, whose form at home (1.3 points per game) is unusually far worse than their record on the road (2.4 points per game) since Pardew's appointment.
Manchester United’s newly-appointed third captain has enjoyed a stunning start to the season. In fact, no central defender has earned a higher WhoScored rating in the Premier League this season than Smalling (7.57). The 25-year-old looks to have grown into the role given to him by Louis van Gaal and is finally emerging as the player United thought they had when they first signed him in 2010. Only three players to have competed in more than 20 aerial duels in the league this season have a better success rate than Smalling (72.3%) and he will need to be at his best to handle the threat posed by Christian Benteke on Saturday.
The 26-year-old is still searching for consistency to his game after only showing flashes of potential during his early Southampton career. Nevertheless, the Serbia international has already had a hand in three goals this season (2 goals + 1 assist) and only four other players have gained a higher WhoScored rating than Tadic in the league thus far (7.92).
Just when it seemed Toure’s career was about to slide, the former Barcelona midfielder has reinvigorated himself and is currently driving Manchester City back to the Premier League's summit. The Ivorian has been at his very best during first four league games, having had a direct hand in four of City’s 10 goals – only teammate David Silva has had a hand in more (5). No player to attempt more than 10 dribbles across Europe’s top five leagues has done so with greater success than the 32-year-old (91.7%) and there is also the added bonus that Toure has scored in each of his last three meetings with the Eagles.
The former Liverpool midfielder had his troubles last season but seems to have matured immensely since Gary Monk’s public bashing at Christmas. The 23-year-old has been in superb form since the start of the season and has been a huge factor behind Swansea’s incredible start. In fact, only Santi Carzola (16) has made more key passes than Shelvey (13) and no Premier League player has played more accurate through balls (3).
Arsenal may have the lowest chance conversion rate across Europe’s top five leagues this season (1.2%), but it hasn’t been down to a lack of creative spark from Ozil. No player has played more accurate crosses in the Premier League than the German this season (10) and only four players have made more key passes than the former Real Madrid star (12). It is only a matter of time before Arsenal find top gear and it could be this weekend against a Stoke team that are winless this season.
Something has to give for the Netherlands international in the Premier League soon. We have seen flashes of his potential in the preliminary Champions League rounds, but now it is time for the United No7 to announce himself on the domestic scene and there would be no greater stage than to do so against the club’s historical rivals, Liverpool. Memphis’ efforts haven’t been for a lack of trying. In fact, only three other players are having more shots per game than the 21-year-old (4).
Prior to the start of the new season many questioned whether Bournemouth’s top goalscorer from last season could repeat the form that took the Cherries to Championship glory under the spotlight of the Premier League. Four games in and only Thomas Muller (5) has scored more goals than Wilson (4) across Europe’s top five leagues and the 23-year-old is now being tipped for an England call-up. Wilson scored in this corresponding fixture last season in the Championship and will be looking to continue his good form on Saturday.
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