Much attention will be focused on Andy Carroll on his return to St James’ Park in the Premier League encounter on Sunday between Newcastle United and West Ham. However, the stats show that Kevin Nolan is the man to watch…
– Yohan Cabaye scored with a fine finish for Newcastle in their 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend.
– Cabaye has two goals this season having had 15 shots on goal with 6 on target. He also has an assist to his name, but the influential French midfielder’s role in the team spreads further than just goals, having completed 145 passes in his opponent’s half this season, and made 16 interceptions this season.
– Hatem Ben Arfa provided the assist for Cabaye. Ben Arfa has two goals and two assists this season, having come from 19 shots at goal with 10 on target.
– Ben Arfa has also completed 16 dribbles this season, the third highest in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index and delivered 27 crosses.
– The skillful Frenchman has also been trying to help out defensively, though he has lost out on 11 of the 16 tackles he has attempted this season and picked up 12 fouls along the way.
– West Ham battled to earn a point in a 0-0 draw against league champions Man City in their last game. The Hammers could have taken all three points if a Kevin Nolan goal hadn’t been ruled offside, and a Yossi Benayoun volley hadn’t hit the bar from a Matt Jarvis cross.
– Nolan was hunting for his fifth goal of the season, having had an impressive 24 efforts at goal with 16 on target.
– Nolan also has two assists this season, which means he has had a hand in almost half of West Ham’s 13 goals this season, and Newcastle will be all to aware of his qualities as he returns to his former club this weekend.
– Newcastle will also know all about the danger of former striker Andy Carroll, who was idolised by fans before leaving for a difficult spell at Liverpool. However Carroll is yet to open his Premier League account for West Ham, and has had just 13 shots at goal with 8 on target according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Carroll has however used his aerial ability to great effect at the other end of the pitch, assisting team mates with 13 clearances, more than any other striker in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Data courtesy of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, the official player rating index of the Barclays Premier League.