A quite incredible Merseyside derby saw honours divided at the final whistle, with a late header from substitute Daniel Sturridge claiming a point for the Reds in a 3-3 draw. Luis Suarez’s customary goal, as well as a fine finish from Phillippe Coutinho contributed towards a result which kept them in touch with Arsenal at the top of the table.
Despite being one of the league’s most in-form strikers, you wonder just how many more goals Daniel Sturridge might have been able to conjure had he been a touch more accurate with his overall shooting. He currently ranks joint second in the league for most off target number of attempts on goal, with 17 of his attempts (47.3%) failing to test the keeper.
However, in ‘SAS’, Liverpool undoubtedly still have the form strike partnership in the league. They both currently rank joint second for attacking contributions (shots on goal, assists, dribbles, crosses) with 64 apiece to give them a joint total of 128. This is 26 more than the collective total of their rival partnership of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie. Suarez is 11/13 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
Lucas Leiva might have been pulled up for a foul 25 times this season, but such is the territory for one of the league’s most destructive midfielders. The Brazilian has completed an excellent 77.7% of his 72 attempted tackles this season, with this tackle total also representing the second highest in the league. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, only Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey can boast more defensive attempts with 75.
Steven Gerrard continues to exert an incredible amount of influence on this Liverpool midfield, his stats showing that he remains the dominant box-to-box force that he has been for the last decade. He currently ranks joint second in the league for assists with 5 and of the players in the top 10 in this category, he has completed the highest number of passes in the opponent’s half with 439.
Steve Bruce pointed to a lack of creativity after his side succumbed to a 0-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last time out. They will face a much sterner test of their Premier League credentials when they host Liverpool this weekend.
An ability to rack up enough attempts which really test the opposition goalkeeper continues to be a problem for Hull this season. Of the two Hull players who have registered more than 10 attempts on goal this term (Aluko – 11; Huddlestone – 12), neither have managed to achieve an on-target rate of more than 50% (Aluko – 45.5%; Huddlestone – 41.7%).
Defender James Chester is currently ranked as one of the most effective defenders in the league according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. So far this season he’s won an outstanding 93.3% of his 15 attempted challenges.
Defensive colleague Curtis Davies has also been one of the league’s outstanding performers at the back this season, something which indicates the amount of work Steve Bruce’s defenders have had to go through this season. Davies has certainly been willing to through his body into the cause though, with 13 blocks to his name which places him joint third in the league.