Stat attack - Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion enter a six-pointer Saturday (From This Is Local London)
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Stat attack - Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion enter a six-pointer Saturday
The Baggies are one spot above the Eagles on goal difference, and both sides are a single point above the relegation zone.
Palace may have succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, but if it was not for the performance of Damien Delaney, the score line could have been a lot worse.
The EA SPORTS player performance index shows that he made a total of 15 defensive contributions, the most in the Eagles squad.
Another player who demonstrated his excellent defensive ability against Arsenal was full back Joel Ward – his figures show he attempted the most challenges in the Palace squad, and won an impressive 75 per cent of them.
Crsytal Palace are the lowest scorers in the Premier League this season, but in Maraoune Chamakh, boss Tony Pulis has a man who can score the goals to propel them to safety.
The Moroccan is Palace’s top scorer with four goals, but amazingly, these goals have come from only seven attempts.
West Brom will be happy with an unexpected point last weekend after going behind to top four hopefuls Liverpool.
The spirit shown to get back into the game will be vital in the coming months, as the Baggies battle to avoid the drop. Zoltan Gera is into his second spell with West Brom, and has come to establish himself as a firm favourite amongst the Baggies faithful.
He may be into the twilight of his career, having reached 34, but he hasn’t lost his excellent knack of playing a key pass.
His stats demonstrate that he completed an impressive 28 passes in the opposition half on Sunday. Claudio Yacob has played an important role in a defensive midfield role for West Brom this season, making more tackles than any other player this season with 126, with a success rate of 71 per cent.
Now that Shane Long has departed the West Midlands club, the other strikers will have to bear the brunt of scoring the goals necessary to keep West Brom up.
Berahino will be one man who feels the responsibility, particularly as he has the best strike rate of any West Brom striker – averaging a goal every 231 minutes.
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