Newcastle are currently experiencing their worst run of results this season with Arsenal taking their run of defeats to six. Alan Pardew is back on the touch line and will certainly sense a chance to turn around his side’s fortune against Cardiff who foot the table.
Cheick Toité has been at the heart of the Newcastle midfield this season and the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows he has played a big part in supporting the defence all season. Tioté made 14 defensive contributions (tackles, blocks, interceptions and clearances) against Arsenal more than any other Newcastle player and won all four of his tackles. The Ivorian has also won the most tackles for the Magpies this season with 105 successful challenges.
Loïc Remy has been Newcastle’s main goal threat this season with 13 goals to his name but against Arsenal he didn’t manage one shot. Yoan Gouffran on the other hand provided two shots on target against the Gunners and is second top goal scorer with six goals. Gouffran is an industry best 7/2 to score at anytime with 888sport.com.
The ever-present Michael Williamson will take up his usual place in the Newcastle defence against the Bluebirds. Williamson has made 345 defensive contributions this season, the most in the side. Mathieu Debuchy has also made 89 tackles this season which only Cheick Toité can beat. Newcastle’s defence will want to hold firm against Cardiff and not extended their run of six defeats to seven.
Cardiff are rooted to the bottom of the table on 30 points and three points from safety. The next two games are must wins for the Bluebirds and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will feel this is a good time to face Newcastle who are struggling to pick up points. Last weekend’s 4-0 defeat against fellow strugglers Sunderland will have been a hard pill to swallow but Cardiff will have to bounce back quickly should they want to stay in the Division.
Kévin Théophile-Catherine was Cardiff’s best performer in terms of stats last weekend against Sunderland. The Frenchman made a team high 14 defensive contributions and also showed his attacking intent with two crosses. The only other Cardiff defender to attempt a cross was Craig Bellamy, in a game that the Black Cats dominated.
Wilfred Zaha has had a mixed season at Cardiff since his loan move from Manchester United. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows the England under 21 was Cardiff’s most attacking player against Sunderland with four attacking contributions. Jordan Mutch is Cardiff’s top scorer this season with seven goals from midfield. He had a quiet match against Sunderland but still won the most tackles (4). Mutch is an industry best of 5/1 to score at anytime with 888sport.com
Possibly Cardiff’s player of the season is David Marshall in goal. No goalkeeper in the league has saved more shots than he has (145). Despite letting in four goals against Sunderland, Marshall will be keen to recapture the form that has made him one of the league’s best goalkeepers.