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Manchester United v Chelsea: EA Sports Player Performance Index Preview.

Sunday’s 4pm kick off sees Louis Van Gaal’s first encounter against any of last season’s top four. Van Gaal has claimed that he still bel...


Sunday’s 4pm kick off sees Louis Van Gaal’s first encounter against any of last season’s top four. Van Gaal has claimed that he still believes his Manchester United side can catch Chelsea at the top of the table this season, but anything other than a win this Sunday would put a serious dent in Van Gaal’s hopes.

There have been doubts this week over Angel Di Maria’s fitness after he limped off in Monday night’s game against West Brom, and his manager and fans alike will be on tenterhooks awaiting news as to if he can play on Sunday. Di Maria already has three goals and four assists in his first six games. The Argentinian also has thirteen successful dribbles and five successful crosses to his name, according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Juan Mata plays against his former club for the first time since leaving and is likely to want to prove a point to Jose Mourinho. Mata has covered the eighth most ground in a single Premier League game out of any player, running a total distance of 12.5km against both Swansea and Everton. Mata will need to work hard again against an energetic Chelsea midfield, if he is to make an impression on his former manager.

Mata’s fellow Spaniard Ander Herrera has made an impression in the midfield for United and has won 93.8% of his tackles from the middle of the park. Combined with his 87.4% pass completion rate, Herrera clearly has a variety of strengths that make him a key man in the United midfield.

Chelsea continued their unbeaten start to the season by winning away at Crystal Palace last Saturday, and a win at Old Trafford would really make a statement and silence any doubts that may remain about this Chelsea side.

The start of this season has seen a major revival in the form of Oscar. Jose Mourinho has recently spoken of the Brazilian playmaker’s transformation in to more of a complete midfielder. Oscar has attempted a total of 30 tackles, a quite outstanding total for an attacking midfielder and as well as this has made 206 passes in the opposition half, the fifteenth highest total of any Premier League player. Oscar’s versatility and interchangeability with Cesc Fabregas could be vital if Chelsea are to get a result at Old Trafford on Sunday.

There has been a lot of praise targeted towards the attacking stars in Chelsea’s side, but some would argue that the most consistent performer in the squad has been Nemanja Matic. The midfielder has made more tackles than any other Chelsea player (25) as well as making fifteen interceptions. Matic is likely to be a key part of Chelsea’s play this Sunday.

Eden Hazard has prospered this season with the introduction of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, and the Belgian winger has completed more successful dribbles (41) than any Premier League player. Hazard has also played the fifth greatest number of passes in the opposition half this season, with 298.

Data supplied by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. Select and manage your own team of stars with at http://fantasy.premierleague.com or with FIFA Ultimate team.

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