Preview: Liverpool v Reading

Liverpool v Reading
Premier League; Saturday 20th October, 3pm

After the good old international break, Premier League football makes a welcome return this weekend, with Liverpool hosting newboys Reading at Anfield in a rare 3pm kick off.

Brendan Rodgers’ squad is even thinner than it was before the break, with Fabio Borini out for three months and Pepe Reina facing a late fitness test before the game.

Liverpool are still looking for the first League win at Anfield this season.

EA Sports Player Performance Index provide pre-match stats below:

Liverpool couldn’t take all three points against North West rivals Stoke in their last game, with Martin Skertl and Raheem Sterling both hitting the post while Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger both went close

Suarez was again at the centre of the headlines after he had a penalty claim refused. Suarez has shown inconsistent form this season, scoring five goals but getting as many of his 36 shots at goal off target as on target. Suarez’s tactic of running with the ball to unnerve defenders is also evident with the stats with him completing 25 dribbles so far this season, more than any other player

– Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard continues to show the dangerous delivery that has plagued Premier League centre backs for years. He has delivered 36 crosses so far this season, second only to Merseyside rival Everton’s Leighton Baines

Gerrard is also in the top ten for shots on target this season with twelve so far, netting two goals in the process, and sixth for passes completed in his opponent’s half with 234

– Joe Allen has also been influential for Liverpool completing 208 passes in his opponent’s half so far this season. He is, however, yet to be credited an assist. Only Michael Carrick has completed more passes without an assist in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Allen has been at the centre of Liverpool’s hard work this season, having covered the second highest amount of ground of any player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 44.06 miles so far this season

– Centre back Martin Skrtel has been in dominant form for Liverpool, contributing 15 clearances, 14 interceptions and 7 blocks so far this season. Skrtel has also completed 223 successful passes in the defensive third this season, more than any other player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance as Brendan Rodgers aims to get his team playing from the back.

Reading are still searching for a first Premier League win of the season after a late equalizer from Swansea shared the spoils at the Liberty Stadium after goals from Pavel Pogrebynak and Noel Hunt for the Royals

Pogrebnyak was one of the form strikers at the end of last season for Fulham, and his goal against Swansea was his second for Reading so far this season. The Russian striker may do well to focus on scoring opportunities rather than winning back possession, however, as he has attempted more tackles (15) this season than he has shots at goal (7)

– Fellow striker Noel Hunt share similar statistics, having scored twice from three attempts at goal but having attempted nine tackles as Reading adjust to life in the Premier League

– Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy was on great form for Reading to save them a point. McCarthy made nine saves in the game against Swansea, the joint eighth highest by a goalkeeper in a single game so far this season

– Defender Shaun Cummings has won seven tackles without losing a single tackle, the most of any player in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index without losing a tackle

– Meanwhile Kaspars Gorkss has lost just one of 14 tackles attempted this season leaving him with a tackles won percentage of 93%, the highest of any player attempting ten or more tackles this season

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