MIDFIELD BATTLE WILL BE KEY

By Statman
Mar 22nd, 2008

It would be cynical to suggest that it is anything more than a quirk of the fixture list as the big four come together for another “Grand Slam Sunday” this weekend. The clashes not only bring together the four biggest teams in the Premier League, but it sees some of the Actim Index’s top stars on a collision course.

The clash down at Stamford Bridge sees Arsenal desperately trying to halt their blip, which has seen them draw each of their last four Premier League matches. It also brings together two midfield heavyweights in Cesc Fabregas and Frank Lampard.

Fabregas started the season in sparkling form as the Gunners began in stunning style, while Lampard had a slow start – but is now coming back to his best form. That is reflected with his 100-point haul in the Actim Index this week thanks to four goals against Derby – which earned him 76 and the second-highest match index of the season so far – and a further 24 from the 1-0 win at Sunderland. He is up 37 places to 15th in the overall standings after his impressive week.

Fabregas has played 2463 minutes – compared to 1644 from Lampard – but is only 84 points ahead in the Index, with 494 points compared to 410.

Lampard has 10 goals to Fabregas’ seven, but the Spaniard has twice as many assists with 14 to Lampard’s seven. Fabregas also has more than 300 more passes than his Chelsea rival, and 30 winning tackles to 19, possibly reflecting the difference in role the players have in their respective sides.

Either way, their battle will go a long way to settling the second big game on a day that could well be pivotal in the race for the Barclays Premier League title.

The Actim Index is calculated using a unique mathematical formula that rates each player’s contribution be it goals, shots, passes, dribbles, tackles, crosses, saves, clearances, blocks, interceptions, assists, clean sheets, time on the pitch or number of points gained by the team with marks deducted for red and yellow cards.

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