The Weekend in Numbers: An Irish angle on the Premier League action

From Darren Randolph to Robbie Brady, the depleted fixture list still leaves chances for Irishmen

Burnley, Robbie Brady,

Burnley's Robbie Brady (centre) and James Tarkowski (left). Picture by Adam Davy PA Archive/PA Images

Because of the FA Cup quarter final action, the Premier League fixture list has a depleted look to it this weekend.

Nevertheless, there is plenty to look out for from Saturday and Sunday's action.

 Darren Randolph's holding his own

It's good to see an Irish goalkeeper getting the opportunity to prove himself at Premier League level and Bray native Randolph has been the main beneficiary of Adrian getting dropped in November following some high profile errors.

Since then the Ireland No 1 has played in 16 straight league matches, keeping three clean sheets - the same number Adrian did.

West Ham have tightened up at the back and consequently Randolph has conceded fewer goals for game in comparison to his Spanish counterpart.

While Adrian had conceded 1.8 goals per game, Randolph has reduced that marginally to 1.6, although it's the ex-Real Betis keeper who made more saves per match. 

This weekend he will start against Bournemouth.

James McCarthy's on the fringes  

A figure like by Roberto Martinez, the ex-Everton manager's successor Ronald Koeman hasn't put James McCarthy in his first choice category.

Unfortunately, the Ireland midfielder's muscular injuries have stalled his progress.  

After five starts in his first seven league games this season (albeit interrupted by injuries), McCarthy has made just one start from the next five matches he was involved in.

He now finds himself behind the experienced veteran Gareth Barry, the combative Idrissa Gana Gueye and January signing Morgan Schneiderlin and that's not counting impressive youngster Tom Davies either.

Last time out at Tottenham, McCarthy started off on the bench as Barry, Gueye and Schneiderlin marshaled midfield, with his introduction in place of Barry not coming until 26 minutes from time.

One gets the sense that this summer will tell a lot about McCarthy's place at Koeman's Everton.

It would be a pleasant surprise to see him start against West Brom on Saturday.

Robbie Brady's early Burnley days 

Like Randolph, it's good to see the hero of Lille, Robbie Brady, getting regular game time in the Premier League.

Joining boyhood team-mate Jeff Hendrick at Burnley in January, he hit the ground running with a free-kick against Chelsea.

Overall, he has already made four appearances for the club ahead of the Sunday fixture at Liverpool. 

Although he hasn't scored since the Chelsea game, he did provide an assist against Hull City from a set piece.

Given Liverpool's general vulnerability when defending set pieces, Brady could be a real danger man at Anfield.