Chelsea vs Tottenham; Liverpool vs Manchester City; Arsenal vs Everton - statistical preview for this weekend's football

WhoScored.com, who offer the largest online database for detailed football statistics, preview the top matches this weekend

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The Independent Football

In a re-run of the 2008 League Cup final Chelsea take on Tottenham at Wembley with the first piece of this season's silverware up for grabs. The teams have already met twice in the league this term with hugely varied results; Chelsea winning at Stamford Bridge by a convincing 3-0 scoreline before Spurs hit back with a 5-3 win at White Hart Lane on New Year's Day. To say that result was unexpected is putting it lightly.

It was only the second time ever that a José Mourinho led team had conceded 5 goals in a match - the only other side to manage such a feat was Pep Guardiola's brilliant Barcelona side back in 2010. This Tottenham team is not even on the same planet as that legendary side, but the confidence gained from that win could level the playing field somewhat, with Chelsea, the Premier League's leaders, unquestionably the better team at present.

They will, however, be severely weakened given Nemanja Matic's absence through suspension. The Blues have a win rate of just 33.3% with the Serb missing from their starting lineup in Premier League and European games since he signed, compared to 68.1% in matches he does play. Having won possession more times in the middle third of the pitch (141) than any other player in the Premier League this season, his absence will certainly be felt.

There has been a lot made of how it is Tottenham that come into the game in the better shape, but with mixed form in the last month or so, they have failed to win any of their last 4 games and there is thus little knowing which Spurs side will turn up. They also have to contend with having played a Europa League game in Italy on Thursday night, and having won only 4 of their 9 Premier League matches immediately following European outings this season, could yet again be tired. After a brilliant January, Christian Eriksen has faded in February, but star man Harry Kane seems indefatigable, and will provide plenty of food for thought for Chelsea. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois even claims to have 'studied' Kane in recent weeks, and it will be interesting to see whether that pays off this weekend.

 

Liverpool vs Manchester City

Liverpool were knocked out of yet another competition on Thursday night, and having been taken all the way to penalties, will be both physically and emotionally drained for the visit of title challenging Manchester City this weekend. The Reds' defeat in Turkey was their first (in 90 minutes) in their last 19 matches in all competitions, with Brendan Rodgers' switch to a back three paying dividends.

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Besiktas’s players and staff celebrate in the background as Dejan Lovren reflects on his penalty shoot-out miss

City, meanwhile, have their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread after a 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in midweek, and it is looking like their only hope of silverware this season will come in the Premier League. Having closed the gap at the top to 5 points last week after romping to a 5-0 win over Newcastle while Chelsea dropped points to Burnley, they have the chance to gain further ground this weekend while the Blues play in another competition.

Man City have a woeful record at Anfield, though, last winning there way back in 2003, when Nicolas Anelka was the scorer of both of their goals. With Yaya Toure back in action and Sergio Aguero back in form they will hope to put an end to that this weekend.

Arsenal vs Everton

It was something of a contrasting midweek for these two sides, as Arsenal fell to a truly catastrophic 3-1 defeat at home to Monaco in the Champions League last 16, while Everton secured a 7-2 aggregate victory over Young Boys to progress in the Europe League. It was the same old failings for the Gunners, who committed too many men forward and looked to rather underestimate their French opponents, who hit them on the break to lethal effect.

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Dimitar Berbatov scores for Monaco against Arsenal

They should get back to winning ways on Sunday, though, against an Everton team struggling terribly for a team of their talents. They have lost 6 of their last 7 Premier League away games, and have never won at the Emirates, last beating Arsenal away from home way back in 1996.

Romelu Lukaku has had a mixed time of things this season, but with 5 goals over the 2 legs against Young Boys, will be hoping to hit a purple patch of form. He was brilliant in an inside right forward position in Everton's last two games against the Gunners at Goodison Park, and Roberto Martinez will look to the Belgian to cause similar problems this time around.

Alexis has hit a relative drought, having failed to find the net in any of his last 6 matches, and Arsenal need to get their star man back in the goals. The way to do that may be by moving him back up front in place of Olivier Giroud, who misfired terribly on Wednesday, missing 4 clear cut chances; a total higher than anyone else has managed in a Champions League game in the last two and a half years. The last man fare so badly in this regard? Fernando Torres.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-downloadWhoScored iOS app

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