Premier League preview: A statistical look at all this weekend's games
Providers of the largest online database for detailed football statistics WhoScored.com preview all of this weekend's Premier League matches
Friday 06 December 2013
Manchester United host Newcastle in Saturday's early kick off, with the Red Devils hoping to avoid losing successive home Premier League games for the first time since May 2002. On the back of a midweek defeat to Everton, David Moyes will hope to have Robin van Persie back; they have failed to win any of the 5 league games the Dutchman has missed this season.
West Brom and Norwich have drawn none of their last 10 meetings, a run which stretches all the way back to 2004. The teams' record in that time is perfectly balanced, with each side having won 5 clashes apiece, and what is more, only two of those games have been decided by more than a single goal. While these two don't seem to end games locked in stalemate, there is rarely a clear winner.
When Chelsea visited the Britannia Stadium last season, Jonathan Walters put on one of the worst performances in recent memory, as he scored two own goals and missed a penalty as Stoke lost 4-0. That was the only occasion a player has twice put the ball through his own net in a Premier League game in the last 5 seasons, and he will be hoping not to help the opponents out too much this time around.
After conceding only 5 times in their opening 11 games of the season, Southampton have shipped 8 goals in their last 3 league outings, and face another test here against the Premier League's top scorers, Manchester City. Manuel Pellegrini's side have netted 28 goals in their last 7 matches in all competitions, and looked to have overcome any issues they have on the road with a 3-2 win at West Brom in midweek.
Despite missing the first 5 games through suspension, Liverpool striker Luis Suárez has scored more goals in the league this season (13) than West Ham have overall (12), and with 10 of those coming on home soil, the Hammers will do well to limit his influence. Meanwhile, Glen Johnson has scored in 3 of his last 4 appearances against his former side, West Ham, so even is Suárez is stopped, there will be other players for Sam Allardyce to worry about.
The Hammers were on the wrong end of Crystal Palace's third win of the season in midweek, and each of those wins have come under the guidance of a different manager. Tony Pulis will look to earn his second victory as the Eagles' boss, and with the last 3 meetings between these sides seeing the team that concedes first go on to win, there could be drama at Selhurst Park.
After throwing away the lead against Chelsea in midweek, Sunderland have lost more points from winning positions that any other team in the Premier League (8), and facing Spurs this weekend, against whom they lost last season after having taken the lead, Gus Poyet's side will need to be wary even if they do go ahead.
Aston Villa, who have lost only 3 Premier League away games in 2013 - at Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea - travel to a Fulham side who are in freefall and have lost their last 6 Premier League matches. Villa's pass completion rate of 49.8% against Southampton in midweek didn't matter in the end, as they extended their impressive unbeaten run to 5 matches, a run only 1 team can currently better.
That team is Everton, currently unbeaten in 7 matches, and they face a trip to table toppers Arsenal this weekend. However, having lost 8 and won none of their last 12 league games against the Gunners, extending their unbeaten streak could well be beyond them, particularly given Arsenal's form. Mesut Özil has been incredible since arriving, and with 3 goals and 6 assists in 11 Premier League appearances, he could be key to maintaining Arsenal's lead at the top.
Ten seasons ago, Swansea vs Hull was a clash in the fourth tier of English football, and on Monday they face off under the lights in the Premier League, and incredibly, Leon Britton played in one of those games and could feature here too. Swansea have scored 10 goals in their last 4 home games in the league and could put Hull to the sword, with the Tigers having won only 1 of their last 31 Premier League away games.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.
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