Statistics preview to the Premier League, featuring Arsenal vs Manchester City, Chelsea vs Swansea and Manchester United vs QPR

WhoScored.com, who offer the largest online database for detailed football statistics, preview the top matches from gameweek 4 of the Premier League on behalf of The Independent

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Arsenal vs Manchester City

This weekend's curtain raiser is no doubt the main event as title hopefuls Arsenal host the reigning champions Manchester City in a repeat of this summer's Community Shield. It was the Gunners that came out on top that day, though too much should not be read into the 3-0 win given that the game was played at a lower intensity, particularly as far as Manuel Pellegrini's side were concerned.

All eyes will be on Danny Welbeck as he looks set to start for the Gunners for the first time following a surprise move from United and the England international - fresh from netting a brace in the recent qualifier with Switzerland - will be keen to make a good first impression. The fact that he faces the rivals of his former, and boyhood, club will add that extra incentive as he looks to cover for the loss of Olivier Giroud through injury.

Welbeck may have only scored 9 league goals since the start of last season to the Frenchman's 17 but given his restricted playing time, often deployed out of his favoured centre-forward position when he was given the chance under Moyes, there are more telling statistics to consider. The United graduate has averaged fewer minutes per goal than Giroud in that time (167 to 185.5) and boasts a better conversion rate (19.6% to 14.4%).

With 7 goals in their last 3 meetings with the Citizens, Arsenal fans will be hoping Welbeck can get off to a flying start in Saturday's early kick-off.



Chelsea vs Swansea

Later on Saturday Chelsea host the only other side hoping to protect their 100 per cent record from the opening three fixtures when Swansea make the trip to the capital. The additions of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have seen the Blues quickly established as early favourites for the title and on the evidence before the break it isn't hard to see why.

Jose Mourinho's men netted more than 30 league goals fewer than both Liverpool and City last season, despite sitting just 4 points off of top spot. The Londoners have struck 11 times already this campaign - 4 more than any other side - but come up against a Swansea outfit that hold the joint-strongest defensive record going into the weekend, with just the one Wayne Rooney goal from a set piece conceded.

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Jose Mourinho


The Welsh outfit have, however, failed to score in each of their previous 4 competitive meetings with Chelsea, with the Blues netting just 4 themselves in that time, so this should be a tighter affair than the hosts' fans have been witness to this season. The Swans will likely deploy a similar tactic to that used so successfully against United, having unfamiliarly allowed Van Gaal's side to control possession, with 59%, and frustrated their opponents from a more solid platform. They've now kept back-to-back clean sheets having done so just once over the entirety of the previous campaign.

Manchester United vs QPR

In the only match on Sunday the Old Trafford faithful - with that faith having been tested over the past year - will hope to get a glimpse of a number of exciting new signings. Angel Di Maria's debut wasn't as memorable as they would have hoped, playing his part in another disappointing draw, this time with Burnley, though Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Falcao could all join the Argentine in this week's XI.


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Marcos Rojo

Rojo is an interesting signing and was perhaps viewed as Argentina's weak link ahead of the World Cup but came out of the tournament with plenty of credit and is adept at playing on the left of a back three. Blind was another who impressed and his versatility could well be vital, with the former Ajax man scooping the Eredivisie player of the year award last season along with an impressive WhoScored.com rating of 7.38 having played at left-back and as the distributor in midfield.

One man that wasn't able to showcase his talents in Brazil was Falcao and United will certainly be hoping that he is fully fit after a serious knee injury, especially given the €10m loan fee spent to secure his sought-after services. It's a hugely costly move given the player’s astronomical wages but the Red Devils have undoubtedly signed one of Europe's greatest finishers. With 63 league goals in just 88 appearances since a move to Atletico in 2011, the Colombian's 20.9 per cent conversion rate in that time is stronger than both Rooney (16.1 per cent) and Van Persie (17.9 per cent). The fans will hope that QPR are El Tigre's first victim this weekend.

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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