A statistical preview for this weekend's Premier League fixtures, including Crystal Palace v Arsenal; Liverpool v West Brom; Manchester United v Stoke; Norwich v Cardiff; Aston Villa v Everton; Southampton v Fulham; Chelsea v Manchester City;

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The Independent Football

Providers of the largest online database for detailed football statistics WhoScored.com preview all of the matches in gameweek 9 of the Premier League.

Things don't get any easier in the early kick-off on Saturday for Crystal Palace, who sacked manager Ian Holloway in the week, as they host table-toppers Arsenal. The Eagles have been relegated in each of their last 4 seasons in the Premier League but never picked up as few points at this stage of a campaign (3) and they face an Arsenal side that have had the most shots on target this season (53).

Liverpool remain hot on the heels of the Gunners despite a disappointing point against 10-man Newcastle last weekend, though it's unlikely to be plain sailing this time out. The Reds host a West Brom side against whom they've lost 4 of their last 5 league fixtures, failing to score in each of the last 3. Meanwhile only Arsenal are on a longer unbeaten streak than the Baggies.

Victories in cup competitions have been alleviating the pressure on David Moyes a little so far but the fans will demand a return to winning ways in the league when Stoke visit Old Trafford. The Potters have picked up just 1 point from a possible 30 against United in the Premier League and despite many praising their improved playing style under Hughes they've scored just once in their last 5 league matches.

Cardiff face another away game having fallen at the hands of Chelsea last time out but they can take solace in the fact that they have offered far more of an attacking threat on their travels this season. The Welsh outfit have had more than twice as many shots away from home than at the Cardiff City Stadium (57 to 27) and face a Norwich side that have only conceded fewer shots in home games than themselves (69).

It's the return of English football's most played fixture as Aston Villa face Everton for the 215th time in their history. In recent encounters there's been plenty of goals between the two, with both sides registering on the scoresheet in 11 of their last 12 meetings. The Toffees will be favourites with many but have been shipping goals lately and they've failed to keep a clean sheet in 19 consecutive matches against Villa.

Southampton and Fulham play out the evening kick-off on Saturday and traditionally there has been little to separate the two sides, with their last three encounters ending in stalemate. The Cottagers have had at least 10 fewer shots than any other side away from home this season (21), despite scoring with 4 of their 9 against Palace, though Southampton have conceded just once at St. Mary's thus far.

The Tyne-Wear derby gets things underway on Sunday, with Gus Poyet's task of salvaging Sunderland's season having worsened after being put to the sword by Swansea. With so much at stake for the hosts they could do with keeping a full compliment of players on the pitch this weekend having had 4 men sent off in the last 6 matches against their fiercest rivals, with Newcastle the only side to have two players receive their marching orders already this season.

Tottenham will hope that they can return from Europa League duty in Moldova with a win against Hull having lost 3-0 in their last home game following a continental break. They'll be confident of getting the better of a side that have leaked goals on the road (8) in comparison to a near immaculate defensive record at home, with only City averaging more possession than Spurs (59.1%) and only Villa averaging less than the Tigers (41.6%).

Swansea are another side hoping they don't suffer a Europa League hangover when they host West Ham on Sunday. Michael Laudrup's side have the best pass accuracy in home matches this season (87.2), while the Hammers have the worst on the road (73.8%) so you can expect the hosts to dominate possession as they look to build on their first league win at the Liberty in 9 attempts.

The game of the weekend at the top is undoubtedly between Chelsea and Man City, with the two sides having come head-to-head 6 times since the start of last season when including friendlies. The Blues have had the most shots in the league this season (145), while City boast the best chance conversion rate (16%) so goals should be assured at the Bridge, with the visitors conceding 7 away from home already thus far.

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All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.