Premier League: A statistical preview to this weekend's matches - including Newcastle v Liverpool, Arsenal v Norwich City, Chelsea v Cardiff City, Manchester United v Hull City, Crystal Palace v Fulham
Providers of the largest online database for detailed football statistics WhoScored.com preview all of the matches in gameweek 8 of the Premier League
Friday 18 October 2013
The early kick off sees Liverpool return to the ground where they won 6-0 only 6 months ago, as they travel to St James' Park to face Newcastle.
Alan Pardew and his team bounced back from that defeat to avoid relegation but will be wary of how easily they were picked apart back in April when the Premier League's second-placed team come to town, even higher on confidence and with an in-form Luis Suarez available this time.
West Brom did not travel all that well last season but one of the 3 clean sheets they managed on the road last season came at the Britannia, where they play this weekend. Stoke have the worst goal tally at home (2) in the Premier League this season, and having lost their last 3 games whilst up against an Albion side that are unbeaten in 4, the hosts may have a tough task on their hands.
Swansea host a struggling and now Gus Poyet-led Sunderland, who are still looking for their first win of the season. The Black Cats have lost 6 of their 7 matches so far and will need a new game plan under their new leader against a Swans team that have the best pass success rate in the top flight (86.8%) and will, at the very least, dominate possession.
Table-toppers Arsenal are back at the Emirates after their winning streak was ended with a draw at West Brom before the international break, and they will be expected to return to winning ways against a Norwich side who have scored only 1 goal away from home in the league all season. With one of the Canaries' statistically calculated WhoScored.com weaknesses 'defending against through balls' and Arsenal having attempted more such passes (31) than any other team in the Premier League this season, Chris Hughton would do well to prepare his team for that threat.
It could be a long afternoon at Stamford Bridge for Malky Mackay's Cardiff, who have allowed their opponents the second most shots in the Premier League (123), while Chelsea have had the second most attempts themselves (125). Last time the teams met Chelsea put 4 past the Bluebirds, who will have to be at their very best if they are to avoid another trouncing.
Everton lost their crown as the Premier League's only unbeaten side with defeat at Manchester City last time out, but shouldn't take victory for granted against a Hull team that have arguably been the surprise package of the season so far. The Tigers are undefeated in 4 matches and have clean sheets in their last two, but might struggle to restrain Everton's on-fire striker Romelu Lukaku.
Manchester United have a fantastic record against Southampton, having won each of their last 8 meetings, but that run dates back as far as 2003 and may be largely irrelevant given the recent form of these teams. United are down in 9th after struggling to just their third league win of the season, while Saints are 4th having gone 7 hours and 52 minutes in all competitions without conceding a single goal.
West Ham host Manchester City on the back of their hugely impressive 3-0 win at Tottenham a fortnight ago. It should be the away team who see most of the ball, having averaged a colossal 64.9% possession on the road this season compared to the Hammers' 42.1% at home, but they allowed Spurs plenty of time on the ball at White Hart Lane and hit them on the counter, so that could well be the plan of action in this match, too.
Spurs themselves travel to Villa Park on Sunday where they have twice won by a 4-0 scoreline in the last 10 months. However, last season that victory was inspired by Gareth Bale and earlier this campaign the Capital One Cup win was against a severely weakened Aston Villa. Villa bounced back from the latter of those matches to beat Man City in their last home outing so certainly stand some chance of an upset here.
Monday night sees a London derby at the bottom of the table as 19th-placed Crystal Palace host 18th-placed Fulham. With 5 goals apiece, only Stoke (4) have scored fewer than either team, while Fulham have had fewer shots than any other team (58) in the Premier League. Don't discount goals, though, as Fulham can call on Darren Bent up front, who is their top scorer with 2 goals from just 3 attempts.
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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