Premier League preview: A statistical look at all this weekend's games, including Manchester City v Southampton, Chelsea v Stoke City, Everton v Arsenal, West Ham United v Liverpool
Providers of the largest online database for detailed football statistics WhoScored.com preview all of the matches in matchround 33 of the Premier League
Friday 04 April 2014
Manchester City return to home comforts as they look to use their games in hand to regain their spot at the top of the Premier League table. They won't have an easy time on Saturday though, against a Southampton team who have already won at Anfield and took a point away from Old Trafford. Saints are one of only two Premier League teams to average more possession (58.2%) this season than City (57.7%), so won't be overawed and may look to control the game.
Newcastle endured a terrible run against Manchester United in which they failed to win 18 Premier League matches in a row, but they have ended that in recent years, winning 2 of the last 4 clashes, including a 1-0 win at Old Trafford back in December. The Magpies were booed off after losing at St Mary's last week and will be looking to bounce back against the champions who will at least have been buoyed by their draw with European giants Bayern Munich in midweek.
Norwich rank in the top 10 in the Premier League based on home results only but have been let down by their terrible away form. At Carrow Road against a West Brom team that have won only twice on the road all season Chris Hughton's team should take a huge step towards safety.
Fulham will be looking to end an awful record at Villa Park this weekend, a ground at which they have never won in the Premier League, despite going there on 12 occasions. Without an away win since Boxing Day, they will have to make big improvements if they are to end either dismal run this week.
Just 10 years ago Hull vs Swansea was a clash in the fourth tier of English football. This weekend they face off for the second time in the Premier League, level on points and precariously placed above the relegation zone. Neither team is sure of safety yet, but Swansea have gone 10 away games without a win so this is a great opportunity for Hull to take 3 points.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reign as manager of Cardiff has not been a happy one, but a 95th-minute equaliser at West Brom will have given some confidence to his struggling squad. At home to a Crystal Palace side who have scored only 6 goals in 15 away games all season, Cardiff could pick up a vital 3 points.
Chelsea have lost two games in the past week but have arguably the ideal fixture to bounce back this weekend, hosting a Stoke side against whom they have won each of their last 6 home matches without conceding a single goal.
The battle for fourth is still alive, and Sunday's clash between Everton and Arsenal will have a huge say in who eventually wins that race. Everton are on the longest current run of home wins in the top flight (6), while Arsenal have won only 3 of their last 10 matches. The Gunners have not lost at Goodison Park since 2007, though, winning 4 and drawing 2 of their last 6 visits, including a 6-1 win in 2009.
Liverpool's astounding run continued with a resounding 4-0 win over Tottenham last week; they have now won their last 8 matches and if they win all of their remaining games they will win the Premier League title for the first time. They will look to make another fast start here, having scored a league-high 51 first half goals. That's 15 more than West Ham have netted in total.
Tottenham round off the weekend by hosting a Sunderland side who are in desperate need of points but have taken only 1 from the last 18 available. Tottenham, though, look out of the race for 4th having won 2 and lost 4 of their last 6 Premier League matches so this will have much greater importance for the Black Cats than Spurs.
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