Premier League preview: A statistical look at this weekend's games including Hull v Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace, Manchester United v Swansea City and Aston Villa v Arsenal
Ali Tweedale of whoscored.com takes a look ahead to this weekend's games
Friday 10 January 2014
Hull take on Chelsea in the early kick off this weekend, having netted only twice in their last six meetings with the Blues. Whilst they put 6 past Fulham in their last home game, they have scored only 3 times in their last 6 league matches away from the KC and face a tough ask against a Chelsea side who have won 9 out of 10 at Stamford Bridge this season.
West Brom's win over Newcastle last time out was their first in 10 Premier League matches, and this week they take on a Southampton team who have won just 1 of their last 9. With 3 red cards in this fixture last season and both teams desperate for the win, this could be another feisty affair.
Sam Allardyce is facing increasing pressure to get results and anything but a positive one against Cardiff could spell the end for him. Usually thought of as a manager that likes to make the most of set-pieces, Allardyce's West Ham side have in fact scored the fewest goals from such situations in the Premier League this season (2). That is certainly be an area they should look to improve.
Tim Sherwood meanwhile hopes to bounce back from defeat at the Emirates and continue where his Spurs side left off in winning at Old Trafford last time out in the Premier League. They do though, face a resurgent Tony Pulis-led Crystal Palace, who have won 4 out of 9 games under Pulis having won 2 of their previous 14.
Everton have drawn more games (23) since the start of last season than any other team and have also drawn 4 of their last 5 meetings with this weekend's opponents, Norwich, and though most will expect this Toffees team to win, another stalemate could be on the cards.
Just 5 points separate the bottom 5 teams in the Premier League, and 20th-placed Sunderland travel to 16th-placed Fulham this weekend for a relegation six-pointer. Only the Cottagers (42) have conceded more goals this season than Sunderland (33) so there could be a goal fest in south west London.
Manchester United have lost 3 each of their last 3 matches, and this weekend they face the second of the teams to have beaten them in that run, with Swansea City coming to Old Trafford for the second time in a week. Wilfried Bony could be the one to watch, with 4 of the 8 goals he has scored in domestic competition for the Swans coming against Manchester opposition.
The other Manchester club will be looking to extend their run of consecutive Premier League wins over Newcastle to 9 matches at St James' Park this weekend. Yaya Touré could play a big part for Manchester City, having already netted 10 times this season and with a better record against the Magpies than any other team he has ever faced, scoring 4 goals in 7 appearances.
Liverpool have never won at the Britannia Stadium in 5 attempts in the Premier League, and although they are a much improved side this season, they have won only 1 of their last 7 away league matches. Stoke, meanwhile, have lost only once at home all season - against Norwich back in September - and could spring another surprise.
The last time Arsenal truly looked in disarray was on the opening day of the season when Aston Villa beat them 3-1 at the Emirates. Antonio Luna's goal that day was 1 of 3 counter-attacking goals Villa have scored this season; a total that ranks them joint top in the Premier League for goals on the break, along with, you guessed it, Arsenal.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.
Follow Alistair Tweedale https://twitter.com/alitweedale
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