Premier League statistical preview, featuring Newcastle vs Liverpool, Chelsea vs QPR and Manchester City vs Manchester United

WhoScored.com return to rattle off the stats of the top matches in the Premier League in game week seven

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The Independent Football

Newcastle vs Liverpool

The early kick off this weekend is one of the highest-scoring fixtures in Premier League history. Having previously shared title races and some of the most entertaining clashes the division has ever seen, there is plenty of motivation ahead of Saturday's meeting.

While Liverpool stutter in 7th place, the 'Sack Pardew' campaign is losing momentum at Newcastle, with the Magpies having turned their poor form around to embark on a run of 3 consecutive victories, including last week's impressive comeback win at Tottenham and a midweek triumph over the champions at the Etihad to progress to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.

Liverpool have won 3 of their last 4 domestic games and will be hoping that Mario Balotelli's goal in the midweek win over Swansea will spark a run of goals for the Italian, who is yet to score from 32 shots in the Premier League for the Reds.

This will likely be a feisty affair at St James' Park, with the clubs' last 5 meetings having seen 6 red cards, 5 of which have gone to Newcastle players. Results have been fairly mixed, though, so with both teams' inconsistencies of late this one could go either way.

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Newcastle beat Manchester City in midweek, their third defeat in a row

Chelsea vs QPR

One of the less celebrated local rivalries in England pits the Premier League's two west London clubs against each other on Saturday afternoon, with vastly differing fortunes so far this season. Chelsea look like they are storming away with the title while QPR have taken only 7 points from the first available 27 and are second-from-bottom.

Chelsea's undoing last season was failing to win matches that they were expected to win comfortably, and there will remain a slight worry that they could be upset here against a team they lost to unexpectedly last time they met at Stamford Bridge. However, José Mourinho's team look more resilient this season and should put an end to their run of two games without scoring against the Hoops.

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Didier Drogba in action for Chelsea

QPR will be without the suspended Rio Ferdinand who has already missed the past two matches, in which they have looked much-improved, running Liverpool close before beating Aston Villa last week. Averaging 13.6 shots per game, they do stand a chance of hitting Chelsea on the break, but their defence, the leakiest in the Premier League (18 goals conceded) is unlikely to hold out for long against the best attack (24 goals scored).

Manchester City vs Manchester United

The first Manchester derby of Louis van Gaal's reign at Old Trafford promises to be another exciting one. These games are never anything but, really. There have been 34 goals in the last 8 meetings between the clubs and plenty of drama to boot.

The power shift in England's third city in recent years has been vast, with City now the stronger of the sides, and having won the last three games against their rivals, who have slipped dramatically since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, will be confident of making it 4 in a row.

 

However, City have won only 6 of their 15 matches in all competitions this season; a terrible return for a club of their riches and and a squad of their depth, even if they are competing on multiple fronts. United, on the back of a last-gasp equaliser to league-leaders Chelsea, and with their truly extraordinarily extensive selection of talented, attacking players they should find a way through a City defence that was scythed through all too easily by Newcastle in the week.

A United win would reduce the gap between the teams to only 1 point, but with City already 6 behind Chelsea, they cannot afford any more slip-ups and won't be in the mood for handing their fierce rivals any favours.

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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