Premier League statistical preview, including Manchester United vs Tottenham; Burnley vs Manchester City; Chelsea vs Southampton

WhoScored.com, who offer the largest online database for detailed football statistics, preview the top matches the Premier League this weekend

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The Independent Football

Manchester United vs Tottenham

The battle for the last Champions League place is hotting up and Manchester United are, for now at least, still somehow still clinging on to it. Having crashed out of the FA Cup at home to Arsenal on Monday night, the Premier League is the only remaining competition through Louis van Gaal can make his debut season anything resembling a success. That makes this weekend’s match at home to top-4 rivals Tottenham Hotspur, all the more important.

Spurs have bounced back from disappointment in the Capital One Cup final and Europa League with successive Premier League wins over Swansea and QPR, and though this match will provide a much sterner test of their mettle, they will take confidence from the fact that they have won their last 2 matches at Old Trafford. Having also drawn their last 3 home games against United, they are unbeaten in 5 meetings, last losing over three years ago.

For all of the criticisms of Van Gaal’s United, the Dutchman has built a team that is hard to beat; they have lost only 3 of their last 23 matches in all competitions. With Angel Di Maria absent through suspension, it will be interesting to see how they line up and where their creativity comes from. With 4 goals in his last 5 matches since returning to a more attacking role, Wayne Rooney will provide the goal threat, so long as his teammates can forge chances for him. At the other end, the irrepressible Harry Kane will hope to show onlookers that he is worthy of playing alongside Rooney for England.

 

Burnley vs Manchester City

Manchester City hit Burnley for 6 last time they visited Turf Moor back in 2010, and although 18 Premier League places separate the two teams at present, there is unlikely to be any repeat of that kind of scoreline here. City remain second in the table but both their domestic and European hopes hang by a thread, with a 5-point deficit to Chelsea looking insurmountable and Barcelona well-placed to progress in the Champions League.

The Citizens were outplayed by Liverpool and unconvincing in beating Leicester since the first leg defeat to Messi and co., while they also struggled when Sean Dyche brought his Claret to the Etihad back in December. City had taken a two-goal lead within 33 minutes but proceeded to throw that away and very nearly conceded defeat completely against the odds.

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Danny Ings has scored nine goals for Burnley this season

Manuel Pellegrini’s men will again be favourites to win, but a Burnley side that drew at Chelsea not so long ago will certainly be in with a chance of another upset. City have the most shots in the Premier League (16.8 per game), while Burnley are amongst the teams to concede the most (14.9 per game). Tom Heaton, who has made some 89 saves in 28 games this season, could be in for another busy afternoon, while Danny Ings will hope to improve his England credentials with another impressive performance.

Chelsea vs Southampton

Jose Mourinho has insisted that a season in which Chelsea win the Premier League and Captial One Cup would still be a success, and he is surely correct, but anything less could quite rightly be considered a failure. Now that they are out of the Champions League they absolutely have to get back on track domestically and ensure they do not let up in their quest to win the Premier League.

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PSG knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League this week

They are 5 points clear of City with a game in hand, but they have failed to win 6 of their last 11 games, going somewhat off the boil particularly in attack. Their defenders have scored 7 of their last 14 goals, while Diego Costa’s only strike in Chelsea’s last 11 matches was his heavily deflected effort against Spurs at Wembley. Cesc Fabregas looks to be struggling, too, and having failed to register a goal or assist in 78.9% of his matches between February and May over the last 5 seasons (compared to 27.8% in those seasons’ earlier stages), has perennial fatigue problems that could again bite.

Their opponents, Southampton, have all but dropped out of the race for the top four, and with only 2 goals in their last 6 matches, need to rediscover their goalscoring touch, and fast. Away to the only remaining team unbeaten at home in the Premier League this season, this is not the week for them to do that.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app

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