Premier League statistical preview, including Tottenham vs Aston Villa; QPR vs Chelsea and Manchester United vs Manchester City, 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

Tottenham vs Aston Villa

A game that is not, apart from Aston Villa's precarious position just 3 points above the drop zone, all that noteworthy, has added narrative this weekend with the return to White Hart Lane of Tim 'best win ratio in Tottenham's Premier League history' Sherwood. Now in charge at Villa Park, Sherwood is tasked with leading the club to safety after a woefully dull first half of the season.

He has - at the very least - made things more exciting. Villa have scored 11 goals in 7 league games under their new boss compared to 12 in 25 with Paul Lambert in charge. Christian Benteke's return to form has been vital, with the Belgian having netted with 7 of his last 11 shots after only 2 of his previous 54 were successful.

Goals will be likely at White Hart Lane, a ground at which Spurs have both scored and conceded in each of their 9 matches against top flight opposition this calendar year (their last 3 games producing a whopping 16 goals). Spurs have won their last 6 games against Aston Villa, scoring 17 goals and conceding only 1, but they will certainly not have as easy a time of things this time around, especially with Sherwood in the opposition dugout this time around.

Tim Sherwood returns to White Hart Lane

QPR vs Chelsea

The Premier League's west London teams meet in one of the tamest local rivalries in English football on Sunday, though fuel was added to the fire by the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand incident a few years ago. This time around, the teams have hugely contrasting tasks at hand, with Chelsea only a handful of wins away from the title and QPR a few defeats from relegation.

Jose Mourinho makes his first ever trip to Loftus Road at 1.30pm

The Blues' form has stuttered a little of late, but it has primarily been at home they that they have had difficulty, as they have won each of their last 4 away games. QPR, meanwhile, ended a run of 5 consecutive defeats with a romping win at West Brown followed by a draw - that was so nearly a win at Villa Park in midweek.

Games between these teams at Loftus Road are not packed with goals; the last 3 matches have seen only 2 scored, and both have come from the penalty spot (Heidar Helguson for QPR; Juan Mata for Chelsea). With this game being so important for both teams, it could be a cagey affair with very few goals yet again.

Manchester United vs Manchester City

Back in February when Louis van Gaal was reduced to debating the truth behind Sam Allardyce's claim that his Manchester United team had resorted to playing too many long balls, few would have predicted that they would be coming in to this weekend's derby ahead of City in the table. That is indeed the case, however, but with only 1 point separating the teams, there will be a great deal of pride to play for in this clash.


Both teams are likely to finish in the Champions League places, but bragging rights in Manchester have belonged to City in the last year or two, and United fans will be desperate to finish above their fierce rivals. City have won each of the last 4 Manchester derbies, scoring 10 goals and conceding only 2. City have lost 3 of their last 5 Premier League games, though, and with United having won 5 matches on the bounce, the Red Devils come into this one as the in-form side and rightly as favourites.

What is more, United actually boast the best home record in the Premier League this season, with 40 points garnered, while City have lost their last 4 away games in all competitions. We have become used to City challenging their foes in recent years, but this weekend everything points to normal service resuming and the Red side of Manchester enjoying Sunday afternoon most.


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