Friday 2 December 2016

Premier League Match Facts

Published 02/10/2015 | 10:01

Saido Berahino could make it three in three this weekend
Saido Berahino could make it three in three this weekend

Crystal Palace v West Brom

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Saido Berahino has gone from hero to villain and back to hero again since the end of last season and he has a decent chance of finding the net for the third match in a row here. Palace have allowed their opponents more shots than anyone else in the top flight this season - an average of 18.9 per match - so expect plenty of opportunities to fall the Baggies' way. If West Brom are to record a third win of the season at Palace's expense then they will need to start quickly: three quarters of their league goals this season have come in the first half while seven of Palace's nine have been scored after the interval.

Aston Villa v Stoke

One of these two underachieving sides is guaranteed to finish the weekend in the bottom three, so the stakes are high for both managers. Villa have not won since the opening day of the season while Stoke are winless in eight away league outings, so both can end a poor run here. The venue appears to give Tim Sherwood the advantage, with Stoke having allowed opponents an average of 21 shots in each of their away fixtures so far: the highest in the division.

Bournemouth v Watford

These two defences have adapted to life in the Premier League very differently. Bournemouth are the division's most porous side so far, facing an average of just 6.1 shots for each goal conceded, while only two top-flight clubs have proven harder to break down than Watford, who have withstood 14.5 shots for each goal conceded. The long-term injury to Callum Wilson will surely make it tough for the Cherries to unlock their visitors' tenacious back line.

Man City v Newcastle

The recent history of this encounter does not bode well for Steve McClaren. In the last six Premier League meetings between Newcastle and Manchester City, the Magpies have scored one goal to City's 20 and that came back in December 2012. With Newcastle only mustering an average of 8.7 shots per match compared to their hosts' 20.1, it would be harder for the form book to favour a home win more heavily than it does here.

Norwich v Leicester

A late Leicester goal would not come as a surprise here. The Foxes have scored five times in the final 15 minutes of matches this season - the most of any Premier League side - while hosts Norwich have shipped four in this period, also a division high. The Canaries have the top-flight's leakiest home defence so far, conceding once for every 4.8 shots faced, while only West Ham have been more clinical on the road than Leicester, who have needed just 5.4 attempts to score each away goal.

Sunderland v West Ham

West Ham's 100 per cent away record has a strong probability of continuing against the division's bottom side. Sunderland are winless in their last 10 Premier League matches and have allowed visiting sides a whopping average of 18 shots in each of their home matches this season. With the Hammers having needed fewer than four attempts to score each away goal so far, Slaven Bilic should be confident of keeping his side in the top four this weekend.

Chelsea v Southampton

Chelsea have been out of sorts lately but they face another side down on their luck this weekend. Southampton have not recorded a single league victory in their last 10 away matches, while the Blues have scored in each of their last 22 home Premier League games. Both sides benefited from a strong defence last season but while the Saints have continued to restrict opponents well, their hosts seem to have lost the knack. No top-flight side has seen a greater share of their opponents' shots trouble their goalkeeper than Chelsea's 44 per cent, while their visitors have allowed the smallest percentage to find the target: just 24 per cent.

Everton v Liverpool

While Liverpool's attack has struggled in front of goal this season, needing an average of over 15 efforts to score each Premier League goal so far, neighbours Everton have required half as many and are looking sharp enough for another charge at the Champions League places. No side has been more clinical in front of their own fans and only three have needed fewer attempts to score than their average of 7.4 overall. Despite the various ups and downs of these two teams, when they come together they often cannot be separated: five of the last six Merseyside derbies in the Premier League have ended in a draw.

Arsenal v Man Utd

They may not have scored as many goals as they would have liked, but Arsenal have had no trouble working the ball into good positions this season. The Gunners have taken the division's second-highest percentage of shots from inside the penalty area (71 per cent) which should stand them in good stead against a United side that has allowed the top-flight's highest percentage of efforts from inside the box (69 per cent). While Arsenal have taken far more shots than United this season - an average of 21 per match to the Red Devils' more modest 11.4 - their approach has been quite 'scatter gun', with a goal arriving once every 14.7 efforts. Their visitors and old rivals have been far more clinical, requiring fewer than half the number of chances (6.7) to score each of their Premier League goals so far.

Swansea v Tottenham

Swansea drew their first ever Premier League meeting with Tottenham, but despite establishing themselves as a top-flight side since then they have yet to take any further points from this encounter. With Spurs coming off the back of a 4-1 triumph over Manchester City and unbeaten since the season's opening day, this could be a frustrating afternoon for the Liberty Stadium faithful.

Press Association

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