Sunday 4 December 2016

Statistical look at this weekend's Premier League action

Published 14/10/2016 | 13:41

Bob Bradley faces a tough first assignment
Bob Bradley faces a tough first assignment

The Premier League returns this weekend after the conclusion of the international break.

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Here Press Association Sport takes a look at some of the statistical pointers heading into the action.

Something has to give

It may not quite be "unstoppable force meets immovable object", but a Manchester City side who have scored more than once in each of their last six Premier League outings at the Etihad Stadium - a streak currently unmatched by any top flight team on home soil - will need to unlock one of the division's most stubborn defences this weekend. Everton have not conceded more than once in any of their last eight league matches - also the longest run in the division - and their defence has kept out over 14 shots for each goal conceded, a run only bettered by City's recent conquerors Tottenham.

Brad luck for Bob

The numbers paint a clearer picture as Bob Bradley begins his Swansea reign with a daunting trip to Arsenal. The hosts have won five successive Premier League games while Swansea are winless in six and surely desperate for a "new manager bounce". The Gunners have also scored at a rate of once every five shots at the Emirates Stadium, which is the best record of any home team this season.

Mixed messages for Foxes

Leicester are not popular guests, having netted in each of their last 12 Premier League away games; the longest streak in the division at the moment. While that would appear to bode well, they have managed only two goals in four matches this season against teams currently sitting above them in the table, both of which came in 4-1 defeats. Hosts Chelsea, whose fans would surely consider them at least the equal of the Liverpool and Manchester United sides that inflicted those scorelines on the Foxes, will surely be targeting a similar outcome to lift the mood at Stamford Bridge and put the midweek speculation over manager Antonio Conte's future to rest.

Heads up for goals at Palace

Despite their disappointing start to the season, West Ham are enjoying the second-longest away scoring run after Leicester, having scored in each of their last nine trips. With Crystal Palace having gone 12 league games without a clean sheet we can justifiably expect goals here; most likely from headers. These two teams have been the top flight's most prolific from the air, with six for Palace and five for their opponents, thanks in no small part to the respective contributions of Christian Benteke and Michail Antonio.

Spurs on song

Leicester may be the most reliable goalscorers in away games but no team can match Tottenham's current Premier League scoring streak of 17 consecutive matches. Coupled with a defence which has been able to absorb almost 25 shots for each goal conceded, West Brom look set for a difficult afternoon at the Hawthorns.

Last on Match of the Day?

Stoke's clash with Sunderland pitches together teams on respective seven-and eight-match winless runs - currently the two longest in the Premier League - and only one of those 15 games has seen either side find the net more than once. If you are planning to watch this game then don't worry about missing the kick-off - matches involving these two teams have featured only one first-half goal and even that came in the 39th minute, from Sunderland's Jermain Defoe against Palace. The Potters' dire run of 17 league games without a clean sheet, eight of them at home, at least offers some hope of goals.

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