Monday 20 November 2017

Premier League key match-ups on the opening weekend

Theo Walcott, centre, celebrates scoring for Arsenal at home to Leicester last season
Theo Walcott, centre, celebrates scoring for Arsenal at home to Leicester last season

As the Premier League gears up for a return to action this weekend, Press Association Sport takes a statistical look at some of the key match-ups in the opening round of fixtures.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

:: Leicester kick things off on Friday night at Arsenal, where they have lost on their last 10 visits and conceded 28 goals in the process. They have not won an away fixture against the Gunners since a 2-0 success at Highbury in September 1973.

:: Liverpool have won 15 of 20 top-flight meetings with Watford, and six of the last seven.

:: Burnley surprisingly have the all-time head-to-head edge over Chelsea in the top flight, 32 wins to 23. One of their 15 draws came last season but was at Turf Moor, which also witnessed 10 of their 11 league wins for the season. Any improvement in their away form this term may take a while to materialise - after the Blues, their early road trips take in Tottenham, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City before November's visits to Southampton and Bournemouth.

PLAYER STATISTICS

:: Manchester United forward Anthony Martial scored five goals against West Ham in 2016, in all competitions. The good news for the Hammers is the Frenchman may well not feature in the starting line-up this time around. The bad? His possible absence is due in part to the summer signing of Romelu Lukaku, who scored against them nine times in his Everton career - seven in the Premier League, including in four straight meetings prior to April's goalless draw.

:: Wayne Rooney returns to Everton eyeing the two goals he needs to reach 200 in the Premier League, and will face opening opponents against whom he has scored five times in the top flight including a previous brace in 2012. At the other end, Peter Crouch has six Premier League goals against the Toffees including one last season.

:: Glenn Murray is the only current Brighton player to have scored against Manchester City. He has done so for three clubs, including for the Seagulls in the League Cup in 2008 - the last time the two sides met.

RECENT FORM

:: Tottenham's Harry Kane finished last season with eight goals in his last three games as he surged past Lukaku to win his second successive Golden Boot. Newcastle finished their Championship promotion campaign with back-to-back clean sheets but their defence face a tough test on their top-flight return.

Press Association

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