Premier League Stat-chat #2 – A look-ahead to this Saturday’s games

There’s something missing from your life. What is it? I’m glad you asked. It’s the following barrage of stats to help you look-ahead to this Saturday’s Premier League fixtures.

West Ham vs. Chelsea

The West Ham saga rumbles on as David Moyes tries to build on a much improved performance in a 2-1 defeat at Man City last week. Despite last week’s respectful effort, West Ham have been leaking goals this season. The Hammers concede a goal on average every 24 minutes whilst not in possession, which is more than anyone in the league.

Moyes’ men will have their work cut out as only Man City boast a better away record than Chelsea who have picked up five wins out of seven on the road. Chelsea’s one away loss was the shock defeat to Crystal Palace.

Burnley vs. Watford

This season’s two surprise packages will meet at Turf Moor where Burnley have maintained an incredible defensive record conceding just three goals in seven games.

The Clarets stern defence will no doubt be tested by Watford who have scored more away goals per game than Tottenham and Man Utd. In fact, only Liverpool and Man City have scored more away goals than the Hornets so far.

Crystal Palace vs. Bournemouth

Roy Hodgson looks to have firmed things up for Palace defensively as the Eagles have kept back-to-back clean sheets in their last two games. Unfortunately, Palace also failed to score in those games making them the only team to endure two straight 0-0 scorelines in the league this season.

Roy might fancy his chances of keeping a third straight clean sheet as Bournemouth have struggled for goals. Eddie Howe’s men have particularly struggled on the road, with a total of just four away goals. Only Huddersfield and Palace have scored less away goals so far this season.

Huddersfield vs. Brighton

Huddersfield have relied heavily on their home form this season, as most recently promoted teams tend to, and the Terriers will hope fortress Kirklees holds firm once more as they try to break a run of four straight defeats which has seen them drift to a precarious 16th position in the table.

The Terriers have tended to fade in games this season, scoring just one goal in the last 30 minutes and one third of their goals in the second half.

Fellow survival hopefuls Brighton have also seen their form dip recently as they’ve picked up two points from the last possible 12. Brighton shipped five at home to Liverpool in their last outing, which is as many as the Seagulls conceded in their previous seven games including an impressive showing at Old Trafford.

Swansea vs. West Brom

Swansea are in the midst of a shocking run with just one point from a possible 21. The Swans are also the only team yet to score in the final half an hour of a game, and one of just four teams not to score a goal in added time of either half.

West Brom are undefeated since Tony Pulis’ dismissal but are still without a win for 13 games. The Baggies are the only team in the league to average less than 40% possession, although this is likely to change as Alan Pardew embeds his own, less direct style of play, which saw his new team enjoy 51% possession in their last outing against Palace.

Tottenham vs. Stoke

Tottenham are in the midst of a mini crisis as they are without a league win in four games, which has left them four points adrift of the top four.

Spurs are averaging 61% possession this season. Only Man City and Liverpool (very slightly) have seen more of the ball. Despite this Tottenham have struggled to score enough goals as they average a goal for every 38 minutes of possession. In fact, their opponents Stoke have been more effective as they average a goal for every 32 minutes of possession.

Stoke’s Achilles heel has been their inability to keep a clean sheet as they have managed just two, which is the joint fewest in the league (next to Palace). Although the Potters have managed to keep clean sheets in two of their tougher fixtures against Arsenal at home and Watford away.

Newcastle vs. Leicester

The third of the recently promoted teams, Newcastle, have also seen their form drop dramatically as the Magpies have lost five of their last six games. Benitez’s men prided themselves on their sturdy defence in the first 11 games, conceding just 10 goals. However in the four games since then they have shipped 12, which won’t please the Toon army.

Leicester have struggled to defend set pieces this season, having conceded eight goals from set pieces situations, which is 40% of their total goals conceded and a higher percentage than anyone else.

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