After what it felt like an extra long International break, the Premier League is finally back in action with some mouth-watering fixtures welcoming the return. Champions Leicester travel to Chelsea todayto kick off the action while the current leaders Manchester City face fifth-placed Everton, and then, there is the biggest match of this round when Liverpool take on Manchester United on Monday.
But before that, let’s look at how has been the current season so far. The first step would be to look at the table.
There might be some truth in the cliche that tables don’t lie but it sure can be misleading at times. So, with that in mind, let's look at some interesting stats from the first seven gameweeks in the hopes of arriving at a better grasp of where the league is proceeding into.
As expected, Liverpool and Manchester City top the scoring charts with both having 18 goals to their name scored at an impressive ratio of 2.57 goals/game. Arsenal comes the next best with 2.29 goals/game, but the real surprise is Watford who has scored as many goals as Chelsea and Tottenham, of which as many as 10 goals came from open play. Only Liverpool has netted more open play goals than Watford this season.
At the other end of the list, we have Burnley and Stoke City, who have found the net only 5 times this season. While West Brom and Hull City have the joint-lowest goals from open play—except for two instances, all their goals this season has come from dead-ball situations.
Now, this is some list that contradicts the league table. The 4th placed Liverpool has created a total of 112 goalscoring opportunities in their seven games so far this season, which is a remarkable 19 more than any other side. Meanwhile, Chelsea who lies in 7th in the actual table, comes second in the list much against the popular opinion of the London club lacking creativity.
Interestingly, the front-runners Manchester City are only joint third in this alternate universe. Manchester United is seventh in the list while Arsenal—who sits above Liverpool and Chelsea in the real table— are down at the 8th position.
As if in fulfillment to Guardiola philosophy, Manchester City has enjoyed most possession (58%) but you shouldn’t bet your money on them to be the best passers in the league. When it comes to passing accuracy, they are fifth in the league behind Chelsea, Manchester United, and Liverpool and only slightly better than Southampton.
One could argue that Manchester City’s lower passing accuracy is down to them making more passes in the final third. But even if we consider the key passes made per game, City is only fourth in the list with Liverpool way ahead of other teams.
Shots conceded per game
So if City isn’t topping the offensive charts and still the front runners of the league, then logically, they should be good at the defensive side. Right? So we looked at the goals conceded per game by each Premier League teams. Interestingly, Liverpool comes top at this domain as well, with City only the fourth best at not allowing opposition teams shots on goal.
Strangely, Chelsea who is seventh in the real table, is not only the second most creative side but also the second best at refusing opposition shots on goal.
Though City enjoys the top spot at the table, it’s unlikely that they will continue to be there as season proceeds. Liverpool seems a much stronger side as per stats while Chelsea looks a much more balanced team than what their league position suggests.
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