Premier League football returns after an intense round of FA Cup fixtures, with Newcastle United and Leeds United opening the matchweek 20 of the competition. While both the Manchester clubs have rather easy fixtures, the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal face an uphill battle against in-form opponent.
So, as the race for the Premier League title heats up, we take a look at some key statistics that might help you ace the upcoming gameweek.
Southampton vs Arsenal
Arsenal's fortune in the Premier League has seen a surge since their 2-1 defeat to Everton month, as they have gone on a five-game unbeaten run, winning four and drawing one. Arsenal and Southampton have already met twice this season and the Gunners are yet to get the better of Saints. Their first league meeting this season ended in a 1-1 draw and the two then met in an FA Cup tie where an own goal from Gabriel Magalhaes was enough for Saints to run away with a victory.
|Southampton vs Arsenal head-to-head|
Southampton vs Arsenal head-to-head record in the Premier League outrightly favours the latter, who have won 23 of the 43 meetings between each other. The Saints have found victory on just seven occasions.
Arsenal have been utterly dominant in their last five Premier League games. They have, in fact, scored 11 goals in their last five outings, while keeping four clean sheets. The Saint, on their part, have scored a solitary goal in their last five games, but have managed three clean sheets. Despite their recent struggle though, there are high chances of Southampton opening the scoring as nine of their 14 goals at home have come in the first 45 minutes. What further aids the Saints is the fact that Arsenal have conceded seven of their eight away goals in the opening period.
Chelsea vs Wolves
Chelsea taking on Wolves always promises goals, as the teams have produced 17 goals in their last five meetings. The two teams are evenly poised during the period as both have registered two victories while the remaining game ended in a draw. As far as their head-to-head count goes, Chelsea hold the edge with nine wins in 13 Premier League meetings, while Wolves have won three.
|Chelsea vs Wolves goal-scoring comparison|
|Teams||First Half||Second Half||Total|
Both teams have encountered a tough tenure recently, but Chelsea have, at least, registered a victory in their last five games. Wolves are without a win in their last six league games. Their last league win, in fact, came on December 15 against Chelsea. The Blues have scored a whopping 19 goals at home this season and 12 of them have come in the second period, meaning that one can rightly punt on them scoring at least once in the final 45 minutes. As far as Wolves are concerned, 10 of the 16 goals that they have conceded away from home have come in the second half.
Manchester United vs Sheffield United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United haven't lost a Premier League game since November 2020, and their unbeaten form is expected to continue when they take on Chris Wilder's Sheffield United on Wednesday (Thursday, 1:45 per IST). The two sides played out an absolute scorcher of a game last time out, with Manchester United running out 3-2 victorious away from home.
Sheffield United have won just one of their nine Premier League meetings against Manchester United and have lost seven. In those nine games, Manchester United have scored 22 goals while Sheffield have bagged nine. All of their Premier League meetings have seen at least one goal per game.
|Manchester United vs Sheffield United goal-scoring pattern|
|Manchester United (Home)||3||1||2||1||3||2|
|Sheffield United (Away)||2||0||0||0||1||1|
While United have won four of their last five Premier League meetings this season, the Blades are coming on the back of four defeats and just one victory. Judging by the current form, Manchester United are highly likely to open the scoring and are tipped to bag a goal in the second period as well. As far as Sheffield are concerned, numbers say that they can bag a goal inside in the opening 15 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool
Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp cross paths once again as Tottenham host champions Liverpool on Thursday (Friday, 1:30 per IST). The Reds are on a seven-game unbeaten run against Tottenham in all competitions, with their last defeat against the Lilly Whites coming in October 2017. During this period, Liverpool have scored at least two goals on six occasions. Even their head-to-head count is pretty one-sided as well, with Liverpool winning 28 of their 57 Premier League meetings against Tottenham while losing.
|Tottenham vs Liverpool goal-scoring comparison|
|Teams||First Half||Second Half||Total|
The current form, however, favours the home team as they are coming on the back of two victories in their last five games. The Reds, on their part, have lost two and drawn three. Klopp's men have scored more away goals (16) than Tottenham have at home (14), and a whopping 10 of them have come in the second period. As far as Tottenham are concerned, they have scored 11 goals in first-half, making it an even contest.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Clive Brunskill