Premier League in Numbers (So Far)
Almost a third of the way through the Premier League season, the table is really starting to take shape. Chelsea, unbeaten in their first 12 games, are six points clear of the rest and even Arsene Wenger appears to have conceded the title to them, but what about the rest of the table? What do the other numbers tell us about what to expect between now and May?
Last season Liverpool made a late run, taking Manchester City right to the wire in the Premier League race. This run was built on the goals of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, and saw the Reds break the 100 goal barrier, becoming only the third team in Premier League history to do so. On current run rate even Chelsea aren’t on track to hit the 100 goal milestone (they will reach 95) and below them only Southampton and Manchester City are on course to break 70 goals (they will both reach 76). As suggested by the experts at Blue Square, perhaps this isn’t the season to be looking for a dark horse to emerge from the pack but, outside the top three, Everton have the highest goals/game average (1.8) and could march up the table if their defence were tighter.
If a good defence were enough to win the Premier League then Ronald Koeman’s resilient Southampton side (who are on course to concede just 19 goals this season) would walk away with the league. At the other end, by far the worst defence belongs to QPR who are on course to concede just short of six goals more than anyone else come the end of the season. Alongside them Crystal Palace (on course to concede 66.5 goals) and Burnley (63.3) look like strong candidates for the drop.
Lies and Statistics
One bad/good day at the office can make a defence appear weak, or an attack appear incredibly potent (see Sunderland and Southampton). Similarly the defensive numbers might suggest that your team ought to be in a strong position, but a lack of goals could leave them in real trouble (see Aston Villa). Thankfully the numbers don’t tell the whole story and, whilst Chelsea – who also appear to be unstoppable in Europe - might have the title sewn up, there are still plenty of reasons to stay tuned to the rest of the Premier League season.