Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Preview of Premier League matchday 13

 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea

15 December, 2020

Only against Liverpool (10) have Wolves lost more Premier League games than they have versus Chelsea (9), while they’ve conceded more goals against the Blues than they have any other side in the competition (32).

Chelsea have only failed to score in one of their last 17 top-flight meetings with Wolves, doing so in a 0-1 loss at Molineux in January 2011.

Since returning to the Premier League in 2018, Wolves have won six of their eight home midweek games in the competition (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), losing the other two. One of those victories was a 2-1 win over Chelsea in December 2018.

Chelsea have lost just one of their last 20 Premier League games played on a Tuesday (W12 D7), with that defeat coming at Liverpool in May 2012 (1-4).

Wolves have lost their last two Premier League games and are looking to avoid three consecutive defeats in the competition for the first time since November 2018.

Chelsea are looking to avoid back-to-back Premier League defeats for the first time since December 2019, the first of which was away at Everton.

Each of Chelsea’s last seven away Premier League scorers at Molineux have been English (Lampard, Loftus-Cheek, Tomori, Abraham x3, Mount), while none of Wolves’ four home goals against the Blues in the competition have been scored by an Englishman (excl. own goals).

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has scored six goals in his four league appearances against Wolves, netting a hat-trick in Chelsea’s 5-2 win in this exact fixture last season.

Since their return to the Premier League in 2018, Wolves have lost 80% of their Premier League games where Raúl Jiménez hasn’t started (4/5), scoring 0.4 goals-per-game compared to 1.3 with the Mexican in the starting line-up.

In all competitions, Chelsea’s Timo Werner has failed to score in his last seven appearances for the Blues, having netted seven in his seven games prior to this run.

Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion

Man City have won their last 13 Premier League games against West Brom, scoring 37 goals and conceding just nine. It’s the Citizens’ longest winning run against a specific opponent in their top-flight history.

West Brom have never won a Premier League game at the Etihad in 11 attempts (D2 L9), with their last away league win at Man City coming in February 2003 at Maine Road (2-1).

Man City are unbeaten in their last 39 Premier League home games against promoted sides (W35 D4) since losing 0-2 against Reading in February 2007. The Citizens have scored 104 goals in these 39 games, while conceding just 25 in return.

West Bromwich Albion have never won a Premier League game on a Tuesday, in 27 previous attempts (D12 L15). It’s the most number of games a team has played on a specific day of the week without ever winning in the competition.

Starting with a 3-1 victory over West Brom in May 2017, Man City have won 23 of their last 26 midweek Premier League matches (Tues, Weds, Thurs), losing the other three. At home, the Citizens are unbeaten in 34 such games (W29 D5), since losing 0-1 against Tottenham in May 2010.

Since losing 1-2 against Spurs in November 2008, Man City are unbeaten in 31 home league games against sides in the relegation zone (W28 D3), scoring 100 goals and conceding just 18 in this run. Indeed, the Citizens have won their last 15 such games by an aggregate score of 59-6.

Manchester City have scored 17 goals in the Premier League after 11 games this season, 17 fewer than at this stage last season when they had 34. It’s only the third instance of a team scoring 17+ fewer goals after 11 games in consecutive seasons, with the other two also Man City (21 in 1994/95, 3 in 1995/96 & 39 in 2011/12, 20 in 2012/13).

After remaining unbeaten in his first two matches against Man City in 2015/16 with West Ham (W1 D1), Slaven Bilic has lost all three of his games against Pep Guardiola’s City by an aggregate score of 12-1, losing all three games in 2016/17 as Hammers boss.

In his career as a top-flight manager, Man City boss Pep Guardiola has only lost one midweek (Tues, Weds, Thurs) home game (W28 D3), with that defeat coming against Mainz as Bayern Munich boss in March 2016.

Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last eight Premier League starts against newly promoted teams (5 goals, 7 assists).

Arsenal v Southampton
16 December, 2020

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 25 home league games against Southampton (W18 D7) since a 0-1 loss in November 1987.

Southampton drew this exact fixture with Arsenal 2-2 last season, conceding a 90th minute equaliser courtesy of Alexandre Lacazette. They’ve not avoided defeat in consecutive away league games against Arsenal since September 1988.

Arsenal are unbeaten in all 21 of their Premier League home games against Southampton (W15 D6), the most home games a team has played against another in the competition without ever losing.

Arsenal have lost just one of their 21 Wednesday Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium (W14 D6), going down 1-2 against Swansea in March 2016.

Southampton are winless in their last 21 Premier League away games played on a Wednesday (D7 L14), since winning 2-0 at Chelsea in April 1995.

Excluding own goals, 10 of the last 16 Premier League goals scored in fixtures between Arsenal and Southampton have been scored by English players – prior to this, only 10 of the previous 55 goals were scored by Englishmen.

Arsenal have received six Premier League red cards since Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge in December 2019, double that of any other side in this time.

Southampton have won 23 points in their opening 12 Premier League games this season (W7 D2 L3) – assuming three points for a win in all seasons, only in 2014/15 (26) have they had more points after 12 matches in a top-flight season.

Danny Ings has scored three Premier League goals in three appearances against Arsenal for Southampton – no Saints player has ever scored four goals against the Gunners in the competition.

With the 96th chance he had created in the Premier League, Southampton’s Oriol Romeu registered his first assist against Sheffield United in their last match, in his 193rd appearance. Among outfield players with at least one assist, only Stephane Henchoz (234th match) had a longer wait for his first assist in the Premier League.

Leeds United v Newcastle United

This is the first Premier League meeting between Leeds and Newcastle since January 2004, when the Magpies won 1-0 at St James’ Park courtesy of Alan Shearer’s goal.

Newcastle are unbeaten in their last five away league games against Leeds (W4 D1), with this their first meeting since a 2-0 Championship win in November 2016. Their last defeat at Elland Road was in the Premier League in September 1999 (2-3).

Newcastle have lost just one of their last 13 Premier League games in Yorkshire (W9 D3), losing 0-1 at Huddersfield in August 2017.

In the Championship last season, Leeds remained unbeaten in all 14 of their midweek games (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), winning nine and drawing five.

Newcastle have won just one of their last 22 Premier League games played on a Wednesday (D4 L17), winning 4-1 at Bournemouth in July. Indeed, the Magpies have lost more Premier League games on a Wednesday than any other side in the competition (44).

Leeds have lost their last two Premier League games despite opening the scoring each time. Only four teams have ever lost three in a row despite scoring first in the competition – Blackburn in April 2007, Sunderland in February 2011, Wolves in April 2012 and Leicester in December 2014.

57% of Newcastle’s Premier League goals this season have come in the final 15 minutes of games (8/14). The Magpies have scored in this timeframe in all five of their victories so far this season.

Newcastle are looking to win three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2018, while manager Steve Bruce hasn’t won three in a row in the competition since a run of four with Wigan in January 2009.

This is Marcelo Bielsa’s 114th match in charge of Leeds United in all competitions – the most he’s managed at a club in his managerial career, overtaking the 113 he managed at Athletic Bilbao between 2011 and 2013.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce hasn’t managed a Premier League game against Leeds at Elland Road since September 2003, a 2-0 win with Birmingham. On the day of this game, it will be 17 years and 87 days since then, with only Kenny Dalglish at Carrow Road (17y 210d, 1994-2012) and Roy Hodgson at Selhurst Park (18y 320d, 1998-2017) having a longer gap between games managed at a ground in Premier League history.

Leicester City v Everton

Leicester City have won three of their last five home league games against Everton (L2), as many as they had in their previous 16 against the Toffees (W3 D7 L6).

Everton have kept just one clean sheet in their last 15 Premier League games against Leicester, doing so in a 2-0 away win in December 2016.

After 13 of the first 18 Premier League games between Leicester and Everton had ended in a draw, none of the last 10 meetings between the sides in the competition have finished level (five wins each).

Leicester’s last Premier League game played on a Wednesday was also against Everton, and ended in a 1-2 defeat in July. They had been unbeaten in their seven previous such matches beforehand (W5 D2).

This will be Everton’s 100th Premier League game to be played on a Wednesday – they’ve won just 29.3% of their games on this day (W29 D29 L41), only having a lower win rate on Thursdays in the competition (12.5% - 1/8).

After winning their first four league games this season, Everton have won just two of their subsequent eight (D2 L4), though they did beat Chelsea last time out with their first Premier League clean sheet since the opening weekend.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was directly involved in eight of Everton’s nine shots against Chelsea last time out (2 shots, 6 chances created), netting the winner. Since the start of 2017/18, Sigurdsson is the only Toffees player to have created as many as six chances in a league match, doing so three times (also v Burnley in 2017 & Southampton in 2018).

Carlo Ancelotti has won all three of his meetings with Brendan Rodgers in all competitions, winning twice with Real Madrid in 2014/15 versus Liverpool in the Champions League and with Everton versus Leicester in the Premier League in July.

Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho has scored in each of his last two Premier League appearances against Everton, both as a substitute. The only two players to score as a sub in three consecutive appearances against an opponent are Julian Joachim versus Derby (1996-97) and Olivier Giroud versus Southampton (2017-18).

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored 19 goals in 32 Premier League games under Carlo Ancelotti, compared with 16 goals in 94 appearances under his previous Everton managers combined.

Fulham v Brighton and Hove Albion

Fulham have won just one of their last seven league meetings with Brighton (D1 L5), though it did come in their last such meeting, a 4-2 win at Craven Cottage in January 2019.

Brighton have scored at least twice in each of their last seven meetings in all competitions with Fulham (W5 D1 L1), having done so just once in their previous eight against the Cottagers.

The away side has taken a 2-0 lead in both previous Premier League meetings between Fulham and Brighton but have failed to win both times – Brighton came back to draw 2-2 at home in September 2018, while Fulham won 4-2 at Craven Cottage in January 2019.

In the regular Championship season last season, Fulham lost just two of their 14 midweek matches (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), winning seven and drawing five. At home, the Cottagers won four of their five such games (L1).

No team has played more Premier League games on a Wednesday without ever winning than Brighton, with the Seagulls drawing four and losing four of their eight such games.

Brighton have won just three of their 18 away Premier League matches in London (D5 L10) and are winless in their last five league matches in the capital (D3 L2).

Brighton have won just two of their opening 12 games in the Premier League this season (D4 L6), their joint-fewest at this stage of a top-flight campaign in the club’s history (also two in 1979-80 and 1980-81).

Only their opponents Brighton and Hove Albion (5) have conceded more penalty goals than Fulham in the Premier League this season (4), with their last two goals conceded coming from penalties. The Cottagers have never conceded a penalty goal in three consecutive Premier League games.

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored in each of his two Premier League appearances against Brighton, netting three goals. The only player to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances for Fulham against a single opponent is Clint Dempsey vs Bolton between April 2011 and April 2012.

Bobby De Cordova-Reid has scored in his last three home Premier League games, the first Fulham player to do that since Dimitar Berbatov in April 2013; no Cottagers player has ever netted in four consecutive home Premier League games, while the last Fulham player to score in four home league appearances in a row was Ross McCormack in April 2015.

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League games against Tottenham (W10 D4), going down 1-4 at Wembley in October 2017. The Reds have won their last four against Spurs in the league, all by a margin of just one goal (3x 2-1, 1x 1-0).

Tottenham have won just one of their last 26 Premier League away games against Liverpool (D8 L17), winning 2-0 in May 2011 under Harry Redknapp.

Tottenham have won three of their last seven away league games against reigning top-flight champions (D2 L2), beating Man Utd in 2013-14, Leicester in 2016-17 and Chelsea in 2017-18 – they’d only won three of their previous 40 such matches (D6 L31).

Spurs have never lost six consecutive matches against Liverpool in all competitions – they last endured such a losing run against an opponent versus Man Utd between September 2001 and September 2004 (seven defeats in a row).

Liverpool have already dropped 11 points in the Premier League this season (W7 D4 L1), with the Reds only dropping 15 in the entirety of their title-winning season in 2019/20, taking them until the 35th game last season to drop their 11th point in a 1-1 draw with Burnley.

Tottenham manager José Mourinho has never won away against Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp in five attempts in all competitions (D2 L3), making the German the manager he’s faced the most away from home without ever tasting victory.

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale has been involved in five goals in his last four games against Liverpool in all competitions (3 goals, 2 assists), with this match potentially his first game against them since the 2018 UEFA Champions League final with Real Madrid (2 goals).

Liverpool have scored their last 18 Premier League penalties, with Mohamed Salah converting 12 of those. This run of consecutive scoring from the spot is the longest by a team since Sunderland scored 23 consecutive penalties between March 2012 and January 2017.

Spurs striker Harry Kane has been directly involved in five goals in six away Premier League games against Liverpool (4 goals, 1 assist). Kane has scored in four games at Anfield and never ended on the winning side (D2 L2), with only Nigel Clough (5 games) and Dougie Freedman (6) ever scoring in more games at one stadium without winning in Premier League history, with both Clough and Freedman doing so at the City Ground.

Spurs striker Harry Kane has been involved in 19 goals in 12 Premier League games this season (9 goals, 10 assists). Another goal will see him reach double figures for both goals and assists – the fewest appearances needed to achieve this in a season in Premier League history is 17 games, achieved by Cesc Fàbregas in 2009/10 for Arsenal.

West Ham United v Crystal Palace

West Ham have scored at least once in each of their last 12 Premier League games against Crystal Palace – only against Fulham (16) are they on a current longer run of scoring in consecutive matches in the competition.

Crystal Palace came from behind to win both Premier League meetings with West Ham last season – they’ve never won three consecutive league games against the Hammers before.

West Ham United haven’t lost back-to-back home league games since December 2019 under Manuel Pellegrini – the Hammers have never done so under current boss David Moyes in 30 matches at London Stadium.

Crystal Palace are looking to win consecutive away London derbies in the Premier League for the first time since November 1997, when they won three in a row against QPR, Wimbledon and Spurs.

In their last away Premier League match at West Brom, Crystal Palace hit five goals – as many as in their previous nine on the road combined. Even with just one league game played in December 2020, five away goals are Palace’s most in a calendar month since January 2019 when they scored six.

West Ham have won four of their last five Premier League games (L1), as many as they had in their previous 13 in the competition (W4 D5 L4).

West Ham boss David Moyes has won 60% of his Premier League matches against Crystal Palace’s Roy Hodgson (P10 W6 D1 L3), his best ratio against any of the 15 managers he’s faced at least 10 times in the competition.

Against no side has Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew scored more Premier League goals than he has versus West Ham (4). The Ghanaian netted the winning goal in both league games against the Hammers last season.

West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini has been directly involved in five goals in six Premier League starts against Crystal Palace (4 goals, 1 assist), though he hasn’t scored or assisted in any of his last two against the Eagles.

For West Ham in the Premier League this season, full-back Aaron Cresswell has created the most chances (22), provided the most assists (4), made the most successful crosses (27) and played the most passes into the box (74) of any player at the club.

Aston Villa v Burnley
17 December, 2020

Aston Villa are looking to win consecutive top-flight matches against Burnley for the first time since November 1964, following their 2-1 win at Turf Moor in January this year.

Burnley have won just one of their six Premier League meetings with Aston Villa (D3 L2), though that victory did come at Villa Park (1-0 in May 2015).

Aston Villa haven’t lost four consecutive home Premier League matches since April 2016 (six in a row), with three coming under Remi Garde and three under Eric Black. The last Villa manager to lose four in a row at Villa Park was Paul Lambert in January 2013.

Burnley have won six Premier League away games in 2020 – they last won seven away top-flight games in a single calendar year in 1965 (8).

Aston Villa won their first two home Premier League matches in 2020/21 but have since lost their last three. They could become the third top-flight team to win their first two home games of the season then lose their next four, after Nottingham Forest (1904/05) and Newcastle United (1953/54).

Burnley have lost eight of their last 12 away league matches on Thursdays (W1 D3), last winning an away league game on Thursday in April 1961 against Birmingham City.

Just 33% of Aston Villa’s Premier League points this season have been won in home games (6/18), with the Villans losing each of their last three at Villa Park.

Since the start of last season, Aston Villa have scored more winning goals in the 90th minute or later than any other Premier League side, with Anwar El Ghazi’s late winner against Wolves last time out giving them their fourth such victory.

Burnley striker Chris Wood has scored in all three of his league starts against Aston Villa, netting for Leeds in December 2016 and in both games for Burnley last season.

Jack Grealish has been directly involved in 40% of Aston Villa’s 148 Premier League shots so far this season (30 shots, 29 chances created), while he’s also won 29% of the Villans’ fouls in the competition this term (46/160).

Sheffield United v Manchester United

Since winning their first ever Premier League match against Man Utd on the opening day of the competition in 1992, Sheffield United are winless in their last seven against the Red Devils (D1 L6).

Manchester United haven’t failed to score in any of their last 22 meetings with Sheffield United in all competitions, since a 0-1 away loss in September 1972.

Sheffield United have lost six of their last seven home league games, as many as in their previous 30 at Bramall Lane (W20 D4 L6) – the Blades haven’t lost four in a row at home since April 1965.

Victory for Manchester United will see them become only the fourth side in top-flight history to win 10 away league games in a row, after Spurs (10 between April & October 1960), Chelsea (11 between April & December 2008) and Man City (11 between May & December 2017).

Sheffield United have lost seven home league matches in 2020 – they haven’t lost more than seven in a calendar year since 1975 (eight defeats), while Chris Wilder last lost more than seven in a year as a manager in 2014 with Northampton Town (nine defeats).

Manchester United have won all five of their Premier League away matches this season, despite conceding the first goal each time. No side has ever won six away games after conceding first in a single Premier League season, with Aston Villa in 1993-94 the only other side to do five (from 21 games).

Manchester United have scored at least twice in each of their last nine Premier League away games, a joint record in the competition alongside Leeds United in 2001. The last top-flight side to score 2+ goals in 10 in a row on the road were Tottenham in October 1960.

Sheffield United are one of only four teams in the history of English league football to have one point or fewer after 12 league games of a season – the others are Manchester United in 1930/31 (0 in top-flight), New Brighton in 1931/32 (1 in Third Division North) and Newport County in 1970/71 (1 in fourth tier).

Man Utd’s Bruno Fernandes has featured in four Premier League games against teams starting the day in the relegation zone, scoring four and assisting four and averaging a goal or assist every 43 minutes.

Man Utd’s Bruno Fernandes has either scored or assisted in 11 of his 12 Premier League away games, scoring 11 goals and assisting six in just 985 minutes of action. Fernandes has been involved in a goal every 58 minutes in away Premier League games, the best ratio of any player with at least 500 away minutes played.

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