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5 Premier League stats to review before the weekend

After a two-week break to make room for international football, the Premier League returns to action this weekend with an exciting Gameweek 5.

Records are often there to be broken, yet these five stats couldn’t have gone unnoticed if they wanted. 

Liverpool struggle in early kick-off

Saturday’s Premier League action commences at Molineux as Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool meet at 12:30 pm. 

Despite Wolves’ disappointing league start, the Reds cannot rest easy, knowing they have only won 45.7% of their top-flight outings in this time slot since 2016/17 (W16, D12, L7).

For comparison, they have won 67.7% of the other 235 league contests.

They have averaged 1.67 goals per game in that 35-match sequence while conceding 1.09, returning just 14 clean sheets. 

Jurgen Klopp’s team went winless in all six such fixtures last season.

Chelsea’s profligacy off the charts this season

Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment as the new chief of staff has failed to galvanise a downtrodden Chelsea side, as evidenced by a dismal four-game Premier League start (W1, D1, L2).

A string of poor results isn’t purely the Argentine’s fault. 

Pochettino’s forwards have massively struggled for composure in the front third, wasting a league joint-high ten clear-cut scoring chances alongside Everton, as per Statman Dave.

Nicolas Jackson’s inexplicable miss from barely a couple of yards out in a 1-0 home loss to Nottingham Forest last time out perhaps best illustrates Chelsea’s lacklustre finishing.

Arteta’s Goodison Hoodoo

Arsenal looked up the creek without a paddle when Mikel Arteta took the managerial reins in December 2019, days after the Gunners drew 0-0 against Everton at Goodison Park.

Little did anyone in north London know that would be the last time they avoided defeat in an away league match against the Toffees.

Despite re-establishing the capital-based giants as a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League, the Spaniard has lost all three top-flight visits to Goodison. 

Arteta has overseen back-to-back home league wins over Everton via an aggregate score of 9-1, which could inspire his bid to take all three points from the Blue part of Merseyside on Sunday. 

Brighton are a thorn in Ten Hag’s side

Erik ten Hag’s first year at Manchester United went according to plan as the Dutchman halted the club’s six-year title drought with the League Cup triumph and guided them back to the Champions League.

One of the most noteworthy takeaways from the ex-Ajax boss’ first season at Old Trafford was United’s unparalleled dominance on home soil, with their last home defeat dating back to September 2022.

However, the last Premier League team to win at the Theatre of Dreams was Brighton & Hove Albion, doing so on Ten Hag’s home debut, courtesy of Pascal Gross’ first-half brace (2-1).

Alexis Mac Allister slotted home a penalty to hand the Seagulls a narrow 1-0 home win in the reverse fixture, making the East Sussex outfit the only team to pull off a league double against Man Utd in 2022/23.

Even Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Manchester City side failed to achieve that feat.

Name Haaland your Premier League Fantasy captain

While making such a choice isn’t rocket science, Erling Haaland could have one of those days when Man City and West Ham United lock horns on Saturday.

Last season’s Golden Boot winner netted a hat-trick in a scintillating 5-1 win against Fulham on the eve of the international break, taking his seasonal tally to six goals.

Interestingly, the Norwegian goalscoring machine racked up back-to-back hat-tricks at this precise juncture last season, toppling Crystal Palace and Forest almost single-handily. 

He netted three goals apiece on matchdays four and five last term and will be looking to replicate that feat after putting three past the Cottagers on Gameweek 4.

Since Haaland’s first-ever Premier League goal served as a match and season opener against none other than West Ham at the London Stadium, backing him to thrive this weekend makes perfect sense.

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