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The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

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Featuring XI players who have been in pre-season action for Premier League clubs who you might be forgiven for forgetting. Like N'Zogbia, Boyata, Obertan and...

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Arsenal
* Arsenal's record of 13 points from 13 games against top-half sides this season puts them in ninth in the 'v top half' table - below Stoke and Norwich.

* Arsenal attempted 20 crosses from open play against Tottenham but only one found a teammate.

* Jack Wilshere recorded a 73% pass completion rate v Spurs. His average for the season is 86.5%.


Aston Villa
* Villa have lost all nine PL games they have been losing at half-time this season.

* Ciaran Clark has conceded the most goals (51) of all centre-backs in the Premier League this season.

* Aston Villa have picked up more yellow cards (58) than any other PL side this season.

Chelsea
* Chelsea's points haul of 52 points from 28 games is higher than their previous two seasons.

* Ashley Cole has found a teammate with just four crosses in this Premier League season. He tried and failed once v West Brom on Saturday.

* Chelsea have conceded only one first-half goal in their last nine PL games.


Everton
* Steven Pienaar recorded his first PL assist of 2013 v Reading on Saturday.

* Leighton Baines has made the most key passes from set-pieces in the Premier League this season with 40.

* Nikica Jelavic failed to score with five shots v Reading on Saturday. He has now played 838 minutes of PL football without a goal.


Fulham
* Fulham have thrown away 20 points from winning positions this season - only Southampton (27) have thrown away more.

* Dimitar Berbatov has provided five of Fulham's nine shots on target in their last two games v Stoke and Sunderland.

* Steve Sidwell attempted eight clearances v Sunderland. One was effective.


Liverpool
* Liverpool have scored more goals (53) after 28 games than four PL title-winning sides.

* Their record against bottom-half sides (30 points) has only been bettered by Arsenal (34) and Manchester United (42) thus season.

* Luis Suarez took only four shots v Wigan; all four were on target and three were goals.


Manchester City
* David Silva has created 15 chances in his last two games v Chelsea and Villa.

* City actually have a better away record this season than last - 26 points rather than 24 points from 14 games.

* City have only conceded one goal in six PL games started by Kolo Toure and Matija Nastasic.


Manchester United
* Wayne Rooney has now scored or assisted 20 goals in 20 Premier League appearances for Man Utd this season.

* Manchester United have dropped just three points from a possible 45 against bottom-half opposition this season.

* Michael Carrick and Anderson both attempted 12 long passes v Norwich; Carrick completed 11 and Anderson completed six.


* Newcastle United
* Only Reading (5 points) have a worse away record this season than Newcastle (8).

* Moussa Sissoko was disppossessed six times by Swansea players on Saturday but still managed to take five shots.

* Yohan Cabaye has created 33 chances this season but has only been credited with one assist - v Everton in September.


Norwich City
* Norwich became the first team this season to not record a single shot (excl. blocked) in a PL game when they lost 4-0 at Man United.

* Robert Snodgrass made five of Norwich's 19 tackles v Man United.

* Norwich have taken one point (v QPR) from their last five away games.


QPR
* QPR's away record this season is actually better than five other PL teams (Southampton, Stoke, Norwich, Newcastle and Reading).

* QPR beat Southampton on Saturday with just 33% possession and a pass completion rate of just 59%. They had just seven shots to the Saints' 21.

* Clint Hill completed four passes in 90 minutes at Southampton. He attempted more clearances (13) than passes (11).


Reading
* Despite their reputation for comebacks, Reading have the worst second-half record in the Premier League.

* Reading defenders Adrian Mariappa and Ian Harte were both credited with goal-line clearances v Everton on Saturday.

* No Reading player has averaged above 80% pass completion this season.


Southampton
* Morgan Schneiderlin registered an astonishing nine tackles and 12 interceptions v QPR on Saturday. He even found the time to set up four chances.

* Left-back Daniel Fox did not make a single tackle in his 57 minutes on the pitch v QPR.

* The Saints have won only one game this season (v Reading) they were drawing at half-time.


* Stoke have picked up just four points from their last eight games. That makes them the worst team in the PL on form.

* They have scored just one goal in the first halves of those eight games.

* Michael Kightly left the field after 67 minutes having attempted one failed cross and completed six passes.


* Sunderland
* Stéphane Sessegnon registered a rare 100% pass completion rate v Fulham on Saturday.

* Danny Graham completed just seven passes in 76 minutes v Fulham.

* Central midfielder pair Alfred N'Diaye and Sebastian Larsson made 13 tackles but no interceptions in 90 minutes v Fulham.


* Swansea City
* Swansea's home form (11 points from five games) is only bettered by Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

* Ashley Williams attempted a massive 23 clearances v Newcastle on Saturday and was successful with 17.

* Ki Sung-Yueng has now taken 35 shots without scoring - the most in the Premier League.


Tottenham Hotspur
* Tottenham Hotspur are unbeaten in 12 matches - their longest unbeaten run in Premier League history.

* Nine different Spurs players have assisted a Gareth Bale goal in the PL this season with only Gylfi Sigurdsson and Kyle Walker setting up more than one.

* Bale completed ten passes in 90 minutes v Arsenal on Sunday.


West Brom
* West Brom have picked up 14 points from 14 away games this season. Under Roy Hodgson last year, they picked up 21 points from their first 14 away games.

* Only three PL players (Morgan Schneiderlin, Lucas Leiva and Mark Noble) average more tackles per game than Baggies midfielder Claudio Yacob.

* James Morrison played two of West Brom's three 'key passes' at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.


West Ham
* Andy Carroll had five goal attempts v Stoke on Saturday and failed to hit the target once.

* West Ham's goal at Stoke was only their ninth away strike of the season. Only Stoke (8) have scored fewer on the road.

* Ricardo Vaz Te's assist v Stoke was his third of the season. That draws him level with Joey O'Brien as the Hammers' most prolific creators.


Wigan
* Wigan have the worst home record in the Premier League with just ten points from 14 home games.

* They also have the worst record in the PL against top-half sides with just five points won from a possible 45.

* Arouna Koné lost the ball six times v Liverpool from a poor touch.


Sarah Winterburn

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deadwood 11 and not an arsenal player listed. Heady days.

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The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

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ithout doing any research I would have to say that Richard Wright is the singular most successful ex Ipswich Town player I know. Yes, thats what the kaleidoscopic whirlwind of highs and lows feels like supporting the Tractor Boys. In other exciting news I saw two, count them, TWO squirrels today. What a start to August.

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eels cruel. Like he's holding onto a baby seal just because he enjoys occassionally clubbing it.

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