The Premier League opening weekend’s vital stats

Date published: Tuesday 16th August 2016 10:41

Aaron Ramsey Alexis Sanchez Football365

What did we learn from everyone’s first game of the season in comparison to their average statistics from last season? Nothing, but still. Expect Manchester United through to West Ham tomorrow.

 

ARSENAL

Last season (per game)
Possession: 56.9% (1st)
Shots: 15.1 (4th)
Tackles: 18.6 (=15th)
Passes: 559.3 (1st)

vs. Liverpool (3-4)
Possession: 51.1 (9th)
Shots: Nine (16th)
Tackles: 22 (6th)
Passes: 485 (5th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
There is little to learn from their possession and passing statistics – they won’t play a side so keen to press as Liverpool every game. But their tackling statistics are up (Granit Xhaka does that), and their shooting is down (having no striker does that).

 

BOURNEMOUTH

Last season (per game)
Possession: 51% (9th)
Shots: 12.2 (18th)
Tackles: 18.6 (=15th)
Passes: 454.4 (9th)

vs. Manchester United (1-3)
Possession: 47.2 (14th)
Shots: Nine (=16th)
Tackles: 15 (16th)
Passes: 483 (7th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
Eddie Howe has hardly changed his side’s style. Even against Manchester United, they completed more passes than all but six sides on the opening weekend, and their statistics – scoreline aside – were not too dissimilar to those of their much-vaunted opponents.

 

BURNLEY

Last season (per game in Championship)
Possession: 48.2 (18th)
Shots: 11.9 (20th)
Tackles: 14.5 (24th)
Passes: 401.4 (15th)

vs. Swansea (0-1)
Possession: 48% (13th)
Shots: Ten (15th)
Tackles: 14 (=17th)
Passes: 353 (15th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
That statistics mean little without context, for looking at their vitals from last season, they ought to have been relegation candidates in the Championship. Little has changed despite the divisional jump, but that is more likely to see them struggle in the Premier League.

 

CHELSEA

Last season (per game)
Possession: 54.4 (6th)
Shots: 13.8 (6th)
Tackles: 20.8 (=5th)
Passes: 517.5 (5th)

vs. West Ham (2-1)
Possession: 59.5% (3rd)
Shots: 16 (=4th)
Tackles: 19 (9th)
Passes: 559 (4th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
Not a great deal, but just enough. Antonio Conte’s side looked more threatening against a tough opponent in West Ham than they did for large swathes of last season.

 

CRYSTAL PALACE

Last season (per game)
Possession: 46.8 (15th)
Shots: 12.3 (10th)
Tackles: 17.1 (17th)
Passes: 362.8% (17th)

vs. West Brom (0-1)
Possession: 56.3% (4th)
Shots: 14 (=7th)
Tackles: 28 (1st)
Passes: 414 (12th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
Less than usual, considering West Brom were their opponents. As a result, possession and passing statistics are up, while no side completed more tackles. They lost, of course.

 

EVERTON

Last season (per game)
Possession: 51.5 (8th)
Shots: 14.6 (3rd)
Tackles: 19.2 (=9th)
Passes: 472.2 (8th)

vs. Tottenham (1-1)
Possession: 45.6 (16th)
Shots: 13 (=9th)
Tackles: 25 (=4th)
Passes: 361 (14th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
Ronald Koeman is not Roberto Martinez. Everton complete fewer passes and boast a smaller percentage of the possession, but looked just as threatening against Tottenham as they did at their best last campaign. And this was without Romelu Lukaku.

 

HULL CITY

Last season (per game in Championship)
Possession: 53.3% (3rd)
Shots: 16 (1st)
Tackles: 16.1 (17th)
Passes: 480.5 (1st)

vs. Leicester (2-1)
Possession: 50.3% (10th)
Shots: 14 (=7th)
Tackles: 20 (8th)
Passes: 449 (10th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
They a) should have won the Championship last season, and b) have a fighting chance if they replicate their performance against Leicester. But that is a massive ‘if’.

 

LEICESTER

Last season (per game)
Possession: 44.8 (18th)
Shots: 13.7 (=7th)
Tackles: 22.9 (=1st)
Passes: 351.8 (18th)

vs. Hull City (1-2)
Possession: 49.7 (11th)
Shots: 18 (2nd)
Tackles: 14 (=17th)
Passes: 453 (9th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
They have been found out! Not really, but it did not make for pretty viewing on Saturday. More shots and passes against an opponent content to sit back, only this time there was no answer. And also no N’Golo Kante, meaning tackles were down by almost nine, and interceptions dropped from 21.6 per game last season, to just nine against Hull.

 

LIVERPOOL

Last season (per game)
Possession: 55% (5th)
Shots: 16.6 (2nd)
Tackles: 22.9 (1st)
Passes: 519 (4th)

vs. Arsenal (4-3)
Possession: 48.9 (12th)
Shots: 16 (=4th)
Tackles: 21 (7th)
Passes: 479 (8th)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
That watching Liverpool will be fun and infuriating in equal measure. In terms of statistics, little has changed. Jurgen has been there for ten months now, mind.

 

MANCHESTER CITY

Last season (per game)
Possession: 55.2 (4th)
Shots: 16.2 (3rd)
Tackles: 19.2 (=9th)
Passes: 539.2 (2nd)

vs. Sunderland (2-1)
Possession: 68.5 (1st)
Shots: 16 (=4th)
Tackles: Five (20th)
Passes: 681 (1st)

What have we learned (except for nothing)?
Pep Guardiola, eh? City did loads of passes under Manuel Pellegrini last season, with only Arsenal registering more. Under their new manager, they have stepped up a gear in that regard. Their tally of tackles against Sunderland – five – is hilarious, but when you have nearly 70% of the ball, that is bound to happen.

 

Matt Stead

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