Five top stats ahead of the live games on Sky Sports Premier League
Last Updated: 20/12/18 5:06pm
From Liverpool’s top-at-Christmas omens to Lucas Torreira’s impact at Arsenal, here are the stats you need to know ahead of this weekend’s games.
Wolves vs Liverpool
Wolves vs Liverpool
December 21, 2018, 7:00pm
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side go into the game on the back of three successive wins, their best run in the top division for over 38 years.
Liverpool are still unbeaten in the league this season and have not lost in the Premier League since a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea in May.
It’s sure to be a tough test for the hosts, but will be encouraged by their results against the current top-six teams this season.
Wolves have lost only one of their previous five games against big six sides, that was against Tottenham in November.
They beat Chelsea 2-1 at Molineux a few weeks ago and have won six points against the big six this season – more than any other side outside of that group.
A win for Liverpool on Friday will guarantee them top spot heading into Christmas and history suggests that leading the way at this stage usually results in title celebrations come May.
In the last four seasons, the side leading the Premier League on Christmas Day has gone on to win the title – with the last side bucking this trend being Liverpool in 2013-14.
Brendan Rodgers’ side topped the table on goal difference ahead of Arsenal in 2013, but finished the season as runners-up, behind Manchester City.
Arsenal vs Burnley
Arsenal vs Burnley
December 22, 2018, 11:30am
Saturday lunchtime’s live Premier League action comes from the Emirates where Arsenal host Burnley, with both sides eager to make amends for defeats last weekend.
The Gunners’ unbeaten run came to an end at Southampton last Sunday, but their start under Unai Emery has breathed new life into the side.
One of their success stories this season has been midfielder Lucas Torreira. The 22-year-old Uruguayan was signed from Sampdoria for £26m during the summer and, after some impressive displays, is starting to look like one of the standout buys of the transfer window.
After coming on as sub in Arsenal’s first five Premier League games this season, Torreira has now started the last 12.
He tops the club rankings in a number of areas since getting into the Gunners’ starting XI including ball recoveries and tackles, and is also a consistent passer.
Since that first start, he has made more ball recoveries than any other outfield player in the Premier League and averages around nine every 90 minutes – a figure only bettered by Huddersfield’s Jonathan Hogg.
For Arsenal’s visitors Burnley, it has been a tough start to the season with only three wins from 17 top-flight games.
Sean Dyche’s side sit 18th in the table with 12 points – their lowest total at this stage of a Premier League season.
The Clarets’ great form of 2017/18 was based on defensive solidity, which they have found difficult to repeat this time around.
They have already conceded 33 goals this season, only six fewer than they let in during the whole of the last campaign, and they are also conceding more shots with lower save and tackle success rates.
Defeat at the Emirates would be their 12th in the Premier League this season, equalling their total in the last campaign when they finished seventh.
Everton vs Tottenham
Live Renault Super Sunday
December 23, 2018, 3:30pm
The final action in the Premier League before Christmas comes from Goodison Park where Everton, currently just outside the top six, play Tottenham.
Marco Silva’s side are without a win in their last four games and they haven’t beaten Spurs in a Premier League game since 2012.
However, since taking over the reins at Everton, Silva has introduced a more energetic, high-tempo pressing game that has Evertonians hoping for a first top-six finish since 2013/14.
No other side has won the ball in the attacking third more than Everton this season. In fact, they are comfortably ahead of the next best side Huddersfield.
The Toffees will also fancy their chances of adding to this when they face a Tottenham side that have misplaced more passes in their own half than any other top-flight team this term.
So, our festive schedule gets underway with Wolves against Liverpool on Friday Night Football, from 7pm on Sky Sports Premier League.
Saturday sees Arsenal host Burnley from 11.30am, while Sunday’s game is Everton against Tottenham from 3.30pm – both those games are also live on Sky Sports Premier League.
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