The Premier League title race is expected to be one of the tightest in recent years with just one point separating first to third. Arsenal currently lead on goal difference over surprise package Leicester but Manchester City remains in the mix just one point adrift after 22 games. Tottenham and Manchester United have been touted as potential contenders if they can hit a good run of form and the leaders drop points. We take a look at the stats of the season so far…
Romelu Lukaku (Everton) and Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
The race for the golden boot contains a number of unlikely challengers this season. Sergio Aguero was the pre-season favourite for the award but has been plagued by injuries yet again. The Argentine has still registered 10 goals this season; 5 of which came against Newcastle at Etihad despite only making 15 appearances for the Citizens. Odion Ighalo is currently tied for second place with Riyad Mahrez with both players registering 13 goals for Watford and Leicester respectively. Romelu Lukaku is currently tied at the top with one of the stars of the season so far in Jamie Vardy. Lukaku has been Everton’s most important player this season and is starting to look worth the mammoth £27m paid by the Toffees for his services. Only Vardy and Phillippe Coutinho have taken more shots than Lukaku this season who has a shot accuracy of 51%. On the other hand, England and Leicester striker Vardy made history this season by breaking Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in consecutive games on his way to become joint top goal scorer. Vardy’s goals have been one of the main reasons Claudio Ranieri’s men are well and truly in the title race. All of Vardy’s goals have come inside the area and the Foxes will hope the goals will continue to flow after the 29 year old recovers from a recent run of niggling injuries.
Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
Arsenal’s German playmaker, Mesut Ozil, has been one of the pivotal reasons that the Gunners are currently perched at the top of the Premier League. Ozil has rediscovered the form that prompted Arsene Wenger to pay £42m in order to prise the German international from Real Madrid. After heavy criticism last season, Ozil is back to his best and has registered 16 Premier League assists; meaning he is on course to break Thierry Henry’s record. He has created 86 chances this season maintaining an 88% pass completion rate. The 27 year old has averaged a chance every 20 minutes this season which could lead Arsenal to their first title since 2004.
MOST CLEAN SHEETS
Joe Hart (Manchester City)
Much has been made of the emergence of Stoke keeper Jack Butland and his quest to displace current England number one Joe Hart from his place in between the stick. Butland has been superb for the Potters this season but still has a lot to do as Hart is currently in the lead for this season’s Golden Gloves. After being dropped early in Manuel Pellegrini’s reign, Hart has provided City with some fantastic displays and has come to their questionable defence’s rescue many a time. He has averaged 2 saves a game and has been awarded Squakwa’s Keeper of the Week on five occasions as well as boasting a 97% claim success from deliveries into his area.
HIGHEST PASSING ACCURACY
Ki Sung-Yung (Swansea)
For players who have played over 20 games this season, Swansea midfield tops the stats table for passing accuracy. The South Korean has completed 91% of his 850 passes this season; of which 64% were played forward. Despite his high passing completion, Ki has only registered one assist and created 16 chances this season. Ki has averaged 47 passes per game this season as Swansea linger above the relegation zone following a poor run of form.
MOST TACKLES WON
Erik Pieters (Stoke)
Louis Van Gaal once told Stoke defender Erik Pieters that his chances of breaking into the Dutch national team would be minimal should he accept a move to the Britannia. However, Stoke have been one of the stand out teams this season under Mark Hughes as the Welshman looks to complete their transformation from a long ball team. Pieters has been a vital part of that transformation, winning 65 tackles this season; the most in the league thus far. The 27 year old has made 66 interceptions, 70 clearances and 11 blocks this season as well as creating 13 chances from the left back positions. Pieters has a 77% pass accuracy this season.
WHOSCORED TEAM OF THE SEASON SO FAR…
Goalkeeper – Heurelho Gomes (Watford)
Right Back – Cedric (Southampton)
Centre Back – Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)
Centre Back – Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
Left Back – Jonny Evans (West Brom)
Right Midfield – Riyad Mahrez (Leicester)
Centre Midfield – Ross Barkley (Everton)
Centre Midfield – Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)
Left Midfield – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Striker – Jamie Vardy (Leicester)
Striker – Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
(Stats courtesy of Squakwa, TransferMarkt, WhoScored)
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