This weekend sees the return of the Premier League; although it doesn’t really seem like football ever went away. To get us in the mood, here are some of my favourite stats and trends from last season, and I analyse what they might mean heading into the new season. I also give you my predictions, which knowing my luck will probably look terrible by the time May comes around.
Arsenal away off the big boys
Yes, there will be some puns here. Arsenal at the Emirates last season were formidable. They won 17 of 19, collecting 53 points (level with Manchester City), and scored 54 goals. Away from home was a very different story. When leaving the comforts of their local library Arsenal won just 4 of 19 games, collected a meagre 16 points, scored just 20 goals, and conceded 31. If Arsenal can sort out their away form, maybe they can find their way back into the top four.
Bournemouth need an alarm clock
Maybe the Bournemouth players need more Weetabix before games, because they sure take their time to find their groove. The Cherries only scored 18% of their goals in the first 30 minutes of a game – 8% lower than the PL average, and 56% in the final 30 – 16% higher than the PL average! On the other side of the ball, they concede evenly throughout the game, so they often find themselves behind. They scored the first goal in just 34% of games last year and won 24 points from losing positions. If Bournemouth could start games as well as they finish them, they could be dangerous.