Premier League clubs’ biggest strengths revealed
Last Updated: 20/07/18 9:08pm
Comeback kings? Possession masters? Aerial duels? We delve into a world of statistics to reveal every Premier League club's strength...
Sharing the burden
No club shared out the goalscoring burden more than Arsenal last season, with 17 different players finding the net in the Premier League. Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang will lead the charge going into the new campaign, but new head coach Unai Emery will hope those in supporting roles continue to pose a threat up front as they target a return to the Champions League.
Only relegated Stoke (26 per game) won more aerial duels than Burnley (25.2) last season, with centre-back pairing James Tarkowski and Ben Mee proving to be a formidable partnership. Sean Dyche will look to take his well-drilled team on a European adventure this season, but first they must navigate their way past Aberdeen in the Europa Leauge second qualifying round.
Set-piece and comeback kings
Eddie Howe's side impressed on two fronts last season. Not only did they score a league-high 16 goals from set-pieces (Man City and Arsenal both recorded 15), but they also proved to be kings of the comeback, recovering 21 points from losing positions - no club could top that.
Brighton shipped the fewest goals of any bottom-10 side in 2017/18, conceding 54 times. Among a host of impressive statistics, they went toe-to-toe with Burnley in terms of blocks made, recording just one fewer than Burnley's season-total of 191. Everton made the third-most with 160.
Cardiff's football may not have been pretty last season, but it was effective enough to secure promotion to the Premier League. Neil Warnock's side will be expected to continue their direct approach, and the Bluebirds will look to be a threat from set plays, having scored from such scenarios 15 times in the Sky Bet Championship - a league high.
Heads, you win
Alvaro Morata's seven headed goals only begins to tell the story of Chelsea's threat in the air last season, with the Blues managing 17 in total - four more than second-place Arsenal. Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso both chipped in with two headers, but whether crosses form part of Maurizio Sarri's approach remains to be seen.
Behind Chelsea (13.5 per game) and Manchester City (13.2), Crystal Palace (12.7) were third when it came to successful dribbles, with Wilfried Zaha unsurprisingly playing a huge role in that statistic. The Ivorian completed 119 dribbles last season, with only Eden Hazard (165) recording more.
Clearing the danger
Everton recovered from a poor start to the 2017-18 season by finishing eighth, and few teams were as busy defensively as the Toffees. They produced 617 headed clearances and 514 interceptions, both ranked as the third-highest in the league, while 1229 clearances in total was a league high.
Fulham played a unique brand of football in the Sky Bet Championship last season, and they can only hope it pays off in the Premier League after securing a play-off final win over Aston Villa. Having averaged 60.39 per cent possession, no team in the second tier looked more comfortable on the ball than Slavisa Jokanovic's side, but replicating that will be no mean feat in the upcoming campaign.
Attacking down the right
Huddersfield defied expectations by confirming Premier League safety with two games to spare, and David Wagner will now be working on a formula that keeps the Terriers in the top flight once more. When it came to attacks, 42 per cent came down the right wing - the highest in the league - with Collin Quaner and Tom Ince heavily relied on when it came to creating chances.
Deadly on the counter-attack, Leicester were also clinical when it came to taking their chances in the previous campaign, finding themselves narrowly behind Manchester City (20.7 per cent) and Manchester United (19.77 per cent) when it comes to shot conversion rate (18.24 per cent) - a total helped by Jamie Vardy, who scored 20 goals, a 33.9 per cent hit rate.
Punishing on the counter
Liverpool were simply devastating on the counter last season, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino proving a tricky trio to handle. The Reds scored nine goals from fast breaks, one more than Tottenham - both clubs created 26 chances from fast breaks - and two ahead of Leicester.
It's difficult to know where to begin with Manchester City, who broke all manner of records when clinching the Premier League title with 100 points. Crucially, they won the top-six mini table, picking up 24 points by winning eight and losing two against the remaining five teams - Man United (19pts), Tottenham (13pts), Chelsea (12pts), Liverpool (10pts) and Arsenal (7pts). A repeat performance would surely ensure the trophy remains at the Etihad.
Shutting up shop
David de Gea picked up the Golden Glove award for the first time last season after keeping 18 of United's 19 clean sheets. The ability to shut out their opponents in every other game helped them secure second, boasting the second-best defence (28 goals conceded) - one behind City.
Outside last season's top six, no other side made as many through balls - 67 - as Newcastle did, with most coming from Jonjo Shelvey's boot. And if the mercurial playmaker is on song again this time around, then expect another mid-table finish for the Magpies.
Despite battling relegation for most of the previous campaign, the struggling south coast club actually only conceded one goal from a penalty during the whole season - the joint fewest number in the entire top flight.
Defending a lead
Spurs were one of three teams who did not lose a game after taking the lead, along with Manchester United and Liverpool. Mauricio Pochettino's side led on 25 occasions and went on to win 23 of those games, drawing the other two, a metric they'll hope to replicate as they look to turn their new stadium into a fortress.
Between them, shot-stoppers Heurelho Gomes and Orestis Karnezis made just 95 saves in the Premier League last season, the fewest of any top-flight shot stoppers bar Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. So can new Hornets 'keeper Ben Foster be equally as redundant in goal this time around?
Owning your goal
Despite West Ham conceding 68 times in the Premier League last season - the joint most along with relegated Stoke, only one of those was actually an own goal. And with some of their rivals gifting opponents as many as five goals from their own players last time out, this is one of the Hammers' main strengths heading into the new campaign!
Goals! Goals! Goals!
No other side could match the 82 goals that Nuno Espirito Santo's team scored on their way to winning last season's Sky Bet Championship. And with even more firepower added up front this summer, expect more free-flowing attacking on their return to the Premier League.