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Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal & Manchester City tactics compared

Graphic for feature

The current top six clubs all remain genuine title contenders this term - but what are their strengths and weaknesses?

We have looked at 23 different stats to evaluate how Premier League leaders Chelsea, second-place Tottenham, third-place Liverpool, fourth-place Arsenal and Manchester clubs United and City rank against each other across the pitch.

Which team is most deadly from headers, or from long-range? Who fires the highest number of crosses into the box? Which team has the worst discipline? Read on to find these answers and more...


Liverpool have scored 49 goals this season with seven from outside the box and created 293 chances - three stats that surpass any other Premier League club.

Manchester United have only found the net 32 times during this campaign - the fewest among the top six clubs - with Zlatan Ibrahimovic netting nearly half of their total after scoring his 14th goal of the season during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates his equaliser with team-mates
Image: Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring his 14th league goal this season to equalise against Liverpool on Sunday

However, Jose Mourinho's men make far more crosses than the other five clubs, averaging at nearly five a game - boosted when Marouane Fellaini is on the pitch.

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But while it's United who make the most crosses, it's Arsenal who possess the greatest aerial threat, having scored a league-high 11 headers (joint with West Brom). Liverpool and United are next on the list with eight each.

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Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and
Image: Arsenal's Olivier Giroud has scored four headers for the Gunners in the Premier League this season

In contrast, Manchester City and Chelsea have lacked aerial power in the box this term and have both only scored three headers.


Tottenham and Liverpool fire in more shots than the rest of the top six, averaging just over six shots on target per game, but Spurs also miss the target most, skewing nearly seven shots wide per 90 minutes.

Despite Mauricio Pochettino's side regularly trying their luck at goal, they have only scored once from outside the box in the Premier League this season.

Christian Eriksen shows his appreciation to fans at the final whistle
Image: Christian Eriksen has scored Tottenham's only goal from outside the box in the Premier League this season but has also missed the target on 26 occassions

Manchester United have taken 613 touches in the opponent's box this term, only bettered by Manchester City (740), Arsenal (720) and Liverpool (681).

However, United have only been awarded one penalty in 2016/17, while Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City have all been awarded six spot-kicks.


All six clubs win a similar number of duels, with Tottenham and Manchester City edging the averages on nearly 58 duels won per game. However, United - who win the most aerials and make the most interceptions - have picked up the highest number of disciplinary points.

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Arsenal's Petr Cech has been the busiest 'keeper among the clubs with an average of almost three saves per 90 minutes. Interestingly, City have made the fewest saves (1.7 per game) but have conceded the most goals (1.2 per game) - raising questions about the performances of Claudio Bravo.


Chelsea have kept a league-high 12 clean sheets and only conceded 15 goals, while Tottenham have managed nine shutouts and have conceded a league-low 14 goals.

Liverpool and Manchester City have dropped points from errors leading to goals this season but the Merseyside club have been the most error-prone, having been punished on five occasions for mistakes at the back compared to City's four.

Loris Karius, Derby County v Liverpool, EFL Cup
Image: Liverpool 'keeper Loris Karius has made two errors leading to goals in the Premier League this season

Passing and work ethic

Liverpool top the pack for completed passes (497 per game), sprints (596 per game) and kilometres covered (117km per game), followed by Manchester City.

In contrast, United cover 10km less than Liverpool per game (107km) and 99 fewer sprints (497).


However, the Reds rank third behind Arsenal and Manchester City for passes in the opposition's half with 285 per game, completing the highest proportion passes in their own half with 212 a game (43 per cent).

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City average top for possession with 65 per cent, while league-leaders Chelsea have the lowest average possession of all top six clubs with 55 per cent.


Arsenal complete the highest number of passes in the opponent's half with 299 per game - which equates to a remarkable 64 per cent of their passes - while Spurs rank lowest with 238 per game.

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