Essential stats ahead of Premier League break for FA Cup action
Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bournemouth & Fulham feature
Last Updated: 24/01/19 9:21am
How do Liverpool compare with Manchester City, what can Chelsea expect from Gonzalo Higuain, and just how clinical is Eden Hazard? We pick six essential stats from the Premier League...
The title race
Liverpool lead the way in the race for the Premier League title with a four-point lead over Manchester City with 15 games left to go, but just how do Jurgen Klopp's side compare to Pep Guardiola's record breakers from last season?
After 23 games, Liverpool have two points fewer than Manchester City did at the same stage last season, and both sides have only one defeat.
Guardiola's side had scored significantly more goals at this stage, but it is defensively where Klopp's side are excelling, conceding fewer goals and keeping more clean sheets.
To London now, as Chelsea secured the services of striker Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus this week.
The Argentine will join on loan until the end of the season with the option of a permanent deal in the summer, linking up with Blues boss Maurizio Sarri for a second time - having played under him at Napoli.
Chelsea will be hoping that Higuain can continue his goalscoring form of recent years and add some inspiration to their stuttering season.
Over the last 11 seasons, only Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Edinson Cavani have scored more goals in Europe's top-five leagues than Higuain, during which he has won seven major honours - including three league titles.
One Chelsea player who has been in top form so far this season is Eden Hazard. The Belgian forward is the Blues' top scorer, and has created more chances and made more assists than any other Premier League player.
At times, Hazard has been forced to play in an unfamiliar central striking role this season, but it hasn't affected his creative instincts - only highlighted his clinical finishing ability.
When taking into account the quality of chances using Opta's expected goals analysis, Hazard has been the best finisher of all Premier League players with 10 or more goals this season.
The data suggests Hazard should have scored seven goals so far this season, but he has 10 - giving him a slightly higher difference than England captain Harry Kane.
Premier League top scorer Mohamed Salah is fifth in this table, having scored only slightly more goals than expected.
Across the capital now to the East End and West Ham, where a 25-year-old Brazilian is quickly becoming a Hammers hero.
Felipe Anderson joined West Ham for a club record £42m from Lazio in July, and has started to become a major influence for Manuel Pellegrini's side.
Anderson is West Ham's top Premier League scorer with eight goals, and has also created the most chances, made the most final-third passes, and made the most open play crosses for his side this season.
West Ham fans will be hoping for more of the same from the Brazilian as they enter a crucial period in the schedule, with big games against Liverpool and Manchester City coming up in February.
With Marko Arnautovic's future at the club still in doubt, Anderson's form will be a significant influence in where the Hammers finish this season.
Another player making a big impact at their club this season is Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser, having established himself in Eddie Howe's side in what is now his his third Premier League campaign.
The 24-year-old has created 58 chances in the top-flight this season - a figure beaten only by Eden Hazard.
And it is not only in the Premier League that Fraser has been impressing this term, having also scored once and assisting three more goals in his last two caps for Scotland.
Premier League teenagers
One youngster looking to impress this season is Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon.
The 18-year-old has made 21 appearances in his debut Premier League season - no other teenager has played as many games across Europe's top-five leagues.
However, the best place for a young footballer this season is Ligue 1, where teenagers have made 278 appearances and scored 24 goals. This includes PSG's Kylian Mbappe, who scored 12 goals in 11 games before turning 20 in December.
The Bundesliga has also seen over 200 appearances by teenagers this season, with 12 of the 25 goals being scored by English youngsters Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson.
Although the Premier League may not be giving as many young players a run-out as France and Germany, the figures are improving.
At this stage last year, only 98 games had been played by teenagers, so it would seem that opportunities are opening for England's emerging talents.
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