Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s importance to Manchester United is highlighted while Petr Cech is hoping to avoid his longest run of games without a clean sheet…
Opta stats: Premier League matchday 17
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Saturday 17 December 2016 (12:30) Selhurst Park, London
- Crystal Palace have only mustered three goals in seven previous Premier League home games against Chelsea and one of these was a John Terry own goal.
- If Chelsea win this match they will have defeated Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on more occasions than any other team in the Premier League (currently five wins).
- Chelsea have lost just one of their last eight Premier League London derbies (W4 D3 L1), but this defeat came earlier this season at Arsenal (0-3).
- Crystal Palace have won only five points in 10 Premier League London derbies since the start of last season (W1 D2 L7); fewer than any other side from the capital in this period.
- Since Crystal Palace defeated Chelsea 1-0 in August 2015, the Eagles have picked up only two points in eight Premier League London derbies (W0 D2 L6).
- Christian Benteke has scored in four of his last six Premier League appearances against Chelsea, including in his last two versus the Blues.
- Alan Pardew will take charge of his 302nd Premier League game, making him joint 10th in the all-time list of most Premier League games managed (level with Joe Kinnear).
- Chelsea are guaranteed to be top of the Premier League on Christmas Day. They have won the league title on each of the four previous occasions they have topped the Premier League at Xmas ((2014-15, 2009-10, 2005-06 & 2004-05).
- In fact, six of the last seven teams to top the Premier League table at Christmas have gone on to win the title that season
- Chelsea’s 10-match winning streak in the Premier League is one off their all-time top-flight club record of 11; set in September 2009.
Middlesbrough v Swansea City
Saturday 17 December 2016 (15:00) Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough
- This will be the first top-flight meeting between these two clubs since May 1982.
- In fact, 1981/82 was the only other season that these two clubs played in the top-flight together.
- Swansea have won each of their last three competitive meetings with Middlesbrough, all by a one goal margin (1-0, 4-3, 1-0).
- The Swans have lost four of their last five away games against newly promoted sides in the Premier League, with a solitary victory coming at Burnley on the opening day of the season.
- Swansea City have conceded 15 goals in five Premier League away matches under Bob Bradley – an average of three per game.
- Middlesbrough have scored the fewest goals (13), attempted the fewest shots in total (146) and the fewest shots on target (41) in the Premier League this season.
- Only Southampton’s St. Mary’s Stadium (13 goals) has witnessed fewer Premier League goals this season than Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium (16).
- Bob Bradley has won eight points in his first nine Premier League games as Swansea City manager – six fewer than Francesco Guidolin in his first nine (14).
- This is Swansea’s lowest points tally after 16 games of a Premier League season (12) – two points fewer than at this stage last season.
- The Swans have conceded 34 league goals this season – 10 more than they have after 16 games in any previous Premier League season (24 in 2015-16 after 16 games).
Stoke City v Leicester City
Saturday 17 December 2016 (15:00) bet365 Stadium, Stoke
- Stoke are yet to win a Premier League home game versus Leicester (W0 D1 L1) – the only side they have faced more than once at home in the competition but not won against.
- Leicester have only conceded three goals in their last five league meetings with Stoke City.
- Jamie Vardy scored in both Premier League meetings with Stoke City last season.
- Jamie Vardy has scored just one goal in his last nine Premier League appearances away from home (v Liverpool in September).
- Bojan has scored the first goal of the game in both of his last two Premier League appearances against Leicester City.
- Mark Hughes has won two of his three previous home Premier League matches against reigning champions as Stoke boss – defeating Man Utd in February 2014 and Chelsea in November 2015 (losing the other to Man City in February 2015).
- Leicester City have conceded in each of their last 10 Premier League away games – their worst run since April 2002 (also 10). They last conceded in 11 successive away PL games in October 2011 (17 away games in a row).
- Leicester’s return of one point from their first eight away games of the season is the lowest total by a defending top-flight champion.
- Stoke City haven’t seen an English player score a Premier League goal for them (excl. OGs) since May 24th 2015 – 55 games ago. Peter Crouch scored on that day.
- The Potters have conceded just six goals in their last nine Premier League games and have kept five clean sheets in this run.
Sunderland v Watford
Saturday 17 December 2016 (15:00) Stadium of Light, Sunderland
- Sunderland have only failed to score in three of their previous 36 league meetings with Watford, but one of these came at the Stadium of Light last season (0-1).
- Watford have lost four of their five league trips to the Stadium of Light (W1 D0 L4).
- Jermain Defoe has scored against 35 different teams in the Premier League, but is yet to score against Watford in the competition (three apps, no goals).
- Watford mustered 33 shots over their two Premier League meetings with Sunderland last season, more than they did against any other side.
- David Moyes has won his last five Premier League home meetings against Italian managers – winning three vs Roberto Mancini, one vs Carlo Ancelotti and another vs Claudio Ranieri.
- Sunderland are the only side yet to score a goal from outside the box in the Premier League this season.
- The Black Cats have conceded a league-high 10 goals in the final 15 minutes of Premier League matches this season.
- If Sunderland lose this match then they will be bottom of the Premier League on Christmas Day. 21 of the 24 sides to be bottom of the league at Christmas have been relegated that season.
- Sunderland are one of only three sides to avoid relegation from the Premier League after being bottom at Christmas, however – they finished 14th in 2013-14.
- Watford striker Odion Ighalo scored more league goals than any other player in the top four tiers of English football in 2015 (29). In 2016, he has netted just three goals in 31 league apps.
West Ham United v Hull City
Saturday 17 December 2016 (15:00) London Stadium, London
- West Ham have won six successive league games at home against Hull City, not losing to the Tigers in home league meeting since January 1990.
- Hull City have seen a player sent off in three of their last six Premier League meetings with West Ham United (Mendy, Fagan & McGregor).
- West Ham’s last six Premier League goals against Hull have all come in the second half of games.
- The Hammers’ 15 Premier League goals against Hull have been scored by 14 different players (including own goals), with Carlton Cole the only player to score more than once against them.
- West Ham United have scored the highest proportion of goals from set-pieces this season in the Premier League (12/18 – 67%).
- The Hammers have conceded the most goals from open play in the Premier League this season (25), but have also scored the joint-fewest in this manner (6).
- Dimitri Payet has created 56 goalscoring chances in the Premier League so far this season; 12 more than any other player.
- West Ham United have dropped a league-high 12 points from winning positions this season.
- Hull City have conceded the first goal of the game on 13 occasions this season in the Premier League; more often than any other team.
- The Tigers are on a run of six successive away defeats in the Premier League and they have failed to score in the last four of these.
- Curtis Davies has made the most interceptions (61) and blocks (25) in the Premier League this season.
West Brom v Manchester United
Saturday 17 December 2016 (17:30) The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
- WBA have won three of their last six league meetings with Man Utd (W3 D1 L2) – this after previously going 18 league games without a win against them (D3 L15).
- Man Utd have suffered only one defeat in their last 12 league trips to West Brom (W9 D2 L1), but this defeat came in their last trip there in March (0-1).
- Wayne Rooney has scored seven goals and assisted four more in his last nine Premier League appearances against West Bromwich Albion.
- Wayne Rooney has now scored 248 goals for Manchester United in all competitions – just one behind Bobby Charlton’s all-time record of 249 goals
- Rooney needs one more goal away from home in the Premier League to become the all-time top goalscorer in Premier League away games. He’s currently on 87 alongside Alan Shearer.
- West Brom have been given four red cards in the Premier League against Man Utd; against no side have they received more. One of these came last season, when Gareth McAuley was dismissed at Old Trafford.
- Salomon Rondon has scored 16 goals in the Premier League since the start of last season – 11 more than any other Baggies player (James Morrison on five).
- West Bromwich Albion have scored a joint league-high nine headed goals this season (the most alongside Crystal Palace).
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s nine goals have won Manchester United eight points this season. No other United player has seen their goals win the side more than two points.
- Ibrahimovic has scored 150 goals in his 169 league appearances since the start of 2011-12. He’s netted a goal in 99 of these games (59% of them).
Bournemouth v Southampton
Sunday 18 December 2016 (13:30) Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth
- Four of the last five competitive meetings between Bournemouth and Southampton have ended in a 2-0 win for the team playing at home.
- Southampton have lost just one of their last seven league games versus Bournemouth (W5 D1 L1), although this did come in their last meeting.
- There has been a red card in three of the last four competitive meetings between these sides, with two being shown to Southampton players.
- After losing their first eight Premier League games played on a Sunday, Bournemouth won their last such match, earning a dramatic 4-3 victory over Liverpool.
- The Cherries have conceded 24 goals in their nine previous Premier League games on a Sunday (2.67 per game) – the second highest ratio per game on a single day in the competition with a minimum of five games played (Blackpool three per game on Sunday).
- Bournemouth have won as many home games in their last seven Premier League games (W5) as they did in their first 20 in the competition.
- The two Premier League players to have created the most goalscoring chances without having assisted a goal this season are both Southampton players: Dusan Tadic (32) and Nathan Redmond (28).
- Southampton have scored only four goals in their last eight Premier League games, despite attempting 101 shots in total in these games.
- Saints have scored with the lowest proportion of their total shots in the Premier League this season (5.7%).
- Jack Wilshere has already played more minutes in the Premier League this season (932) than in 2015-16 and 2014-15 combined (873).
Tottenham Hotspur v Burnley
Sunday 18 December 2016 (16:00) White Hart Lane, London
- Tottenham have won their last five competitive home games against Burnley, with the Lancashire side last winning there in a League Cup match in January 1983.
- Burnley’s biggest defeat away from home in the Premier League came at White Hart Lane in September 2009, when they lost 0-5.
- Tottenham have won five of their last six home Premier League games on a Sunday, losing only against Southampton back in May.
- The Lilywhites have won their last 13 Premier League home games against newly promoted sides, since losing 1-2 against Norwich in April 2012.
- Burnley have failed to score in a league-high eight matches this season in the Premier League.
- The Clarets have scored just one goal in seven Premier League away games this season. The only team to have scored fewer than two goals in their first eight away games in a PL season were Derby in 2007-08 (0 goals).
- Christian Eriksen has had a hand in six goals in his last four Premier League appearances (five goals, one assist).
- Burnley have allowed their opponents 56 shots on target more than they have attempted themselves; the worst record in the league (46 attempted, 102 allowed).
- Spurs have attempted 53 shots on target more than their opponents (102 attempted, 49 allowed) – the best record in the Premier League.
- Burnley have won only two points in 13 previous Premier League away games in London (W0 D2 L11).
Manchester City v Arsenal
Sunday 18 December 2016 (16:00) Etihad Stadium, Manchester
- The last six Premier League meetings between these two sides have produced 24 goals – four per game, on average.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last six games with Manchester City in all competitions (W3 D3 L0).
- Olivier Giroud has scored in four successive appearances against Manchester City in all competitions.
- Manchester City have been given eight red cards in the Premier League against Arsenal; more than they have against any other opponent.
- Arsene Wenger has won just two of his previous eight competitive meetings with Pep Guardiola (W2 D2 L4), all in the Champions League. Away from home, his record versus the Spaniard is W0 D1 L3.
- Only Chelsea (7) have won more Premier League games away at the Etihad than Arsenal (6).
- The Gunners haven’t lost consecutive Premier League away games since April 2014 (0-6 vs Chelsea, 0-3 vs Everton).
- Petr Cech has failed to keep a clean sheet in his last seven Premier League appearances; he has never gone eight successive games without a clean sheet in the competition.
- Arsenal are the only Premier League side not to be losing at half-time in the Premier League this season (winning seven times, drawing nine times).
- Alexis Sanchez has had a hand in 27 goals in his last 27 Premier League appearances for Arsenal (19 goals, 8 assists).
- Sanchez has scored 41 goals in 81 Premier League appearances for Arsenal. The only players to reach 41 goals quicker for the club in the competition were Thierry Henry (74 apps) and Ian Wright (77 apps).
Everton v Liverpool
Monday 19 December 2016 (20:00) Goodison Park, Liverpool
- This fixture has seen more red cards than any other in Premier League history (21), while 11 of these have come at Goodison Park; another PL record.
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 league derby matches with Everton (W4 D7). This is their longest unbeaten run against them in league competition since an 11-game streak in between March 1979 and March 1984.
- Everton have only won one of their last 19 Premier League Merseyside derbies (W1 D9 L9), with this solitary win coming in October 2010 at Goodison Park.
- Daniel Sturridge has scored four goals in his last five league appearances against Everton for Liverpool.
- Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals in his last eight Premier League appearances against Liverpool.
- This will be the seventh Premier League Merseyside derby to be played on a Monday and Everton have only lost one of the previous six (W3 D2 L1).
- Everton have scored a goal in the final five minutes in four of their last five Premier League matches – three of these have changed the outcome of that match.
- The Toffees have won 11 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
- Coming in to this matchday, only Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa (17 goal involvements) have been involved in more Premier League goals than Romelu Lukaku (12 – nine goals, three assists) and Adam Lallana (12 – six goals, six assists) this season.
- Divock Origi has scored in his last five games for Liverpool in all competitions, the longest such run at the club since Daniel Sturridge in February 2014 (eight games).