Premier League Weekend by Numbers: Lukaku in form and will Liverpool v Newcastle produce another goalfest?
All the stats you need to know ahead of a busy weekend of Premier League football.15:00 Friday 4 December 2015, 15:00 4 Dec 2015
With Premier League football galore this weekend, there are plenty of interesting stats to keep an eye on as a couple of big sides go head to head.
Lukaku's blistering form
Jamie Vardy has been busy grabbing all the headlines with his scoring run, but Romelu Lukaku has been going about securing some records of his own in the meantime.
He became one of only five players to score 50 Premier League goals by the age of 23, which is an arbitrary enough stat, but puts him in a club with the like of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo...perhaps you've heard of them?
Everton face Crystal Palace this Monday evening, a side that Lukaku has a good record against, having scored in both of his side's matches against them last season. He's also on a run where he's scored eight goals in eight games.
Of course, the most vital stat is that Everton are unbeaten in 15 Monday matches in the Premier League, so you can't bet against that, surely.
Speaking of Vardy, he faces a Swansea side who look to be in disarray, and only have one win in their last 10 games...he might fancy a 12th goal.
Fondly remembering past glories
Liverpool and Newcastle is a fixture that has always produced goals...or at least that's the way it is often remembered thanks to that historic, breathtaking 4-3 back in the day when Kevin Keegan was in charge during happier times for the Tyneside club.
The memory of that game perhaps clouds the judgement of many pundits and fans when they think of this match, as it hasn't produced a goalfest in a while. The last big scoreline was a 6-0 win for Liverpool back in 2013, while a two goal margin has proven to be the most comprehensive of wins for the Reds in the time since.
However, having smashed six past Southampton during the week, Newcastle will be rightfully worried. They've only won one of the last six meetings between the two sides, and have conceded eight goals in the last two games. Theey look a broken side who are low on confidence, and Liverpool's high pressing game could put them in all sorts of trouble.
Finally, having had a rocket shoved up him by his manager's comments about his pain threshold, Daniel Sturridge looks like he's desperate to get on the pitch, and he likes playing against Newcastle, having scored six against them in his career to date.
You can listen to that match live and exclusively on Off The Ball from 12pm on Sunday.
Arsenal's walking wounded
At the start of the season, with Wenger's men flying and Sunderland free falling, they would probably have earmarked this match as an easy three points. With so many injuries and Allardyce in charge of the Black Cats, it's not such an easy ask now.
Image: Nigel French / EMPICS Sport
According to Squawka, Big Sam has lost 17 of his 28 meetings against Arsenal as a manager, and hasn't recorded a win against Wenger since 2010, but he has still gathered a reputation as a bit of a bogey opponent for Arsenal. This is thanks to his style of play, which makes like difficult for the Gunners on a regular basis, coupled with the fact that his sides are rarely fancied to challenge the silky Londoners.
However, since arriving at Sunderland he has shored up their defence a little bit, which has seen them only concede one goal in the last three games. That's a big difference from their record of conceding 25 in the 11 games before that.
Arsenal need to win this game if they have realistic title ambitions, in particular since they're without a win in three matches in the league.
West Ham, giant killers?
West Ham's remarkable run of form against the top sides (they've beaten Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea) could be set to continue this weekend against a Manchester United side who are struggling to score and create chances.
However, Wayne Rooney has been ruled out of this match and in the two games he's missed already this season, the team have gone on to win without him.
For West Ham however, the worry will be that they too are missing key players , in particular Dimitri Payet, who has been a revelation for the London side. He has scored five and assisted a further three goals so far this season, and they have yet to win a game since he went off injured against Everton at the start of November.
Their record at Old Trafford is not very good either, having lost 17 out of their 19 visits there in the Premier League era according to Opta. With Sakho out too, they lack a threat up front, so if ever there was a time for Van Gaal's side to "attack, attack, attack", this weekend might be it.
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