The Weekend In Numbers: Efficient Ozil and Austin moves ahead of Shane Long

Plus, Chelsea and Manchester United do battle

The Weekend In Numbers: Efficient Ozil and Austin moves ahead of Shane Long

Mesut Ozil (Paul Harding / PA Archive/PA Images)

After the snorefest that was Liverpool vs Manchester United on Monday night, the Premier League has an immediate chance to redeem itself this weekend.

Let's be cautious though. Sure, remember when Chelsea-Man United fixtures in the 1990s were often goalfests of the highest order? There was a 5-3 to United in the FA Cup back in 1998, a couple of years before a 3-3 draw in the league.

Rest assured though, when Jose Mourinho leads the Reds into action at his old stomping ground of Stamford Bridge, he will shudder at the thought of such defensively shambolic scorelines.

It's not the only interesting fixture on this weekend.

Ozil efficiency in front of goal

During his time at Arsenal, Mesut Ozil has been addicted to assists. But after a hat-trick in the Champions League on Wednesday against Ludogorets, Arsene Wenger believes his attacking playmaker is now acquiring a taste for goals.

And Middlesbrough's defence could find themselves tested by goals from all areas, given that Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez are also in form in front of goal.

But let's focus on Ozil who has never scored more than six league goals in a season since signing for Arsenal.

That six came last season after a tally of four and five in the previous two seasons before that.

But 2016-17, has seen him already score three in five league fixtures and six in eight if you take in the Champions League.

Dig deeper this season and it's neither a question of taking more shots or being more accurate that appears to be the key. He is attempting only slightly more shots per game than in the previous campaign. His shot accuracy in 2015-16 was also superior to this season.

But the goal rate is up nevertheless and his shots to goal conversion rate has doubled in the league compared to last season.

Austin holds the edge over Long in the short-term

As Charlie Austin takes the plaudits for his recent goal return for Southampton, Shane Long probably wishes the summer break hadn't come when it did.

The Ireland striker finished last season in fine form at club level, with 10 Premier League goals overall. But three of those came in the final six games of the campaign.

However, having started this season as a lead player, Long has managed 37 minutes of action for the past three matches at the same time as Austin has bagged four in four.

The Englishman's shots to goal conversion is far more efficient than Long's at 22% to Long's 0% (The Tipp man has yet to score in the league this season which explains that figure).

And given that Manchester City have been porous at the back of late, Austin could nab a goal or two against the joint league leaders on Sunday. 

Mourinho's record against Chelsea

Jose Mourinho has never spent significant spells of time at any club during his managerial career but the Manchester United manager is most associated with Chelsea given that he came back for more back in 2013.

Thus, he hasn't had much chance to take on the Blues during his career.

This will be his first Premier League meeting against the club he led to three Premier League triumphs.

But in 2010, he led Inter Milan to victories home and away against Chelsea in the Champions League, with 2-1 win at the San Siro followed by a 1-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge.