Infostrada Sports’ Head of Analysis Simon Gleave takes a look at this weekend’s Premier League matches. You can follow Infostrada’s football facts on Twitter at @infostradalive or the Euro Club Index ranking on @euroclubindex.
Swansea City (Euro CIub Index rank: 146) v Newcastle United (ECI rank: 50)
Newcastle United travel to Swansea looking for a fourth successive Premier League victory which would represent their best winning streak in the league in six years. However, playing on a Friday seems to have a strange effect on Newcastle as they have failed to win any of their last four Friday PL matches and have never won away in the Premier League on a Friday.
The Liberty Stadium has been a defensive stronghold for Swansea City this season with only 12 Premier League goals conceded there. Only Manchester City have done better in PL home matches. In matches home and away, Swansea’s 12 PL clean sheets this season is the best record outside the top two. Recently, the Swans have relied on their goalscoring midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson who has scored five of the club’s last seven PL goals and is the top scoring Premier League midfielder in 2012 with six goals.
Euro Club Index: Win Swansea City: 34% chance, Draw: 32%, Win Newcastle United: 34%
Sunderland (ECI rank: 87) v Tottenham Hotspur (ECI rank: 13)
Since Martin O’Neill took over at Sunderland, the club have picked up 30 points in 17 PL matches, a total only bettered by the two Manchester clubs over the same period. However, the club do not have such a great record against the current top four PL clubs this season having won only one of their six encounters. Sunderland have scored in each of their last nine Premier League home matches including every PL home match under O’Neill, and have also scored in their last nine PL home matches against Tottenham.
Tottenham Hotspur have not had a great 2012 to date when playing away from White Hart Lane with the club yet to record an away win in 2012. The only other club with no away win this year is Queens Park Rangers. However, they have scored on each of their last nine PL visits to the North-east and are unbeaten in their last seven PL matches against North-east opposition. Emmanuel Adebayor has scored PL goals against 27 different clubs but is yet to score against Sunderland having played them six times.
Euro Club Index: Win Sunderland: 29% chance, Draw: 32%, Win Tottenham Hotspur: 39%
Bolton Wanderers (ECI rank: 124) v Fulham (ECI rank: 67)
Bolton Wanderers are now on their best Premier League winning streak for over five years after three straight victories home and away. A third successive PL home win would be their best run at the Reebok stadium since this time last year. The Euro Club Index makes Bolton the outsiders of the main five candidates for relegation with a 15% chance of the club playing in the Championship next season.
The first goal could be crucial in this match as both Fulham and Bolton are unbeaten in PL matches in which they have netted first this term. Manchester United are the only other team who can say this. Fulham manager Martin Jol has never won at the Reebok Stadium, losing three times and drawing the other.
Euro Club Index: Win Bolton Wanderers: 39% chance, Draw: 32%, Win Fulham: 29%
Chelsea (ECI rank: 6) v Wigan Athletic (ECI rank: 147)
The two Roberto’s face each other here with Di Matteo yet to record a victory against Martinez after Wigan took four points from West Bromwich Albion last season. Chelsea are dominant in April at Stamford Bridge having won 30 Premier League matches during this month, more than any other club. Their last home defeat in April dates back 10 years to when they lost 3-0 to Manchester United in 2002. Frank Lampard will again be hoping to net his 150th Premier League goal and become the first midfielder to reach this milestone. The Euro Club Index currently gives Chelsea just a 4% chance of ending the season in the Premier League top four.
Wigan Athletic have a 72% chance of being relegated according to the Euro Club Index and a 50th Premier League defeat for Roberto Martinez will not help those odds. Since taking over at Wigan in August 2009, no Premier League manager has lost as many matches as Martinez. The Latics have, however, won their last two and a third successive victory will be their first in over three years in the Premier League.
Euro Club Index: Win Chelsea: 79% chance, Draw: 16%, Win Wigan Athletic: 5%
Liverpool (ECI rank: 28) v Aston Villa (ECI rank: 69)
The only club with a poorer record than Liverpool’s eight Premier League points in 2012 are Aston Villa’s West Midlands neighbours Wolves. Liverpool’s 36 goals is their fewest at this stage of a Premier League season and their five wins in 15 matches at Anfield is their poorest return for 58 years. Steven Gerrard has scored nine PL goals against Aston Villa making them his favourite opponents.
Villa manager Alex McLeish has never won a PL match against Liverpool in six attempts and his club are threatening to be drawn into the relegation battle after taking just six points from their last eight PL matches. Only Wolves have a poorer record from the last eight. The last time Aston Villa had so few PL victories (7) at this stage of the season was in 2006/2007 but they finished the season with a flourish, winning four and drawing three of their last seven to finish 11th.
Euro Club Index: Win Liverpool: 58% chance, Draw: 27%, Win Aston Villa: 15%
Next Page: Norwich Vs Everton, WBA Vs Blackburn, Stoke City Vs Wolves, Man Utd Vs QPR and Arsenal Vs Man City
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