Opta Sports provides the numerical insight for today’s Premier League action, and we provide the context:
We start with Luis Suarez … here’s the Tweet from Opta (@OptaJoe), followed by a little more meat on the bone via ProSoccerTalk:
7 - Since the start of last season, Luis Suarez has won seven penalties - four more than any other Premier League player. Tricky.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2014
We’ve already had our say on that one, regarding Luis Suarez and his propensity for getting tangled up conveniently with so many goalkeepers. Actually, it was Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert who had something to say about Saturday’s controversial sequence.
8 - Arsenal have kept eight clean sheets in their last nine games in all competitions at the Emirates Stadium. Resolve.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2014
Santi Cazorla stole the second half show with his pair of goals, but how about that Gunners back line? It wasn’t always a piece of cake, either; Wojciech Szczesny had to be alert, for instance, as Steve Sidwell absolutely hammered one on goal, flying towards the top corner before the Gunners keeper could knock it away.
Speaking of clean sheets and Arsenal …
4 - Since Tony Pulis took over at Selhurst Park, only Arsenal (6) have kept more Premier League clean sheets than Crystal Palace (4). Tight.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2014
They absolutely adore Tony Pulis around Selhurst Park in gritty South London right now. They bring signs and sing song of his praise. I mean, it won’t last. It never does, does it? Still, it’s all quite nice while it lasts.
4 - Jack Wilshere has been directly involved in four goals in his last three PL games (one goal, three assists). Streak.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2014
Wilshere’s contributions on the attacking end are especially important as Arsene Wenger’s team deals with Aron Ramey’s injury. The influential Welshman was out of action once again, still recovering from a thigh strain. Ramsey’s last Gunners appearance came in the Boxing Day win over West Ham.
28 - Newcastle's French players have now scored 28 goals this season, the most by any one nationality at a single Premier League club. Allez— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2014
Newcastle’s Frenchman of which Joe speaks are Yohan Cabaye and Loic Remy, both of whom scored Saturday in Newcastle’s 3-1 win over West Ham. In fact, Cabaye’s opener Saturday at Upton Park ended a 296-minute streak of scoreless soccer for Newcastle in league play.
6 - Edin Dzeko has scored six goals in his last four appearances at the Etihad Stadium in all competitions. Homely.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 18, 2014
Yes, yes, a few attacks do die at his feet. But the Bosnian striker scores goals. And isn’t that what the game is all about?