Who were the Prem's possession kings? Failed shot-stoppers? Aerial dominators?
Most possession – Arsenal (56.9%)
The man who introduced English football to patient possession sees his side top the percentage table for the first time since 2012/13 – a feat achieved partly because of Mohamed Elneny’s emergence. The Egyptian plays fewer risky or forward passes than the likes of Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere, both of whom missed large chunks of the season through injury. Arsenal have averaged more than 60% possession in six of the nine league games in which Elneny has started.
Best tacklers – Liverpool (22.9 per game)
It hasn't taken long for Jurgen Klopp’s furious football to take hold at Anfield, and indeed Liverpool’s players’ tacking statistics have become an accurate predictor of the German's favourites: struggling Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke average 0.2 and 0.3 tackles pg respectively, while Roberto Firmino (2.0) and Adam Lallana (1.9) are seeing more game time than under Brendan Rodgers.
Most interceptions – Leicester (21.6 pg)
With the most coherent, consistent and ruthlessly effective tactical system in the Premier League, Leicester were always likely to top the charts for interceptions. Aside from their collective hunger and work-rate increasing their anticipation skills, one reason for their high count is the narrow and compressed nature of their 4-4-2 shape; cutting off passes is considerably easier when gaps between defensive lines are smaller and, conceding territory, the opponent is forced to try to break through a throng of bodies. Having N’Golo Kante (4.2 interceptions pg) in the team doesn't hurt either.
Most chances created – Tottenham (13.2 pg)
Arguably the most impressive aspect of Mauricio Pochettino’s phenomenal tactical coaching is the positional fluidity and energy his sides manage in the final third. Unlike the stagnating frontlines in Manchester and west London, when Spurs are in possession their young quartet of Harry Kane, Delle Ali, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela are constantly moving off the ball, twisting and darting into pockets of space that leave the opposition chasing shadows. Their high chance creation is also helped by Danny Rose. His piercing runs stretch the defence wide, creating gaps for Kane & Co. to exploit.
Most long balls – Watford (77.1 pg)
Watford’s high-energy football focuses predominantly on launching the ball towards Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo as quickly as possible. Only 40.6% of these passes reach their target, but Quique Sanchez Flores’s narrow, hard-pressing 4-4-2 formation ensures that Watford frequently win second balls. Their outgoing manager deserves credit for combining a well-organised defence with quick counter-attacking football.
Most fouled – Chelsea (12.6 pg)
Chelsea’s direct attacking in the final third (12.3 take-ons pg, second-most in division) is always likely to draw fouls, although some would argue that a culture of diving and playacting at Chelsea has contributed to their high foul count. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are experts at drawing them, although equally significant could be the fact that opponents – aware that Chelsea have been unusually vulnerable this season and prone to a tantrum – have deliberately sought to wind them up with a more aggressive approach.
Biggest foulers – Man United (12.5 pg)
Manchester United’s shambolic season, characterised most notably by a dysfunctional tactical approach in central midfield, is typified by their high foul count. Marouane Fellaini and Morgan Schneiderlin both average 1.8 per game, reflecting their inability to successfully cover ground; Louis van Gaal utilises a very wide and static formation, which simply leaves his midfielders with too much to do.
Who has scored the most goals? Who has the worse discipline? Find out who tops more stat-guzzling charts!