(Last updated 23rd March 2011) Below are bite-sized profiles for each Premiership team, they include players to watch, key statistics and the most regular Premier League starting line-ups, they will be updated throughout the season to keep them up to date, so do check back regularly.
Last Season: 3rd
They can pass, pass and pass all day which is easy on the eye but they need better finishers upfront, Without goals, they are just passing for passing’s sake, basically just to please themselves and without penetration it’s just masturbation isn’t it!?
Defensively they still haven’t got the defence rectified, as shown by their shaky home record, which sees them continue to have a soft centre for conceding all too many goals home and away, especially in Vermaelen’s absence as he is undoubtably their best defender.
Everything goes through him, if Fabregas is ever not playing, then would be an ideal time to bet against Arsenal. His composure and creative passing means he is a constant supplier of goals. He has also added a goal-scoring edge to his play in recent years which means he’s become equally as dangerous at ghosting into the box to score himself.
Despite his young age and lack of experience Wilshere has become perhaps secondary only to Fabregas in importance to Arsenal’s possession based game. He’s consistently showing the invention and technique to boss games and ensure his team retain the ball and dominate the play.
Similar in style to Wilshere and Fabregas although abit more direct and prefers to run at defenders. Has always been very comfortable on the ball but has recently now added a razor sharp cutting edge and consistent goal threat.
Arsenal continue to fly the flag for winning with style, they love to pass the ball around the final 3rd in neat little triangles until they carve an opening. They are often accused of over passing and not striking at goal when a chance is presented to them. They favour a high defensive line and an aggressive pressing game in-order to squeeze the play and monopolise possession.
- The 2nd highest scorers in the Premiership, averaging just over 2 goals per game
- Have the 2nd highest goal difference
- Have scored the highest amount of goals in the league away
- Have played out the joint 4th least amount of draws with 7
- Have the 3rd best defensive record
- Have the joint 2nd best home record
- Arsenal are by far the best performing team away having only lost twice, won the most, scored the most and the 3rd best away defence
- Have the 2nd best half time record, having scored the 2nd most 1st half goals and have the best 1st half defence having only conceded 10 goals in the first half of games
- Also have the best second half record, having won the most 2nd halfs
- Out of 29 games they have scored first 18 times, and out of the 18 times Arsenal went on to win 15 times
- Arsenal have won twice in the 9 times when the opposition scored first
- Have not lost once in the last 8 games
- Have the best overall record v teams in the bottom half, joint on points with Man Utd and only lost 2
- Have failed to score in only 5 games this season
- Scored 6 goals in the last 5 minutes of games
- Have lost more games at home than the rest of the top 6
- Have the joint most red cards with 6 and the joint worst red card offender Koscielny with 2 sending offs
- Arshavin has the joint 2nd most assists
- Possible over reliance on their playmaker Fabregas.
- No recognised 25 goals a season striker, as Van Persie too injury prone
- Evidently miss Vermaelen in central defence, especially at home
- Have only scored 4 goals from crosses
- Have one of the league’s worst scoring records on free kicks having only scored 2 and have conceded 5 goals from them, the joint 2nd highest amount
Arsene Wenger operates a football club as I believe it should be, buy young, buy cheap. Keep the club financially stable while ensuring technical based, attractive football. I fail to understand why every club does not follow this philosophy. Wenger has proved himself to be an exceptional talent spotter and equally adept at nurturing young players and making sure they realise their potential.
ST Van Persie
Last Season: 6th
They still have their trademark explosive pace upfront that can cause teams problems. I highly doubt a higher final position this season than 10th, because while Villa have lost key players in recent years the other teams around them have strengthened considerably. They need to buy some established proven players to compliment their dependable British players and youth team graduates.
Many fans and critics hugely underrate Bent in my opinion as yes his game is limited technically, but he has pace, is decent in the air and scores goals for fun! The stat that impresses me most about him is the fact he scored 19 goals in both his 2 seasons at relegation fodder Charlton. Any striker who can score that many goals for a relegated Premiership team is a quality striker in my book.
He was also the top scorer at Spurs in his final season despite the fact he was largely the 3rd choice striker and primarily made appearances off the bench
One of the highest 1st goalscorers in the league last season, if you are going to have a 1st scorer bet this is your man!
A player who is very direct, possessing the acceleration and speed to trouble the best of the league’s defences. This makes Aston Villa particularly dangerous on the counter attack as the pace of Agbonlahor and Ashley Young can turn defence into attack in an instant. Agbonlahor has shown noticeable improvement on his heading and finishing in the last couple of years, making him an accomplished all-round striker.
Very tricky winger who operates on the left wing but favours cutting-in on his right foot whenever possible to perform his trademark reserve cross into the opposition penalty area, or attempt a shot on goal.
Manager Houllier has also played him just behind the striker where he looks equally as dangerous running at the defence or picking out others, Aston Villa’s main creative force.
Counter attack with heavy emphasis on the pace of Young, Bent and Agbonlahor on the break.
- Villa have a favourable record v bottom half teams and have only 3 losses from 14 games
- Have scored 7 times from right crosses into the box the 2nd most in the whole league, have also scored 4 goals from left crosses the 3rd highest in the league
- Have scored 1st in 16 games this season the 4th best record
- Have lost 13 games the joint 3rd highest
- Joint 3rd worst defence
- Lowest away goal difference with -19 and 2nd worst defence away
- Have only won twice away all season with the joint 2nd worst away record
- Have the league’s 2nd worst record if only including 2nd half of games, having won only 4 and drawn 16, they have also conceded the joint 4th most amount of goals in the 2nd half.
- Have failed to win 8 times (5 draws and 3 lost) having scored 1st 16 times
- In the 12 games where Aston Villa have gone a goal behind they have failed to win any with only 2 draws and 10 losses
- Aston Villa have only won twice and conceded the 3rd most goals v teams in the top half
- Have failed to score in 9 league games
- Have the league’s worst overall record on set pieces having only scored 1 free kick and conceded 4 , while also only scoring 3 corners and conceding 14 times from corners, more than any other team
- Have conceded 14 goals from corners, 3 more than any other team
- Have also conceded 13 goals from headers, the highest in the league
- Have received the joint 3rd most yellow cards in the league, with defenders Warnock and Clark 2 of the league’s worst yellow card offenders.
- Have conceded 6 goals between 40-45 minutes of the 1st half and an amazing 9 goals in the last 5 minutes of games
LM Ashley Young
Last Season: 9th
Had one of the tightest defences within The Premiership last season, especially at home where they only conceded 13 goals in 19 games. Now’s the time to build on that defensive stability with some attacking intent, the signings of Zigic and Hleb definitely catch the imagination somewhat but time will tell whether they can still perform at their previous high levels.
Has developed into a very tidy ball playing midfielder, who can not only assist but also scores regularly.
As with Gardner, Ridgewell moved from local rivals Aston Villa and has quickly made himself a fan’s favourite. Not only a very competent defender as shown by Birmingham’s defensive record last season, but has also a knack of getting in the opposition area and scoring goals, making him great value for goal related bets.
Rely heavily upon their resistant defensive structure, containing teams and hoping for that break-away solitary goal to grab a win. The defence and midfield are not very adventurous and prefer to stick in position, leaving it largely up to the strikers to get the goals.
- Joint 5th lowest amount of defeats
- Have drawn 13 games the joint 2nd most in the league
- Favourable defensive record having conceded far fewer goals than the rest of the bottom 8 teams
- Have only lost 4 home games, fewer than the rest of the bottom 5
- In the first half of games Birmingham have conceded the 3rd lowest amount of goals in The Premiership.
- Have only lost 7 having gone a goal behind 13 times in a match
- Have scored 7 times from free kick situations, the highest in the league
- 4th lowest amount of yellow cards received
- Have only won 6 games the joint lowest in the league
- Very few goal threats, joint lowest scorers overall, at home and 4th lowest scorers away
- Have failed to score in 9 games the joint 3rd highest
- Have only won 4 home games the joint 2nd lowest
- Have drawn 7 home games the highest in the league and 6 away draws
- Have only won 2 away games
- Have scored the least amount of goals over the last 8 games with 7
- Have only scored 10 goals in the first half of games the 2nd lowest in the league
- Including just the 2nd halfs, Birmingham have only scored 18 goals the 2nd lowest amount.
- Have scored 1st 12 times but then only gone on to win 5, drawing 4 and losing 3 from a winning position
- Have only won twice v top half teams this season from 15 games, drawing 8 (the league’s most)
- Have one of the league’s worst records v bottom half teams, and are the joint 2nd lowest scorers
- Have only scored 3 goals from corners
Alex McLeish has once again shown himself to be a very compotent manager. As he did at Rangers and with the Scotland National team. One thing you can say is he knows how to set-up a team to defend and play above its ability. He frequently overachieved at Scotland and now he is getting a team of Premiership rejects into a feared formidable unit.
All you can really ask and expect of a manager is that he gets his players to play to the best of their ability and McLeish is certainly achieveing that.
Last Season: 10th
One of the few Blackburn strikers that scores regularly, has settled into the league very quickly, very much a poaching striker who excels in tight situations in and around the box.
The team’s most productive creative player, somewhat of an expert at swerving free kicks, accurate crosses and long shots.
Very direct, in an effort to get the ball to the forwards as quickly as possible and get into scoring positions. Dangerous at set pieces due to a strong aerially imposing defence that can cause problems when entering the opposition area.
- Have only drawn 6 games the joint 3rd fewest in the league
- 5th best defence at home
- Joint 5th highest away scorers
- 4th best first half defence and 6th best overall record in the league
- Blackburn have scored 1st 15 times the joint 5th best record in the league
- Have only failed to score in 7 games
- One of the league’s most effective teams on set pieces, having scored from corners 8 times this season the joint 3rd highest and 5 goals from free kicks
- Have scored 8 times from headers this season
- Joint 2nd most losses
- Joint 3rd worst defence
- Joint 3rd lowest scorers at home
- Joint lowest amount of away draws with 1 and joint 2nd worst away record
- Worst away defensive record
- Have been drawing 16 games at half time the joint 2nd highest amount and only been in a losing position in 5 games
- Have the worst 2nd half record having lost and conceded more than any other team. Concede the vast majority of their goals in the 2nd half of games
- In the 13 times Blackburn have gone a goal behind this season they have failed to register even a point in 12 games and drawn 1
- Have the worst record v the top half teams having only won 2, drew 2 and lost 11
- Have only scored twice from crosses all season
- Have conceded from headers 9 times
Last season: in Championship
Charlie Adam (Attacking Midfielder)
Looks like he was born for The Premier League, very composed midfielder who is very adept at creating openings and goal scoring opportunities for his team courtesy of his accurate long range passing. Adam also takes the penalties and packs a venomous long shot making him a scoring threat.
DJ Campbell (Striker)
A man in a rich vein of form, recently seems to always be in the right place at the right time to finish off moves, debatable how long this good fortune will last though!
A refreshingly attacking 433 tactic with 3 recognised strikers upfront, they are determined to attack even away from home and play in a pro-active fearless manner.
- Have scored more goals than every team outside the top 4
- Have only drawn 6 games the 2nd lowest amount
- 6th best away record, have scored 4th most and conceded 3rd most
- Joint highest scorers v top half opponents
- Blackpool have scored 1st 13 times and gone on to win 8 times from winning positions
- Have only failed to score 6 times, joint 3rd highest amount
- Have scored 6 goals from outside the area, the 2nd most
- Scored 11 goals from corners, more than any other team
- Have scored 6 goals from right crosses
- Have scored 6 goals in the last 5 minutes of matches
- Have the 2nd fewest yellow cards in the league
- Worst defence in the league
- The worst home record of the whole league
- Have conceded the joint highest first half goals and are the 3rd highest 1st half scorers
- Have the joint 4th worst 2nd half record, 2nd worst defence
- Blackpool have only won 1, drawn 2 and lost 13 after going behind 16 times
- Despite a favourable record, Blackpool have conceded the most and have only drawn 2 in 15 games v top half opponents
- 2nd worst record v bottom half opposition
- Are one of the worst teams on set pieces, having conceded 8 goals from corners, 5 goals from free kicks and have only scored 2 from free kicks
- Have given away a massive 12 goals in the last 5 minutes of matches
- Have conceded 6 goals from left crosses
- Charlie Adam has 10 yellows the highest amount
- Joint bottom on current form over the last 8 games with only 1 win
Holloway is as refreshing and attacking as his team on the pitch, always opinioniated, honest and entertaining. He is determined for his team to play attacking football and to above all else entertain.
ST DJ Campbell
Last Season: 14th
Bolton haven’t added any big names but they were a steady dependable team last season. Bolton lost as many home games as they won last season (7 each). I’ve been very impressed by their new South Korean midfielder, who seems very neat technically and has the vision and flair to create chances, which is something Bolton has lacked since Okocha departed a few years.
Manager Owen Coyle has turned a previously goal shy Elmander into a man that just can’t stop scoring.
Coyle has also had a positive effect on Davies scoring abilities as the striker is now complimenting his highly effective hold up play with a sprinkling of goals.
Gary Cahill (Central Defender)
The tall and dominating centre back has consistently impressed since his move from Aston Villa and was rewarded with a recent England appearance.
Not only is he a compotent defender but also a considerable threat from attacking set pieces, scoring 5 goals last season.
Even after Sam Allardyce’s depature Bolton still maintain an element of his physical philosophy courtesy of the ever present Kevin Davies and the rejuvenated Elmander upfront. Added to that Bolton have injected some creativity and flair to the flanks with the addition of South Korean Chung Yong Lee.
Matt Taylor offers a goal threat from set pieces, penalties and a potent shot from distance. Great choice for goal scoring value bets.
- 7th highest scorers
- Only lost 2 home games, and have the 6th best home league record and the 4th highest home goals count
- Have been drawing 16 games at half time, the 2nd most in the league and have the 2nd best 1st half defensive record
- The league’s 3rd highest 2nd half scorers
- Have scored 1st 14 times, winning 9, drawing 4 and only losing 1
- 5th best record v bottom half teams and have not lost once in 15 games
- Have scored 6 goals from free kicks and 5 from outside the area, 2 of the highest amounts in the league
- Scored 8 in the last 5 minutes of games
- 7th worst defence
- Joint 3rd worst away record, only won 2 away games, low away scorers
- 4th lowest 1st half scorers
- The 4th worst 2nd half defence
- Have the 17th worst record v top half teams, won 2 and lost 10 in 15 games
- Bolton have taken the lead 14 times, winning 9, drawing 4 and losing 1
- In the 15 games that the opposition have scored 1st Bolton have won 1, drawn 5 and lost 9
- Have conceded 9 goals from corners (the 3rd most)
- 4th most yellows and 3rd most reds
- One of the league’s most unproductive teams from crosses having only scored 3 goals from them
- Have only scored 3 times from corners and 5 headers
- Only 4 clean sheets
- Let-in alot of late goals, having conceded 6 between 75 – 80 minutes and another 7 in the last 5 minutes of games
Owen Colye’s attacking football philosophy has allowed Bolton’s creative players to flourish. As shown by their impressive performances this season.
442 with wingers
Last Season: 1st
Drogba at Chelsea is perhaps the most influential player in Europe, to clarify that I mean his presence in the team dictates the play to such an extent that he is the most important player. Whereas Messi at Barca, or Fabregas at Arsenal can be replaced to some degree, whereas Drogba is literally irreplacable. No other player can do what he does so well.
Essien (Centre Midfield)
Fantastic long range shot and seems to be operating slightly more advanced this season meaning he is more active in and around the box and venturing into more goal scoring positions.
Has unrivalled stamina that allows him to pop up all over the pitch and influence any game he is involved in.
Lampard (Attacking Midfield)
Lampard has been so reliable over the course of his Chelsea career that his 20+ goals from midfield are now just expected every season, and he is just as effective at creating goals for others.
Attacking 442 diamond or 433 that attempts to bring the full backs and midfield forward, allowing them to over-run and out-number the opposition in the final 3rd and create chances at will.
- Have the joint 3rd most wins in the league
- Have the 3rd lowest draw count
- 3rd highest scorers
- Best defense in the league overall, at home and away
- Have the second best 2nd half record, 2nd best attack and have conceded far fewer 2nd half goals than any other team
- Have scored 1st in 15 games this season, one of the league’s best records, going on to win 13 and draw 2
- Easily the best defence v the bottom half teams
- Have one of the league’s best scoring records on set pieces with 9 goals from corners and 5 goals from free kicks
- Have the best defensive record on corners, free kicks and right crosses, having conceded only 2 goals from corners and 1 goal from each of the others
- Have the joint most clean sheets in the league
- Have the 3rd best disciplinary record
- Top of the form table over the last 8 games
- If the opponent score 1st Chelsea have a very poor record, losing 7, winning 3 and only drawing 2, also have one of the lowest scoring records if the opposition score 1st
- Have failed to score in 8 games this season
- Have lost more games than Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs
- Inferior record compared to the rest of the top 4 v the bottom half teams
- Tend to concede most of their goals in the last 5 minutes of each half
- Over reliance on Drogba and Lampard for goals
- Ivanovic is one of the league’s worst yellow card offenders
LB Ashley Cole
Last Season: 8th
Cahill (Attacking Midfield)
Despite his small stature he is exceptional in the air and at launching himself above defender’s heads for crosses. He is also very alert in the area, his movement and anticipation make him arguably Everton’s biggest goal threat.
Arteta (Centre Midfielder)
Very classy play-maker, always composed, picks the right option more times than not and is a highly accurate passer. Add to that his set piece and long shot ability and you have one of the league’s most rounded players.
Baines (Left Back)
Despite playing in defence is one of Everton’s most productive players, comfortable in the final third attacking and quality crosser from the left wing.
Quite direct, favouring a quick tempo that gets the ball to the front players as quick as possible.
- Joint 5th least amount of losses
- 4th best away defence, and only lost 5 away games
- 5th best defensive record in the 2nd half of games
- Everton have lost 0nce the 13 times they have scored 1st this season, winning 8, drawing 4 and losing 1
- Have the 6th best record v top half teams, with the 3rd best attack
- Everton have scored 11 goals direct from left sided crosses, many more than any other team
- Everton have scored 9 goals from headers
- 3rd fewest yellow cards
- Have scored 7 goals in the last 5 minutes of games
- Have conceded only 2 goals in the last 10 minutes of games
- Have only won 9 games the joint 4th fewest in the league
- Have the joint 2nd most amount of draws
- have drawn the 2nd most away games
- have only been in a winning position in 7 games this season at half time
- 6th worst half time overall record
- including just the 2nd half of games Everton have the joint highest amount of draws with 16 and 5th best defence
- The opposition have scored 1st v Everton 15 times, and Everton have only come back to win 1, drawing 7 and losing 7
- 4th lowest scorers v bottom half teams and the joint 2nd lowest amount of wins
- Only team in the league not to have scored a penalty
- Have conceded 11 goals from headers, 2nd worst and 6 goals from right crosses, the 3rd worst
David Moyes has performed a steady if unspectacular job at Everton, making sizable improvements to the quality of the playing squad while working within a tight budget to keep the club running smoothly.
Unfortunately Everton do-not have the funds to compete with the bigger teams, but have bought well by buying up unproven players from the lower leagues and mixing them with a select few foreign players.
4411 with wingers
Last Season: 12th
Has added an aggressive streak to his game that has seen him score more goals. Holds up the ball excellently which allows the other players to swamp around him for the lay off.
Usually operates on the left flank but still manages to get the goals and be one of Fulham’s regular scorers.
Hangeland (Central Defender)
The tall defender is an obvious target for attacking set pieces, making him a regular threat in the opposition’s area. Has also played an integral part in Fulham’s robust defence over the last 2 years.
Quite a conservative defence and midfield, use Zamora’s new found assertive attitude and feed off his strength to bring in others and create openings.
- Have drawn 14, the highest amount of the whole league
- 5th best defence
- Have only lost 9 games, fewer than any team outside the top 5 except Everton
- 6 home draws, 2nd highest amount
- Joint 3rd best away defence
- 5th best record overall and 2nd best defence in the 2nd half of games
- In contrast to their record when scoring 1st, if the opposition score 1st Fulham have the 5th best record, in 14 games, coming back to win once, draw 7 and losing only 6
- Have only lost twice v bottom half opposition, winning 5 and drawing 8
- Scored 11 goals from headers, the joint 2nd highest amount in the league
- Have The Premiership’s best disciplinary record with the lowest yellow card count 35 and no reds
- 10 clean sheets, 4th highest
- 3rd best defence over the last 8 games
- Scored 6 goals in the last 5 minutes of games
- Have only conceded once in the last 10 minutes of games
- Joint 3rd lowest scorers
- Have only won 7 games all-season, the joint 2nd fewest of the whole league
- Have drawn 14, the highest amount
- 4th lowest home goals
- Have only won 1 away game, joint lowest and drawn 8 away, the joint highest
- Joint 3rd lowest away scorers
- 4th worst 1st half record, 4th lowest 1st half scorers
- Have been losing 13 times going into half time, 2nd highest amount
- 4th lowest scorers in the 2nd half of games
- Fulham have one of the league’s fewest points total when taking the lead, having taken the lead 11 times, they have only gone on to win 6, draw 2 and lose 3
- Have only won twice v top half teams, and are the 3rd lowest scorers
- Failed to score in 8 games
Last Season: 7th
Gerrard (Attacking Midfielder)
Such is Gerrard’s importance to the team, I would go as far as to say if he is not playing, think about betting against Liverpool. He is everything to the team, creator, scorer and captain.
Seems to have it all! Pace matched with excellent aerial ability and an eagle eye for goal. Time will tell whether this season’s handful of impressive games are a flash in the pan, or concrete justification for Liverpool’s extravagant transfer fee.
- Have only drawn 6 games, the 3rd fewest draws
- 4th best home record, with the 4th best home defence
- Joint 2nd best 1st half defence
- 3rd highest scorers v top half opposition
- Have scored 1st 20 times, the joint 2nd most
- Failed to score in only 5 games
- Joint 3rd most clean sheets with 11
- Have won 6 of the last 8 games, and only conceded 5
- Only team to have not conceded direct from a left sided cross
- Lost 11 games, 5th highest
- Joint 10th worst away record, with only 4 wins, 2 draws and 9 lost
- 5th worst away attacking record
- In contrast to their 1st half record, in the 2nd half of games Liverpool have the joint fewest draws with 8 and the 5th most losses with 11, they are also the 8th lowest 2nd half scorers
- Despite scoring 1st 20 times this season, Liverpool have only gone on to win 12, drawing 5 and losing 3
- In the 9 games Liverpool have conceded first, they have only scored 6 and gone on to win only once, losing all the other 8 games
- Have lost 6 times v bottom half opponents
- Have conceded 6 in the last 5 minutes of games
- Have only scored 3 from corners
- Non-existant squad depth, STILL no wingers!
- Over reliance on Gerrard for creativity and goals