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reality check

11 facts, stats and quirks that will make you think very differently about the Premier League this season

After this your entire outlook on the current Premier League campaign will change dramatically

Have you been watching the Premier League closely this season?

Even the most eagle-eyed fans may be surprised by these stats from the current campaign…

1 It’s so easy to get the ball off Dele Alli

Real Madrid are desperate to land Tottenham hotshot Dele Alli

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What you going to do, swear at OPTA?

The Spurs midfielder is renowned for his close control and his ability to link up with Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane.

Not according to the numbers.

Only Jordan Ayew (24) has been tackled more times than Alli (21).

2 Only the very best teams get red cards

Manchester City will really miss Raheem Sterling after he was sent off against Bournemouth

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Classic Mike Dean

Defending champions Chelsea (3) and title favourites Man City (2) are the only two teams to have had more than one player sent off.

Antonio Conte has seen three of his most experienced and important players dismissed — Cesc Fabregas, Gary Cahill and David Luiz are all the wrong side of 30 these days and should know better.

3 Sergio Aguero and Romelu Lukaku are just as wasteful as Joselu

Joselu leaps in celebration after he scrambed in the equaliser for Newcastle

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You’re in good company

Newcastle’s new recruit has gained a reputation as the wrong man to have in the right place.

But the stats say hotshots Aguero and Lukaku have both missed the same number of clearcut chances (5) this season.

Only Christian Benteke (6) has missed more… which is probably why Palace are yet to award a Goal of the Month.


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4 Toby Alderweireld is a liability

Toby Alderweireld has been linked with a move to Chelsea

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Hear us out on this one…

Spurs’ slick-haired centre-back is a rock, right? Impenetrable, ultra-reliable, error-free since 2003?

Wrong.

The Belgian has the second-most bookings to his name so far (3) alongside serial fouler Oriol Romeu, long-time hothead Wayne Rooney, and a few others.

Jason Puncheon and Pablo Zabaleta lead the way with four cautions each.

5 Cesar Azpilicueta is a better playmaker than Kevin De Bruyne

Cesar Azpilicueta has proven to be useful anywhere across the back-four

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Even non-Chelsea fans have a soft spot for this man

KDB’s form has been nothing short of sensational up until now but his tally of three assists in the league is eclipsed by Azpilicueta’s four.

Chelsea’s dependable Spaniard has exhibited superb distribution from the back and his ball over the top for Alvaro Morata’s first against Stoke wouldn’t look out of place in a David Beckham YouTube compilation.

Good old Dave.

6 Harry Kane can’t hit a barn door

Harry Kane has been left frustrated all too often this season, including in the 0-0 draw against Swansea, when he rattled one against the bar

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Okay, we’re stretching a bit with this one…

The two-time Golden Boot winner has let off 44 shots — 13 more than Lukaku in second place.

He has six goals to show for his efforts but he has also had more unsuccessful shots than anyone else.

Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Jesus may both be two goals behind Kane but they’ve been more efficient, taking just 16 and 17 shots respectively.

Although… you could say that’s a lesson for all forwards. Just shoot more often.

7 Harry Kane could be walking the Golden Boot already…

Harry Kane has now hit the woodwork five times in the Prem this season

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Okay, so he is quite good

Spurs’ No10 has hit the woodwork five times — way more than any other player this season.

Jesus (1) is the only other player out of his main Golden Boot rivals to be frustrated by the frame so far.

8 Chris Wood has a lot in common with Pippo Inzaghi

Chris Wood didn't hold back from celebrating after he netted against former employers Leeds

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Don’t celebrate just yet, pal

Not so much in the goalscoring stakes more in the fact he’s been living offisde.

The Burnley target man has been flagged 12 times in just five games, comfortably ahead of Morata, Kane and Steve Mounie and Jay Rodriguez (all 7).

Sir Alex once claimed that Inzaghi was born offside and it seems Wood plans on retiring there.

9 Richarlison gets stuck in more than most defenders and defensive midfielders

Certy

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Certy

Watford’s 20-year-old Brazilian has been one of the league’s brightest attacking talents but he doesn’t switch off when the Hornets lose possession.

Richarlison is the only attack-minded player to have completed 20 successful tackles.

That puts him 9th overall, above the likes of Nacho Monreal, Nemanja Matic and Tiemoue Bakayoko.

10 Granit Xhaka? More like Granit Xavi!

Granit Xhaka has warned the Manchester clubs that Arsenal are chasing them

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Metronome

The Swiss international was heavily criticised during August but his partnership with Aaron Ramsey has clicked in recent weeks.

No player has completed more passes than Xhaka this season (592) as the Gunners’ midfielder leads Fernandinho, Jan Vertonghen, David Silva and the rest.

11 Marouane Fellaini is as much of a goal threat as Sadio Mane

Marouane Fellaini appears to have rediscovered his peak Everton form

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All hail the King

Liverpool fans have been using Fellaini as a punchline for years but this season the burly Belgian has become a key component in Jose Mourinho’s Man United machine.

He’s bagged three goals as well — the same as Reds star Mane who is considered one of the league’s biggest threats.

Not bad for a Sideshow Bob lookalike, eh?

ALL STATS PROVIDED BY OPTA VIA THE PREMIER LEAGUE.


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