We are now just 10 games away from the end of the Premier League campaign.
While the relegation battle looks fairly straightforward with both Fulham and Huddersfield Town seemingly likely to go down, things at the top are heating up.
Liverpool lead the league by just a point ahead of defending champions Manchester City while Tottenham Hotspur’s title hopes are all-but over now they are nine points adrift.
Behind them, the race for fourth is just as tight with only three points separating fourth-placed Arsenal and Chelsea in sixth, sandwiched either side of a resurgent Manchester United.
It sets up an exciting final stretch of the season where the finest of details could be campaign-changing. People often talk of the strength of the teams in the so-called ‘Big Six’, but what of the weaknesses?
Where could it all go wrong for these six teams? Read on to find out every ‘Big Six’ club’s biggest statistical weakness from this season.
Key stat: Liverpool have converted just 2.7% of their shots from outside the area in the Premier League this season.
In the past, Liverpool’s biggest weakness has been their defence, with the frailties costing them the league title in 2013/14. But this season Jurgen Klopp has formed one of the best defences in recent Premier League history, shifting just 15 goals so far.
This has helped the Reds climb to the top of the table with 10 games to play, putting Liverpool in a good position to win a first league title since 1990. But one thing which could potentially derail their challenge comes from their attack.
Liverpool have scored 64 goals so far this season, second only to Manchester City, but just four of these gave come from outside the area only three of those in open play.
This record is the worst among the Big Six and joint-11th best overall, alongside Liecester City and Huddersfield Town.
Liverpool fans may not be bothered by this at its simplest, but it comes despite Liverpool taking the sixth-most shots from outside the area with 148, 41 of which have been on target.
These shots have often come with Liverpool running out of ideas when trying to break down tough defences, as shown in their goalless draw with Manchester United. Then, Liverpool managed just seven shots – three of which came from outside the area.
To make things more interesting, Liverpool have the player with the most Premier League goals from outside the area last season on their books. But Xherdan Shaqiri, who managed five last year, has just the one to his name this season.
Key stat: Manchester City have dropped nine points from winning positions in the Premier League this season.
When you’re trying to retain your Premier League title with a team as rampant as Liverpool pushing you all the way, you really need to take maximum points wherever possible.
Already, Manchester City have dropped more points this season (16) than they did in the entirety of the previous campaign (14), ruling out the possibilities of another 100-plus points tally.
Their title rivals Liverpool have only dropped one fewer point, but it is the manner of City’s dropped points that bring a worry.
City have lost four games in the Premier League this season, against Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Newcastle United.
Of those defeats, City had taken the lead on three occasions, with only Chelsea holding firm in their 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
This record of nine points dropped from winning positions is the worst among the big six this season, with only six teams in the Premier League dropping more – all sitting 10th or lower.
Key stat: Tottenham have failed 751 passes in their own half this season, the third-worst record in the Premier League.
Over the past few years, the desire for teams to play out from the back has increased. With the use of big, powerful centre-forward decreasing, teams are reluctant to have their goalkeepers kick long.
As a result, the amount of teams playing passes inside their own half has increased as they look to move the ball up the pitch, opening gaps in their opponents’ midfield. When it works, it looks beautiful; fans love goals preceded by 30 passes in the build-up.
Spurs had managed at least one shot on target in each of their last 179 Premier League games under Mauricio Pochettino.
Tonight was the first time they did not register a single one. 😬 pic.twitter.com/yK8R4e3o4F
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 27, 2019
But there’s a big danger of playing out from the back, too, of course. One misplaced pass is all it takes to undo the build-up, putting pressure on your own goal, something Tottenham have done far too many times this season.
Spurs have attempted the fifth-most passes in their own half this season with an impressive 7,368. But Mauricio Pochettino’s men have failed 752 of those, with only Wolves (799) and Fulham (762) failing more in their own half in the Premier League this season.
Fortunately for Spurs, it has not been too detrimental on their goals-conceded column, given that they boast the joint-third best defence in the Premier League, but Pochettino’s side are living dangerously.
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Key stat: Arsenal have made the most defensive errors leading to goals in the Premier League this season (9).
One of the many problems for Arsenal under Arsene Wenger was the inability most of their defenders seemed to have when it came to actually defending.
And it is something Unai Emery has been unable to rectify. The Gunners, sitting fourth in the Premier League, have been most generous to their opponents this season giving them the best opportunities to attack their own goal.
Arsenal have made the most defensive errors in the Premier League this season with 22, with nine of those leading to goals – again the most in the division.
To put that into perspective, a team fighting for a Champions League place have made more errors in defence than Fulham, the team who have conceded 63 goals in 28 games.
Bernd Leno is Arsenal’s worst offender for defensive errors, committing three, all of which have led to goals, while Granit Xhaka, Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin have also made three errors – though they have not been as costly as their goalkeeper.
Key stat: Only three teams have won possession in the attacking third fewer times than Manchester United this season (87).
Much like playing out from the back, high pressing is another tactic growing in use in the Premier League. By applying pressure on opposing defenders, teams have a much bigger chance of scoring when winning the ball high up the pitch.
But this is not something Manchester United have been doing very well this season. The Red Devils have won possession in the attacking third just 87 times this season, with only Brighton and Hove Albion (80), West Ham United (80) and Fulham (75) doing so on fewer occasions.
However, this is something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been working on since he replaced Jose Mourinho in December. With Mourinho in charge, United had the second-lowest record in the Premier League, winning possession in the attacking third 47 times in 17 games.
But since Solskjaer took over, that number is 40 in just 11 games. This is still some way off the top in that spell but is an improvement on the safety-first tactics employed by Mourinho earlier in the season.
Key stat: Chelsea have converted 39.71% of their big chances this season, a record bettered by nine other teams in the division.
After a bright start, Sarri-ball has encountered serious problems at Stamford Bridge, with several weaknesses being pointed out among the Chelsea side.
But perhaps the biggest is their toothless nature in front of goal. Of strikers used in the Premier League this season, Alvaro Morata – now on loan at Atletico Madrid – remains Chelsea’s top scorer with five goals. January loan-signing Gonzalo Higuain is second with two, while Olivier Giroud has scored one.
Though the goals have come from elsewhere, with Eden Hazard scoring 12 and Pedro eight, the Blues have been missing far too many chances for a side trying to challenge for the top four.
Chelsea have converted just 39.71% of their big chances this season, by far the worst of the ‘Big Six’ sides.
But it’s not just big chances, Chelsea have created 337 chances in total this season, the second-highest in the Premier League behind only Manchester City (364).
However, the west Londoners have scored just 47 goals – averaging 7.17 chances created for every goal scored, a similar record to the likes of Wolves and Brighton.