10 Premier League clubs’ biggest strengths

Sharing the burden.No club shared out the goalscoring burden more than Arsenal last season, with 17 different players finding the net in the Premier League. Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang will lead the charge going into the new campaign, but new head coach Unai Emery will hope those in supporting roles continue to pose a threat up front as they target a return to the Champions League. Seventeen different goalscorers found the net for Arsenal last season
Seventeen different goalscorers found the net for Arsenal last season

Punishing on the counter. Liverpool were simply devastating on the counter last season, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino proving a tricky trio to handle. The Reds scored nine goals from fast breaks, one more than Tottenham – both clubs created 26 chances from fast breaks – and two ahead of Leicester.

Manchester City
Top-six victors. It’s difficult to know where to begin with Manchester City, who broke all manner of records when clinching the Premier League title with 100 points. Crucially, they won the top-six mini table, picking up 24 points by winning eight and losing two against the remaining five teams – Man United (19pts), Tottenham (13pts), Chelsea (12pts), Liverpool (10pts) and Arsenal (7pts). A repeat performance would surely ensure the trophy remains at the Etihad.Manchester City won eight and lost two of their games against the fellow big-six sides

Manchester United
Shutting up shop. David de Gea picked up the Golden Glove award for the first time last season after keeping 18 of United’s 19 clean sheets. The ability to shut out their opponents in every other game helped them secure second, boasting the second-best defence (28 goals conceded) – one behind City

Defending a lead .Spurs were one of three teams who did not lose a game after taking the lead, along with Manchester United and Liverpool. Mauricio Pochettino’s side led on 25 occasions and went on to win 23 of those games, drawing the other two, a metric they’ll hope to replicate as they look to turn their new stadium into a fortress.

Leicester City
Converting chances .Deadly on the counter-attack, Leicester were also clinical when it came to taking their chances in the previous campaign, finding themselves narrowly behind Manchester City (20.7 per cent) and Manchester United (19.77 per cent) when it comes to shot conversion rate (18.24 per cent) – a total helped by Jamie Vardy, who scored 20 goals, a 33.9 per cent hit rate.

Clearing the danger .Everton recovered from a poor start to the 2017-18 season by finishing eighth, and few teams were as busy defensively as the Toffees. They produced 617 headed clearances and 514 interceptions, both ranked as the third-highest in the league, while 1229 clearances in total was a league high.

Heads, you win .Alvaro Morata’s seven headed goals only begins to tell the story of Chelsea’s threat in the air last season, with the Blues managing 17 in total – four more than second-place Arsenal. Antonio Rudiger and Marcos Alonso both chipped in with two headers, but whether crosses form part of Maurizio Sarri’s approach remains to be seen.

Set-piece and comeback kings. Eddie Howe’s side impressed on two fronts last season. Not only did they score a league-high 16 goals from set-pieces (Man City and Arsenal both recorded 15), but they also proved to be kings of the comeback, recovering 21 points from losing positions – no club could top that.

Possession masters. Fulham played a unique brand of football in the Sky Bet Championship last season, and they can only hope it pays off in the Premier League after securing a play-off final win over Aston Villa. Having averaged 60.39 per cent possession, no team in the second tier looked more comfortable on the ball than Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, but replicating that will be no mean feat in the upcoming campaign.

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