Lewis Hamilton may have wrapped up the Formula One drivers' title last time out, but he will have a personal milestone in his sights at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Hamilton clinched his sixth championship and third in succession by finishing second at the United States Grand Prix, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas claiming the win.

Bottas will be seeking to break new ground in his F1 career with another victory at Interlagos, a circuit at which Red Bull's Max Verstappen has shown great pace in recent years.

With the help of Opta, we look at the standout statistics ahead of this weekend's race in Brazil.

 

11 - Hamilton has 10 wins this season and can equal his personal best of 11 in a single year with victory in Brazil.

2 - Bottas has won two of the past three F1 races but has never secured back-to-back victories.

4 - The drivers' championship has been decided at the Brazilian GP six times – more than at any other track. However, the title has been sealed before this race in four of the past five seasons.

15 - Kimi Raikkonen's 2007 success at Interlagos was the only time in the past 15 Brazilian GPs that a driver has triumphed having not started from the front row of the grid.

312 - Alfa Romeo driver Raikkonen will take part in his 312th grand prix in F1, joining Fernando Alonso in second on the all-time appearance list. Only Rubens Barrichello (323) has more.

6 - Mercedes will equal Williams' record of six successive pole positions at this race if Hamilton or Bottas qualify first.

33 - The Silver Arrows can match their F1 record of 33 podiums in a single season from 2016 by getting both drivers to finish in the top three.

9 - Ferrari have taken as many pole positions as Mercedes this season (nine each); the last time the Scuderia topped this ranking across a season was in 2008 when they secured eight, level with McLaren. However, Charles Leclerc will take a new power unit and is expected to receive a grid penalty of at least 10 places.

2 - Verstappen has recorded two of the past three fastest laps at the Brazilian GP, more than in any other race in his F1 career.

Unai Emery reached the milestone of 50 Premier League matches in charge of Arsenal on Saturday in the 2-0 defeat at Leicester City, but an overriding sense of disappointment is all he has managed to establish at the club.

Emery arrived in 2018 as Arsene Wenger's replacement, with the Frenchman ultimately paying the price for going 14 years without winning the title.

In fairness to Wenger, spending at the club was significantly reduced in the wake of their move to the Emirates Stadium, particularly when compared to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool over the same period.

It was hoped Emery's introduction would bring a fresh approach and winning mentality after years of stagnation at Arsenal. However, despite his trophy successes in previous spells with Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain, some – justifiably – had doubts about the Spaniard's style of play and training methods often criticised as boring.

After reaching 50 Premier League games, it is difficult at present to see him lasting much longer and his record compared to the division's best highlights the gulf in class.

Going backwards after Wenger

Emery's Arsenal have averaged 1.74 points per game across his 50 matches in the top flight. Of those in charge of the traditional 'big six', that figure is only better than Mauricio Pochettino (1.7) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (1.30) over their 50 most recent Premier League games – though the latter's figures are obviously skewed by his spell at Cardiff City.

That's where the positives end in terms of points per game for Emery, however.

Jurgen Klopp (2.62) and Pep Guardiola (2.52) are way out in front over their past 50 matches, while Frank Lampard – who has only taken charge of 12 in the Premier League – has accumulated a respectable 2.17 points per outing.

Similarly, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has done significantly better, averaging 1.84 points per game across his last 50 matches in the Premier League with Liverpool and the Foxes.

But the real kicker is the comparison with the much-maligned Wenger, whose 1.76 average means he too collected more points over his final 50 games at Arsenal than Emery has in his first 50.

Way behind the most prolific scorers

Wenger's Arsenal also scored more than Emery's side. During the Frenchman's final 50 games, they scored 96 times, seven more than they have with the Basque coach.

City have set the bar in terms of scoring over the period in question, netting 130 times, 12 more than Liverpool.

Defensively it is the other way round. While City's record of 33 allowed is exceptional, Liverpool's is even better at just 31.

Arsenal's defensive woes have been well-documented under Emery, with Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Sokratis Papastathopoulos hardly convincing.

As such, they have conceded 68 times since the start of last season, more than double both City and Liverpool and four more than in Wenger's final stretch.

Emery's already had enough time to solve issues

Emery can at least point to the fact he has lost fewer matches (13) than Wenger (16) did over the periods highlighted, though it's a pretty hollow victory.

Klopp and Liverpool again set the standard here, having lost just one of their past 50 Premier League matches, though even Rodgers has been beaten fewer times than Emery over his 50 most recent games, losing 12.

The overarching issue for Arsenal and Emery is a complete lack of identity, something one can certainly argue they still had even in Wenger's latter days.

While these statistics highlight how far behind the Premier League's leading pair Arsenal are, their lack of a discernible style and direction is arguably the main problem, one Emery probably will not get much more time to fix.

After all, there is little doubt they have regressed under his stewardship.

Some players thrive under the spotlight more than others – Liverpool will hope Sadio Mane proves his mettle against Manchester City, when the focus will be on him for more than one reason.

Mane has established himself as one of the Premier League's great entertainers and arguably Liverpool's biggest attacking threat, yet he has also earned himself a reputation as a purveyor of the dark arts – or "diving", as Pep Guardiola put it on Saturday.

Earlier that day, Mane had gone down very easily in the penalty area during Liverpool's 2-1 win at Aston Villa. Under pressure from Frederic Guilbert, the forward theatrically went to ground and was swiftly shown a yellow card for simulation by referee Jon Moss.

Jurgen Klopp and Mane have had their say since and come to the conclusion that the Senegal forward is not a "diver" – and even Guardiola appeared to backtrack – yet this weekend he will come under intense scrutiny over his conduct, performance and attitude, particularly given that this was by no means the first time the former Southampton star courted flak for diving.

Considering Mane's importance to Liverpool, Klopp will be desperate for him to harness that attention to the Reds' benefit on the big stage, something Sergio Aguero has become remarkably adept at. 

Aguero the benchmark

Since joining City from Atletico Madrid in 2011, Aguero's productivity in games against the so-called "big six" has been truly remarkable.

In 67 matches, Aguero has scored 44 goals from 241 shots with a conversion rate of 18.3 per cent. Against any standard of opposition that would be considered outstanding – to boast such a record against the Premier League's best is astonishing.

But he is yet to score in seven trips to Anfield, making it his least favourite away ground. 

Jamie Vardy is the closest to Aguero in terms of goals, with 31 in 59 matches. While that may not be as impressive, the fact that haul comes from 109 shots – giving him a startling 28.4 per cent conversion rate – suggests he relishes such occasions like few others.

Mane's record of 18 goals in 53 matches against the top sides may pale in comparison, but it remains impressive and is bettered by only six players.

Sadio the main Mane at Anfield

There is little doubt Mane has become the most influential attacker at Liverpool this season, with 12 goal involvements (nine goals, three assists). Mohamed Salah has 10 split equally between goals and assists, while Roberto Firmino is on nine (five goals, four assists).

Mane's nine goals across all competitions may not be groundbreaking, but it is only one shy of Raheem Sterling and two fewer than Aguero.

He has proven to be a vital creator for the Reds as well, laying on 29 chances for team-mates, six more than Firmino and eight better than Salah.

It is also worth pointing out Mane's 20.9 per cent conversion rate, as that too is significantly better than those posted by Salah (7.9 per cent) and Firmino (13.2 per cent).

Mane out to make a splash

Mane's reply to Guardiola after Liverpool's Champions League win over Genk suggested he is handling the situation rather comfortably.

Not only did he admit he would do what he did against Villa – what he considered to not be a dive – again, he insisted Guardiola's comments won't change him.

Given he has established himself as Liverpool's chief attacking threat, that'll be music to the ears of Klopp as he prepares his side to potentially go nine points clear at the Premier League summit.

Klopp will hope Mane can make a splash of the right kind against the champions at Anfield.

The San Francisco 49ers are the last unbeaten team remaining in the NFL, though that record will come under threat in Week 10 when they face the Seattle Seahawks and MVP candidate Russell Wilson.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Cincinnati Bengals - now the only franchise without a win in 2019 - meet the Baltimore Ravens, who will be buoyed by their win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay will look to continue his impressive record against AFC teams in Pittsburgh, while the Miami Dolphins, fresh off their first win over the New York Jets, will look to finally get a victory on the road.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we take a look at the Week 10 match-ups.

THURSDAY (all times Eastern)

Chargers (4-5) at Raiders (4-4), 8:20pm

- The Chargers have won three straight Thursday night games and are 7-3 since the league started putting games on that day in 2006.

- Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers has thrown at least one touchdown in 23 straight games against Oakland. Only Brett Favre (26 against the Chicago Bears) and Dan Marino (24 against the Jets) have longer streaks against a single opponent.

- Josh Jacobs has rushed for 740 yards this season, eclipsing Bo Jackson to record the most by a Raider through their first eight games.

SUNDAY

Lions (3-4-1) @ Bears (3-5), 1pm

- Despite their record, the Lions are one of three teams (along with the Kansas City Chiefs and 49ers) to have led in every game this season.

- Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford is expected to play his 150th NFL game. He already has the most completions (3,559) and passing yards (41,025) through 150 games in NFL history.

- Stafford's counterpart Mitchell Trubisky has thrown for just 8.95 yards per completion this season. He is on course to have the fewest yards per completion of any Bears quarterback ever.

Falcons (1-7) @ Saints (7-1), 1pm

- Both the Falcons and Saints are coming off a bye. Since 2009, they are both 8-2 following a bye - the joint second-best record in the NFL in that time behind the Ravens (9-2).

- Atlanta have lost six straight games, though, and have not dropped seven in a row since 2003.

- Two weeks ago Julio Jones recorded his 14th regular-season game with at least 150 receiving yards, tied for the most of any active player along with free agent Antonio Brown.

Chiefs (6-3) @ Titans (4-5), 1pm

- Patrick Mahomes may return this week, but the Chiefs have gone 1-1 with Matt Moore filling in. The two quarterbacks have combined for 19 touchdown passes, one interception and a 109.8 passer rating this season.

- Tennessee have been shut out in the first half on four occasions this season. They are 0-5 when trailing at the break and 4-0 when not behind.

- Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been sacked on 10 per cent of his dropbacks this season - the third highest among QBs with 100 or more attempts. Marcus Mariota, now Tannehill's backup, has the highest sack rate with 13.6 per cent.

Ravens (6-2) @ Bengals (0-8), 1pm

- Baltimore have scored 40 points on opening drives this season and have yet to concede any on their opponents' first offensive series.

- Lamar Jackson has rushed for at least 60 yards in five successive games - the second time the second-year quarterback has achieved that feat in his career. Michael Vick is the only QB in the Super Bowl era to rush for 60-plus yards in more than five straight games (six).

- The only Bengal to score a rushing touchdown this year is quarterback Andy Dalton, who has found the endzone three times on the ground.

Bills (6-2) @ Browns (2-6), 1pm

- The last time the Browns beat the Bills, Rob Chudzinski was their head coach. Buffalo have won four of their previous five meetings.

- Buffalo are 3-0 on the road for the first time since 1993, the last time they went to the Super Bowl. The previous time they went 4-0 was in 1965.

- Baker Mayfield has only thrown seven passing touchdowns this season and the Browns have the second fewest scores through the air in 2019.

Giants (2-7) @ Jets (1-7), 1pm

- The Giants have given up the most points since their five-game losing streak began in Week 5 (158) and have 12 turnovers in that time - only the Jets (14) have coughed the ball up more frequently.

- Jets running back Le'Veon Bell is one of only three players with at least half of his team's touches this season (51.7 per cent). The other two are Christian McCaffrey (55.2 per cent) and Nick Chubb (51.6 per cent).

- Saquon Barkley has not had a rushing touchdown in consecutive games. He has never gone three games without a rushing score in his NFL career.

Cardinals (3-5-1) @ Buccaneers (2-6), 1pm

- Tampa Bay have lost five successive games at home. Only the Washington Redskins (eight) have a longer active winless streak on their own patch.

- Arizona are the first team to go five games without a turnover since the 2017 Chiefs. The Cardinals' four turnovers are the fewest in the NFL this season.

- Eight of the previous nine meetings between these two have been one-possession games.

Dolphins (1-7) @ Colts (5-3), 4:05pm

- Miami have lost 10 straight games on the road and will equal the franchise record, set between 2006 and 2008, if they fail to get a victory on Sunday.

- Colts veteran Adam Vinatieri is the first kicker to miss at least five field goals and five extra points over his team's first eight games since 1988.

- Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick needs two more passing touchdowns to reach 200 for his career.

Panthers (5-3) @ Packers (7-2), 4:25pm

- Kyle Allen, who will get the start again after Cam Newton was placed on injured reserve, leads the NFL with a 116.7 passer rating in the red zone.

- The future appears bright for the Panthers, who have had a combined 2,393 scrimmage yards from players aged 23 or younger - by far the biggest total in the league.

- Green Bay have gone three straight weeks without a turnover and have had six such games in total in 2019 - the joint-most along with the Arizona Cardinals.

Rams (5-3) @ Steelers (4-4), 4:25pm

- Since McVay took over as head coach in 2017, the Rams are 10-0 against AFC teams in the regular season and have a 16-4 overall record on the road - the best in the NFL over that span.

- Pittsburgh have forced three or more turnovers in four successive games. The Steelers are second in takeaways in the NFL this season, behind only the Patriots.

- On the other side of the ball, Pittsburgh have allowed the fewest sacks (eight) in 2019.

Vikings (6-3) @ Cowboys (5-3), 8:20pm

- The Vikings are looking to sweep the NFC East having won all three of their games so far by a margin of at least 10 points.

- Dallas are 4-0 against fellow NFC East foes and have scored 35 points on average, yet they are 1-3 against teams outside their division.

- Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook leads the league in games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage (seven).

MONDAY

Seahawks (7-2) @ 49ers (8-0), 8:15pm

- Seven of Seattle's nine games this season have been decided by one score, including six of their seven wins.

- Wilson has thrown 22 touchdowns to just one interception this season and he has had five games with a passer rating of 130.0 or higher - one shy of the all-time single-season record, held by Aaron Rodgers (2011) and Tony Romo (2014).

- Jimmy Garoppolo posted his higher passing rating of the season last time out (136.9) and did not throw an interception for only the second time in 2019.

Talk of diving and tactical fouls has only added fuel to the fire as Liverpool and Manchester City face off in a mouth-watering top-of-the-table Premier League clash at Anfield.

The unbeaten league-leading Reds needed an 87th-minute header from Andy Robertson and an injury-time winner from Sadio Mane to defeat Aston Villa 2-1 last time out and preserve a six-point cushion over City.

Champions City needed to rally themselves to overcome Southampton, after which manager Pep Guardiola stoked the fires by saying of Liverpool's star forward Mane: "Sometimes he [Mane] is diving. Sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute. He's a talent."

It was a suggestion Klopp bridled at and, although Guardiola later sought to clarify the meaning of his comments, Liverpool's German boss could not resist a cheeky jibe at past accusations his rival's side commit "tactical fouls".

It has undoubtedly added an intriguing sub-plot ahead of one of the most eagerly awaited Premier League matches in recent memory as Liverpool seek to significantly boost their bid to end a near 30-year wait for top-flight glory.

Last season, Liverpool lost just once in the league but still missed out by a solitary point to City, who it is fair to say have failed to excel when playing at Anfield.

 

PEP'S KLOPP HOODOO ENDING?

Guardiola's record would stand up against any coach he has faced, but in Klopp he undoubtedly has a genuine rival.

Since becoming Barcelona boss in 2008, Guardiola has lost more matches across all competitions against the former Borussia Dortmund coach than any other manager, with the German triumphing on seven occasions.

City's Catalan boss is unbeaten in his past three encounters with Klopp; however, never before has he gone four games without losing against him.

In the Premier League, there is no splitting the duo with Guardiola and Klopp holding two wins apiece and a couple of draws from the six times they have faced one another in the competition.

Klopp should take solace from some home comforts. Five of the seven wins he holds over Guardiola have come when his team have been at their own stadium, including three with Liverpool at Anfield.

Under Guardiola, City have failed to score in just six of 62 Premier League away games and three of those have come on Merseyside – two against Liverpool and once against Everton.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: ALISSON V EDERSON

Alisson and Ederson are not just rivals for the gloves at international level with Brazil, they are also crucial to the way Liverpool and City play.

The Reds forked out a reported £66.8million to sign Alisson from Roma in July 2018 and that outlay was repaid during a fine Golden Glove-winning debut season that yielded 21 clean sheets and saw just 22 goals conceded.

Injury has restricted Liverpool's first-choice keeper to just four league outings this term, including the opener against Norwich when he was subbed off with a calf problem, and he has an impressive minutes-to-goals-conceded ratio of 103.

Crucial to modern-day goalkeeping is the ability to play out from the back and Alisson brings that to the Reds, boasting a passing accuracy of 83.9 per cent.

Ederson has been equally crucial to City's domestic dominance under Guardiola, winning the Premier League title in his first two campaigns at the Etihad Stadium, including a league, FA Cup and EFL Cup treble in 2018-19.

This term, he has kept five clean sheets in 11 league appearances, conceding 10 goals and possessing a save percentage of 74.4.

As expected, Ederson's passing accuracy is high – 90.1 per cent – and he will have to be typically quick with his feet against the brilliance of Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

FORM GUIDE: ANFIELD A FORTRESS FOR LIVERPOOL

Liverpool are unbeaten in 28 consecutive Premier League games, which represents the eighth best streak in the competition's history.

At Anfield, Klopp's side are on an even more impressive run having not tasted defeat on home soil in 45 league games – only Chelsea's 86-game run that ended in October 2008 can beat that.

City will have to go some to prevent Liverpool from finding the back of the net, with the Merseysiders scoring in 20 straight league matches – the last time they failed to register was a goalless draw with Everton in March.

Guardiola's side have lost two of their last seven league games, having been beaten just once in 23 prior to that, but they have won 13 of their past 15 away matches.

Liverpool only have one win from their most recent five league encounters with City – a 4-3 triumph at Anfield in January 2018 – but have not lost at home against the Citizens since May 2003.

Impressively, Liverpool have taken a league-high 10 points from losing positions already this season, winning their last two Premier League games despite conceding first – they have never achieved the feat in three straight matches in the competition.

HISTORY SAYS...

Liverpool have a formidable home record against City, losing just one of their last 28 games at Anfield against this Sunday's visitors – the lone defeat being a 2-1 setback in May 2003.

Indeed, their most recent 16 encounters with City at Anfield have returned 11 wins and five draws.

However, Liverpool's only defeat in their past 50 Premier League games against all opposition came against Guardiola's side in January.

City should be wary of the fact Liverpool have won more Premier League games against reigning champions (21) than any other team in the competition's history, last losing a home match in such a circumstance against Manchester United in December 2007.

Cristiano Ronaldo is chasing another slice of history when Juventus travel to Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Tottenham, meanwhile, will hope Harry Kane can continue his wonderful form in the competition against Red Star Belgrade, while Manchester City take on Atalanta at San Siro.

Elsewhere, Kylian Mbappe will be licking his lips at the prospect of facing Club Brugge again after he plundered a hat-trick against them two weeks ago.

Here is the pick of the key Opta facts for Wednesday's eight matches.

 

Paris Saint-Germain v Club Brugge

4 - PSG forward Mbappe scored a hat-trick as a substitute against Brugge on matchday three, becoming only the fourth player to achieve the feat in the Champions League. In three games against Belgian opposition, Mbappe averages a goal or assist every 28 minutes.

2 - Emmanuel Dennis scored both of Brugge's goals in their previous Champions League away game against Real Madrid. No player has ever found the net in consecutive matches on the road for the Belgian side in the competition.

Real Madrid v Galatasaray

50 - Karim Benzema is just two Champions League goals short of his 50th for Madrid, with only Lionel Messi (113 for Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (105 for Madrid) and Raul (66 for Madrid) reaching the milestone for a single side. However, Benzema is without a goal in his past four matches in the competition, despite attempting 16 shots across those games.

5 - Galatasaray have failed to score in their past five away Champions League matches, despite attempting 45 shots in that timeframe. The last team to fail to score in six away games in a row were Schalke in November 2010.

Bayern Munich v Olympiacos

13 - Bayern have scored 13 goals after just three Champions League games this season. The only team with more after three games are Arsenal in 2010-11 (14 goals).

10 - Olympiacos have managed just 10 shots on target across their opening three Champions League matches this term – one fewer than Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has attempted.

Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham

6 - Red Star's Marko Marin made six chances in their 5-0 defeat against Spurs on matchday three. No player has created more in the Champions League this season (13, level with Toni Kroos).

18 - Spurs striker Kane has scored 18 goals in just 22 Champions League appearances, including four in three appearances this season. In the history of the competition, the fewest number of matches needed to reach 20 goals is 26, set by Alessandro Del Piero in April 1998.

Atalanta v Manchester City

11 - Atalanta have conceded more Champions League goals than any other team this season (11). Only two teams have conceded more in their first three Champions League games – Slavia Prague (12) and Helsingborgs (13).

5 - Sergio Aguero has found the net in each of his past five away Champions League group stage matches for City (five goals), a run stretching back to September 2017.

Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk

45 - Dinamo's Mislav Orsic is averaging a goal or assist every 45 minutes in the Champions League this season, scoring four and assisting one in just 227 minutes of action. Should Orsic notch in this game, he would have reached five goals in just four appearances, with only Erling Haaland and Didier Drogba having done so in fewer games (three).

22 - Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov has not kept a clean sheet in any of his past 22 Champions League starts. The last goalkeeper to go on a longer such run in the competition was Igor Akinfeev (43) between November 2006 and October 2017.

Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid

3 - Leverkusen are one of two clubs to lose their three Champions League games this season, along with Atalanta. They are the first German side to lose their opening three group stage matches since Stuttgart in 2007-08.

3 - Atletico have won three Champions League games against Bayer Leverkusen; they have only won more against PSV (four).

Lokomotiv Moscow v Juventus

9 - Lokomotiv striker Eder has been on the losing side in his each of his past nine Champions League starts, dating back to October 2012 for Braga. The last player to lose on 10 consecutive starts in the competition was Junior Fernandes (11) for Dinamo Zagreb, a run that ended in December 2016.

33 - Ronaldo had eight shots without scoring in Juve's 2-1 win over Lokomotiv on matchday three. Should he score in this match, he would break the record for opponents scored against in the Champions League, with Ronaldo currently level on 33 with Raul and Messi.

Tuesday's Champions League schedule presents the chance for Marco Reus to set a new record for Borussia Dortmund, while Erling Haaland will hope to maintain his scoring run.

Reus drew a blank last time out in Europe, the Bundesliga side losing 2-0 to Inter, but will hope to make club history in the return fixture in Germany.

Barcelona are top of the table in the same group and the reigning LaLiga champions will be eager to preserve their unbeaten home run when they take on Slavia Prague at Camp Nou.

Liverpool are another team who seem to relish having home comforts, plus history tells us Chelsea should be feeling confident when Ajax visit Stamford Bridge.

We have picked out some of the notable numbers from Opta ahead of the eight games taking place at the start of matchweek four.

 

Barcelona v Slavia Prague

15 - Following his goal last time out, Lionel Messi has now scored in 15 consecutive UEFA Champions League seasons he has appeared in (since the start of 2005-06), a feat only matched by Real Madrid icon Raul (between 1995-96 and 2010-11).

33 - Barcelona are on a run of 33 home games without defeat in the competition. That is the longest streak in Champions League history, while they have only lost once in their last 55 outings at Camp Nou.

 

Borussia Dortmund v Inter

3 - Lautaro Martinez will look to become the first player to find the net in three consecutive Champions League appearances for Inter since Samuel Eto'o, who scored in four in a row in 2010

17 - Marco Reus has scored 17 Champions League goals for Borussia Dortmund, making him the club's joint-top scorer alongside former team-mate Robert Lewandowski.

 

Chelsea v Ajax

10 - Willian has created 10 goalscoring chances for his Chelsea team-mates so far in Europe this season. However, he is still yet to provide an assist!

100 - Chelsea have won every Champions League match when they have faced Eredivisie opponents. They overcame Ajax in the reverse fixture last time out, adding to home and away victories over Feyenoord in the 1999-2000 season.

 

Liverpool v Genk

11 - Alisson has kept 11 clean sheets in his Champions League career - six for Liverpool and five for Roma. Only Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen (12) has posted more since the start of the 2017-18 season.

23 - Liverpool have not lost at home in all European competitions since October 2014, a run of 23 games. The last visiting team to celebrate success at Anfield? Real Madrid (3-0).

 

Lyon v Benfica

0 - Benfica have won none of their four away Champions League matches played on French soil (D2 L2). In fact, they have failed to score a single goal so far!

6 - Lyon have drawn each of their last six home Champions League matches – the longest such run in the history of the competition.

 

Napoli v Salzburg

13 - Will Napoli get lucky at home for a 13th time in the Champions League? They have won 12 of their last 18 played out in front of their own fans, including four of the last five since a 4-2 loss to Manchester City in November 2017.

19 - Erling Haaland (19) is aiming to become only the second teenager in the history of Europe's top-tier club tournament to score in four consecutive appearances. Only Kylian Mbappe has previously achieved the feat.

 

Valencia v Lille 

10 - Valencia have conceded at least once in each of their last 10 home Champions League matches. They have been beaten in their last two European home games and will be aiming to avoid losing three in a row at the Mestalla for the first since November 2007.

14 - Including qualifiers, Lille are winless in their last 14 European games (D7 L7). Their last victory was way back in July 2014.

 

Zenit v RB Leipzig

14 - Zenit have won their previous 14 group-stage matches at home in the Europa League and Champions League combined, a run stretching back to November 2014, when they beaten 2-1 by Bayer Leverkusen.

10 - At 32 years and 105 days, Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann will become the youngest coach to reach the milestone of 10 Champions League matches in charge.

Liverpool produced yet another late show to beat Aston Villa 2-1 and maintain their six-point lead at the Premier League summit.

That margin could have been greater were it not for Manchester City's own fightback at home to Southampton, with Kyle Walker's goal four minutes from time sealing all three points for Pep Guardiola's side.

Manchester United reverted to type after a recent mini revival, slipping to an insipid 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth, while Chelsea were 2-1 winners over Watford at Vicarage Road.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the major stories from this weekend's big games.

 

LIVERPOOL LEAVE IT LATE AGAIN

Liverpool's stunning start to the season continued with a last-gasp win over Aston Villa.

The victory means Jurgen Klopp's side have earned 31 points from their opening 11 Premier League games. In English top-flight history, only Tottenham in 1960-61 (33, adjusted to three points for a win) have had more at this stage of a campaign.

Trezeguet looked to have sealed a famous win for Villa but Andy Robertson equalised three minutes from time. The Scotland international has now scored twice in his last six games – double the amount he scored in his first 88 appearances for the club.

That set the scene for yet another late show from the Reds, with Sadio Mane heading home deep into stoppage time. That was the 35th 90th-minute goal by Liverpool in the Premier League – 10 more than any other side in the competition's history.

AGUERO AND WALKER SAVE SHOT-SHY CITY

City were far from their fluid best against Southampton but late goals from Sergio Aguero and Walker ensure they remain within touching distance of Liverpool at the top.

James Ward-Prowse had earlier given the Saints a shock lead, taking advantage of a rare error from Ederson. Since the start of last season, only Danny Ings (11) has scored more Premier League goals than the midfielder.

An onslaught on the visitors' goal failed to materialise after that, with Aguero's leveller in the 70th minute City's first shot on target. That was the longest they have had to wait for their first shot on target in a league match since December 2016.

That goal was teed up by Walker, who went onto to claim the winner in the closing stages. After 272 appearances in the Premier League, it was the first time he had scored and assisted in a game.  

RED DEVILS SUFFER ANOTHER SETBACK

United's miserable start to the campaign continued on Saturday, with Bournemouth registering their first win against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side since December 2015.

They were undone by Josh King's first-half goal, the Norwegian ended Bournemouth's run of 358 minutes, three games and 50 shots without a Premier League goal.

That strike means United have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 Premier League away games – their joint-longest run without one on the road in the competition (also 11 between August 2002 and January 2003).

United have amassed just 13 points from their opening 11 games of the campaign – their lowest tally at this stage of a league campaign since 1986-87 when they had 11 points.

BLUES INFLICT MORE MISERY ON HORNETS

Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic were on target for Chelsea as Frank Lampard's side extended Watford's winless start to the season.

The Hornets have now failed to win any of their opening 11 games to a league season for the first time in their history. They are the first team to do so in the Premier League since QPR in 2012-13.

Abraham got Chelsea on their way with yet another away goal. He has now scored seven in his six away appearances in the league this season – only Kevin Phillips in 1999-00, Edin Dzeko in 2011-12 and Sergio Aguero in 2016-17 (all eight) have scored more in their opening six away games of a Premier League season.

Pulisic then followed up his hat-trick against Burnley last weekend with the Blues' second. The American has now been involved in nine goals in all competitions this season (four goals, five assists) – only Abraham (12) has been involved in more.

Arsenal desperately need a positive result against Wolves if they are to draw a line under a tumultuous week at Emirates Stadium, but Nuno Espirito Santo's men have a strong record against the top flight's 'big six'.

The Gunners have been reeling since they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace in a game that saw Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka booed by his own supporters, and the visibly angry Switzerland international cupped his ear to the disgruntled crowd as he left the field.

The result left Arsenal winless in two league games and facing something of a crisis of leadership as they prepare to face Wolves, who arrive in north London unbeaten in their last five league matches.

Last season's FA Cup semi-finalists have conceded just three goals in that time, and Arsenal need only look at the champions to learn about the threat they pose - it is less than a month since Wolves stunned Manchester City at Etihad Stadium, Adama Traore scoring two late goals in a 2-0 victory.

All eyes will be on Xhaka, should he play, as fifth-placed Arsenal seek to stave off the challenge of five teams within three points of them in the Premier League table.

EMERY MUST FIND MEN WHO CAN GO THE DISTANCE

Unai Emery has rotated his Arsenal midfield continuously this season and he has no shortage of match-fit replacements for Xhaka should he opt to leave his under-fire playmaker out against Wolves.

Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock have both played deep-lying midfield roles in recent matches and Emery may opt to trust one of them alongside Matteo Guendouzi in what is likely to be a high-octane battle in the middle of the park.

Nuno likes to pack the middle of his midfield in away games and the combination of Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho helped Wolves come from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Newcastle United last time out.

That game followed a familiar pattern for Wolves, who have conceded the first goal in more Premier League matches (seven) than any other side this season, though they have come back to draw five of those games.

While the average time Arsenal take to score their first goal in Premier League matches is 39 minutes, Wolves take an average of 61 minutes to find the net.

Twice in league games this season Arsenal have led by more than one goal only to draw 2-2. As they go up against the division's comeback specialists, they can ill afford to slip up again.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: GRANIT XHAKA V RUBEN NEVES

Having left him out of the rollercoaster EFL Cup defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, Emery has a big decision to make about whether to recall the much-maligned Xhaka.

Gunners greats Ian Wright, Nigel Winterburn and Emmanuel Petit have been among the many to condemn his actions but a return to the XI has not been ruled out.

Should he get the nod, Xhaka could win back some favour with supporters by getting the better of Neves in a key midfield battle.

The pair operate in similar roles to vastly differing degrees of adulation, even as the Opta data portrays Wolves star Neves as generally less effective than the Arsenal skipper.

Xhaka has created four more scoring chances, registered three more tackles and provided three more blocks in the Premier League this season despite playing one game less.

He has additionally contested 33 more duels at a superior success rate and his passing accuracy of 86.54 per cent is comfortably in advance of Neves' 75.45 per cent.

However, the Portuguese former Porto man can lay claim to having made seven more interceptions than Xhaka, a skill that will prove useful as the visitors attempt to stymie their opponents' play in north London.

FORM GUIDE: WOLVES IN CAPITAL MOOD

The prospect of a trip to London will not daunt Wolves, who have not lost a Premier League match in the capital since March 2012, when Fulham thumped them 5-0.

They have won three and drawn four of their seven subsequent matches in the city, and their recent form has been good no matter where they play.

Nuno's men have scored in each of their last nine Premier League games and could set a club record in the competition by finding the net on Saturday. Only table-topping Liverpool (19) are on a longer current goal-scoring run in the competition.

Arsenal must make the most of early opportunities, given that Wolves have scored a league-high 85 per cent of their Premier League goals in the second half of games this season (11/13), and Emery will take heart from his side's imperious home record on Saturday afternoons.

Arsenal have not lost at home at this time on a Saturday since the opening day of the 2013-14 season (1-3 vs Aston Villa), winning 20 and drawing two since then.

Goals are rarely in short supply at the Emirates, where Arsenal have scored in each of their last 23 league games, but the Gunners have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven.

HISTORY SAYS...

Arsenal have faced Wolves 10 times in the Premier League, breezing to consecutive victories in their first six matches against them in the competition.

Since then, however, they have won just one of their last four (D2, L1) and they failed to win either of their clashes with Nuno's newly promoted side in 2018-19.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan rescued a point for the Gunners in this fixture last season, scoring an 86th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw, and Wolves were 3-1 winners when the sides met at Molineux in April.

That victory ended a run of 16 league games without victory against the Gunners and another win on Saturday would see Wolves recording consecutive top-flight wins against them for the first time since September 1979 (a run of three).

Manchester United scored more than once in a Premier League game for just the second time this season in Sunday's 3-1 win at Norwich City.

A first away league victory in nine attempts since February for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men coincided with the return of Anthony Martial, who missed two months of action with a thigh injury prior to returning as a late substitute against Liverpool last week.

Martial started the season in impressive form with two goals and an assist in his first three outings, including a strike in the 4-0 win against Chelsea - the only other occasion United have scored more than once in a game in any competition since April.

Solskjaer this week talked up Martial's importance and is hopeful his relationship with strike partner Marcus Rashford - also on the scoresheet at Carrow Road - will "improve and grow" over time.

With the help of Opta stats, we look at the impact Martial has had since arriving at Old Trafford in 2015 and explore his link-up with Rashford in more detail.


MARTIAL HITS THE GROUND RUNNING

Martial came on as a late substitute against Liverpool last week and made his first start since August in the 1-0 Europa League win against Partizan, scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot to mark his return in style.

The France international retained his place in the line-up for the trip to Norwich three days later - the first time he had started alongside Rashford since the opening weeks of the campaign.

And the duo did not take long to show just how dangerous they can be when used in tandem high up the pitch, most notably in the build-up for Martial's 73rd-minute strike to put United 3-0 ahead.

Martial knocked the ball into the path of Rashford, who returned it with an impressive flicked pass for the 23-year-old to beat Tim Krul - who had earlier kept out penalties from both players - with a dinked finish.

It was Martial's 37th Premier League goal since arriving from Monaco in September 2015 - more than any other United player in that period, with Rashford next best on 32.

RASHFORD CAN PROFIT FROM MARTIAL RETURN

Speaking after that first away league win of the campaign at Norwich, Rashford admitted the Red Devils' attacking players need to step up and craft more opportunities for each other in front of goal.

Rashford has now created three chances for Martial in the top flight during the latter's limited time on the field this term, making it one of the most effective link-ups in the side.

In the prolonged absence of Martial, meanwhile, Rashford has had to rely on Paul Pogba (seven) and Daniel James (five) to create chances for him.

With the ex-Monaco ace now back to full fitness and hitting the ground running, it is little wonder why Solskjaer is excited to see how the partnership blossoms.


MARTIAL MATTERS TO UNITED

While Martial was recuperating from his latest injury lay-off, Rashford has been quietly going about his business.

The versatile attacker has been involved in the fifth most goals of any Premier League player in 2019-20, scoring five times and setting up three more.

That puts him level with Raheem Sterling (eight) and Mohamed Salah (eight), while only Kevin De Bruyne (11), Jamie Vardy (10), Sergio Aguero (10) and Tammy Abraham (nine) have been more heavily involved in front of goal.

And on the basis of the 90 minutes in East Anglia last weekend, Rashford's stats - both in terms of goals and assists - will surely only improve following the return of Martial alongside him.

Only a string of fine saves from Krul prevented United from running riot in that most recent league outing, with Rashford and Martial managing eight shots on target between them.

"It's like Teddy Sheringham and Solskjaer!" United's Norwegian boss joked after the match. With Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez no longer around, it is very much down to Martial and Rashford to bring the good times back to Old Trafford.

Leicester City equalled a Premier League record that had been unchallenged since March 1995 when they destroyed Southampton 9-0 on Friday.

Their thumping win at St Mary's was the joint-biggest margin of victory in the Premier League, level with Manchester United's 9-0 thrashing of Ipswich Town.

Leaders Liverpool came from behind to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Liverpool and maintain their six-point advantage over Manchester City at the summit.

Manchester United missed two penalties in their 3-1 win at Norwich City, while Christian Pulisic shone as Chelsea beat Burnley 4-2.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the major stories from this weekend's big games.

 

FOXES MAKE HISTORY AGAINST SORRY SAINTS

Brendan Rodgers' Leicester took full advantage of Ryan Bertrand's early dismissal for Southampton, steamrollering the Saints on their way to a slice of Premier League history. 

The margin of victory is the largest by a top-flight side away from home in the 131-year history of league football in England. It was also Southampton's biggest defeat of all time.

Leicester became the second team to have two players score a hat-trick in the same Premier League game (Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy) after Arsenal duo Jermaine Pennant and Robert Pires in May 2003 – also against Southampton.

The breathtaking result means the Foxes have 20 points after 10 games – one more than at the same stage of their 2015-16 title-winning campaign.

SPURS LATEST TO FALL FOUL OF RELENTLESS REDS

Liverpool have now gone 20 Premier League games unbeaten against 'big six' opposition at Anfield following their slender win over Tottenham.

They got off to a terrible start, however, with Harry Kane scoring inside the first minute for Mauricio Pochettino's side. It was the striker's 150th goal involvement (131 goals, 19 assists) in the top flight in what was his 191st appearance in the competition.

Jurgen Klopp's side clawed their way back into the game courtesy of Jordan Henderson's first Premier League home goal since December 2015 before Serge Aurier's foul on Sadio Mane allowed Mohamed Salah to seal the win from the penalty spot.

Aurier has now conceded four penalties in 48 games in all competitions since his Spurs debut in September 2017 – no Premier League player has given away more.

It could have been worse for Tottenham, but Paulo Gazzaniga was in inspired form. The Argentinian made 12 saves, which was the most by a goalkeeper in the Premier League since David de Gea against Arsenal in December 2017 (14).

PULISIC POWERS CHELSEA CLOSER TO CLUB RECORD

Christian Pulisic arrived at Turf Moor with a point to prove and did exactly that with a stellar treble in Chelsea's convincing 4-2 victory over Burnley.

The 21-year-old became the second American – behind Clint Dempsey – to score three times in a Premier League match and the youngest to do so for the Blues.

Willian later buried his third goal in six appearances in all competitions, as many as he netted in his previous 30 outings combined.

Chelsea now need one more away victory to equal their record winning streak on the road of seven in all competitions, set between February and April 1989.

UNITED BACK TO WINNING WAYS DESPITE PENALTY WOES

Manchester United ended a run of eight league games without a win on the road as they saw off Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Scott McTominay's opener saw United become the first team in Premier League history to reach 2,000 goals in the competition.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side could have won by a far greater margin but Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were denied by Tim Krul from the penalty spot.  

The former Newcastle United man became the eighth different goalkeeper in Premier League history to save two spot-kicks in a game, and the first to do so since Maarten Stekelenburg for Everton in October 2016.

Rashford bounced back from his miss, however, to score his 50th goal in all competitions for the club with a cool finish under Krul.

Jamie Vardy's injury-time penalty against Southampton gave Leicester City a piece of Premier League history by sealing a 9-0 win at St Mary's.

Vardy and Ayoze Perez both scored hat-tricks in a triumph that equalled the previous best in the competition's history, while also representing the biggest top-flight win away from home in 131 years of league football in England.

Here, we look back at the matches that proved to be the stuff of wildest dreams or darkest nightmares for the teams on the respective sides of a yawning gulf in class.

 

Southampton 0-9 Leicester City – October 25, 2019

Ryan Bertrand was sent off for a challenge in the build-up to Ben Chilwell's 10th-minute opener but that was scant excuse for the manner in which Ralph Hasenhuttl's side unravelled. Youri Tielemans was granted ample room to double the lead, then Perez began romping towards a hat-trick he completed a minute before Vardy's headed second made it 7-0 in the 58th minute. A James Maddison free-kick and a Vardy penalty took this defeat in to uncharted territory for a home side.

Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town – March 4, 1995

No longer the outright worst after a quarter of a century out on their own, Ipswich's beleaguered XI from this Old Trafford outing might well raise a glass to Vardy and his colleagues. Andy Cole scored five after Roy Keane began the rout in the 15th minute. Former Southampton manager Mark Hughes hit a quickfire second-half double and Paul Ince also got in on the act. Peter Schmeichel watched it all unfold from the other end, just as his son Kasper did in goal for Leicester on Friday.

Tottenham 9-1 Wigan Athletic – November 22, 2009

Wigan had a slither of hope when Paul Scharner pulled a goal back to make it 3-1 before the hour at White Hart Lane. Ultimately, the only significance of that strike was to keep them off the top of this list. Jermain Defoe was the Cole of the piece, rattling in five goals from the 51st minute onwards, while Aaron Lennon, David Bentley and Nico Kranjcar piled on the pain. Remarkably, Peter Crouch's ninth-minute header was the only goal of the 10 scored before half-time.

That same season, Wigan lost 8-0 at Chelsea, who beat Aston Villa by the same margin at Stamford Bridge two years later. Newcastle United claimed the division's first 8-0 scoreline at the expense of Sheffield Wednesday in 1999.

Southampton 8-0 Sunderland – October 18, 2014

The St Mary's faithful at least know what it feels like to be on the joyous end of what they endured against Leicester. The boot was on the other foot five years ago, although what exactly Sunderland defender Santiago Vergini and his boots were trying to achieve when he inexplicably walloped into his own net after 12 minutes remains anyone's guess. But that was 1-0 at that stage, with Graziano Pelle scoring the first of a brace six minutes later. Jack Cork, Dusan Tadic, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane also scored, with Liam Bridcutt joining Vergini in putting through his own goal.

Manchester City 8-0 Watford – September 21, 2019

United's outright record surprisingly remained intact despite their neighbours racing into a 5-0 lead inside 18 minutes against Watford last month. David Silva netted from close range inside a minute, with Riyad Mahrez winning a penalty for Sergio Aguero before scoring himself. Bernardo Silva opened his tally on the way to a hat-trick, with Nicolas Otamendi a more unlikely first-half goalscorer. Kevin De Bruyne masterfully orchestrated the destruction of a side City demolished 6-0 in May's FA Cup final and wrapped up the scoring with an emphatic strike into the top corner.

Nottingham Forest 1 Manchester United 8 – February 6, 1999

The biggest away win the Premier League had seen until Leicester went about their savagery. This seemed fairly standard stuff for Alex Ferguson's majestic treble-winning side as Dwight Yorke and Cole scored twice against an overmatched Forest, who would finish the season bottom of the table. Standard, that was, until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emerged from the bench and pilfered four goals in the final 10 minutes at the City Ground.

Leicester City claimed a slice of Premier League history when they crushed an abject Southampton 9-0 at St Mary's on Friday.

Ryan Bertrand's red card for a challenge in the build-up to Ben Chilwell's 10th-minute opener put Ralph Hasenhuttl's Saints at a disadvantage, but the collapse that followed was humiliating.

Ayoze Perez and Jamie Vardy both netted hat-tricks, with Youri Tielemans and James Maddison also getting in on the act as Brendan Rodgers' Foxes ran riot.

Here, with some help from Opta, we look some of the remarkable statistics thrown up on a stormy English night when it rained goals.

9 – Leicester's nine unanswered goals made this the joint-biggest Premier League win of all time, level with Manchester United's 9-0 thrashing of Ipswich Town in March 1995.

0 – Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel kept a clean sheet for the Foxes – just like his father Peter did for United when they demolished Ipswich 24-and-a-half years ago.

131 – The margin of victory is the largest by a top-flight side away from home in the 131-year history of league football in England. It was also Southampton's biggest defeat of all time.

2 – Leicester became the second side to have two players score a hat-trick in the same Premier League game after Arsenal duo Jermaine Pennant and Robert Pires in May 2003 – also against Southampton.

5 – Rodgers' men were 5-0 up at half-time, making them the second away team in the Premier League to accomplish this feat after Manchester City did so at Burnley in April 2010. The latter game at Turf Moor finished 6-1.

3 – Perez made it back-to-back trebles against Southampton. He claimed all Newcastle United's goals and the matchball in a 3-1 win over Saints in April this year. The last player to score successive Premier League hat-tricks against the same opponent was Luis Suarez for Liverpool against Norwich City in April and September of 2012.

50 – Perez's second goal was his 50th in all competitions in English football.

19 – Leicester led 3-0 after 19 minutes. They had not scored three unanswered goals so quickly in a top-flight game since racing ahead inside eight minutes versus Derby County in April 1998.

20 – After 10 games, Leicester have 20 points – one more than at the same stage of their 2015-16 title-winning campaign.

3 – Bertrand's dismissal meant Southampton had their numbers reduced in a third straight meeting with Leicester. Newcastle were shown four red cards in a row versus Liverpool, a streak of shame that concluded in May 2014.

Antoine Griezmann scored his fourth goal in eight LaLiga appearances for Barcelona as the Spanish champions beat Eibar 3-0, and he leads the line in this week's FIFA 20 FUT Team of the Week.

The France World Cup winner is joined by an all-star cast in this week's line-up, including Paris Saint-Germain's in-form winger Angel Di Maria.

After scoring twice in his side's 4-1 victory at Nice in Ligue 1, Di Maria was in scintillating form as PSG beat Club Brugge 5-0 in the Champions League.

Not all of this week's selection are competing towards the top of their respective domestic leagues, with Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure earning a place for his goal-scoring performance in the Premier League basement club's 1-1 draw with Tottenham.

Monaco are 14th in Ligue 1 and they will need more of the same from Wissam Ben Yedder if they are to turn their season around - he scored a brace in their 3-2 win over Rennes.

Find out who else made FIFA's Ultimate Team line-up below.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne) - 86

CB: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) - 88

CB: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) - 84

CB: Yerry Mina (Everton) - 82

CM: Dani Parejo (Valencia) - 87

CAM: Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk) - 84

CM: Abdoulaye Doucoure (Watford) - 84

RW: Radja Nainggolan (Cagliari) - 85

LW: Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) - 90

RW: Angel Di Maria (PSG) - 87

ST: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco) - 85

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Alfred Gomis (Dijon) - 81

CB: William Troost-Ekong (Udinese) - 81

CDM: Tomas Soucek (Slavia Prague) - 82

LM: Petros Mantalos (AEK Athens) - 81

ST: Lautaro Martinez (Inter) - 84

ST: Angel (Getafe) - 82

LW: Jack Grealish (Aston Villa) - 81

RESERVES

LM: Mislav Orsic (Dinamo Zagreb) - 79

LM: Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders) - 78

ST: Andreas Cornelius (Parma) - 80

ST: Daniel Candeias (Genclerbirligi) - 79

ST: Henok Goitom (AIK) - 78

Marcus Rashford was on target for Manchester United in last weekend's 1-1 draw with Liverpool, offering a timely reminder of his ability in front of goal.

The England international finished neatly after being picked out by a fine Daniel James cross to make it four Premier League goals for the campaign.

Three of those have come in United's meetings with 'big six' rivals - two against Chelsea on opening weekend and then his effort against Liverpool, either side of a blank in the stalemate with Arsenal.

For his career, 35.5 per cent of Rashford's Premier League goals have been scored against the established big boys - Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal - but why exactly does he perform so well in those fixtures, yet seemingly struggle more against the rest of the top flight?


MAKING HIS MARC IN THE BIG GAMES

First, let us break down the stats.

Rashford has scored 11 times in 32 appearances against big-six opposition, compared to 20 goals in 88 outings against the rest of the Premier League opponents he has faced.

Even more impressive is the 21-year-old's conversion rate - 23.4 per cent against the division's elite, yet it dips to 11 per cent against the others.

Make no mistake about it - Rashford appears to be a player who welcomes the spotlight.

LESS IS MORE!

Rashford introduced himself to the Premier League when facing one of United's main rivals back in February 2016, scoring twice against Arsenal on his debut in the competition.

United won that match 3-2 with just 39.2 per cent of possession, and that in many ways could be the key to unlocking exactly why the forward is so successful on the grandest of occasions.

Take a closer look at the possession percentage stats for each of the eight matches he has scored in against the big six and a clear theme begins to develop. The numbers since that Arsenal brace are as follows (all listed are in per cent): 45.5, 46.2, 35.4, 32.1, 38.8, 46.3, 32.0.

The Red Devils had less possession than their opponents in each of those games, most notably in the 1-1 draw with Liverpool (32 per cent) when the Red Devils were only denied victory by a late leveller from Adam Lallana.

Whether he starts out on the left, as was the case against Chelsea on the opening day when scoring twice, or through the middle, which we saw against Liverpool last time out, Rashford has demonstrated he does not need to see a lot of the ball to make an impact on proceedings, as if counter-attacking play suits him more due to the space available.

HOW DOES RASHFORD COMPARE TO THE REST?

Since that impressive introduction against Arsenal over three years ago, only five players have scored more goals against those seen as being the top six in England than Rashford. 

His total of 11 goals in 32 appearances places him level with Mohamed Salah, having played in 10 fewer such fixtures than the Ballon d'Or contender. Salah's Liverpool team-mates Roberto Firmino (12 goals in 33 appearances) and Sadio Mane (14 in 33) have managed more, along with Harry Kane (15 in 33). Sergio Aguero (18 in 29) sits second in the top 10, behind Leicester City frontman Jamie Vardy (22 in 39). 

Not until back-to-back matches against Tottenham and Manchester City in early December do United face another major rival in league action.

Fitness permitting, though, you can be sure that Rashford will be one of the first names on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team sheet for those fixtures.

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