Everyone loves goals, so it must be great watching Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal among others. William Hill's Lee Phelps look at the maths and the betting to make his free pick on the odds.
The last decade in the Premier League has seen the division’s top scorers secure the title on eight occasions, with 2008/09 the last time the runners-up managed to bag more than the champions. So who will end up finding the back of the net the most times this season?
The league’s current top three are the only sides who can realistically top the scoring charts, with Chelsea on 57, Manchester City 58 and Arsenal on 53. The next best are Manchester United on 47 goals from their 28 games. Let’s go through each of the three and look at their remaining games, average goals per season and the men who score them.
The champions-elect don’t generally do routs, in fact six of their 13 home games have featured simple 2-0 wins and in the other seven matches, they have only scored more than two on three occasions. Away from home they have netted three more thanks to three crazy games. The 3-6 win at Everton, the 0-5 win at Swansea and that 5-3 loss to Tottenham. Those 14 goals account for almost half of the away total.
The Blues average 72 goals over the last decade and should beat that having averaged 2.15 goals per game so far plus the division’s leading scorer Diego Costa has managed 3.2 shots per game as he has accumulated his 17 goals in 20 games. However their run-in is probably the hardest of the three in terms of opposition defences.
They have home matches against the Premier League’s best away defence in Southampton and three of the top six best in Manchester United, Liverpool and Stoke. While their away games come against four teams inside the top 12 stingiest home teams.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team are chasing Chelsea for top spot, so you could argue they will be more inclined to go for goals. They also have three players with seven or more goals, including Sergio Aguero on 17 goals from his 19 starts.
Their remaining home games are against, West Brom, West Ham, Aston Villa and QPR, with only one of those teams inside the top 10 best away defences. Manchester United at Old Trafford is their toughest away game in terms of goal scoring, with their rivals third in the table of home goals conceded. They have Palace (20th), Burnley (17th), Swansea (13th) and Tottenham (7th) as well.
The Gunners’ average goals total over the last 10 years is 72 and with Olivier Giroud finding form (he has nine in 11) they should better that in their remaining 10 matches. They will be hoping Alexis Sanchez can start scoring again to add to his 12 goals.
Arsene Wenger will be banking on a few away goals at Burnley, who have the worst home defence, Newcastle and Hull, while Manchester United will be a harder nut to crack. The Emirates has seen the joint most goals scored in the league, so expect to see a few against Sunderland and Swansea who are in the bottom 10 of the strongest backlines, but Liverpool and Chelsea will restrict the potential for goals.
Soccer Pick: Given the run-ins and the goal-scoring players in City’s line up I’m adding the Manchester Blues as my soccer pick to score the most goals this season, even though I’m picking Chelsea to win the league.