Premier League Title Contenders by the Numbers

Peter Brownell@pbnoregard11Contributor IAugust 15, 2013

It is finally here: The English Premier League is set to kick off this weekend.

The storylines are appetizing and abundant: the return of the “Special One” to Chelsea, a new regime in Manchester United and a table stocked with talented footballers from top to bottom.

To celebrate, here is a look at three of the league’s title favorites and some of the data that defined their 2012-13 Premier League Campaign.



Manchester United


The Red Devils are coming off another English Premier League title campaign. With new manager David Moyes looking to impress right away at Old Trafford, the pressure will certainly be palpable from the start.

Here is a look at some of their figures from the 2012-13 English Premier League Season.

United bagged a league-high 86 goals, over half of which came from open play. They were solid on set pieces, too, scoring 22 goals from dead ball situations—an EPL 2012-13 high.

Their top scorers were Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney. The Dutchman notched 26 goals on the season, the highest total in the 2012-13 English Premier League. The Englishman added 12 himself and will leave big shoes to fill should be head to Chelsea (via The Telegraph).

The team’s 85.7 percent pass success was a league, as well.

Defensively the Red Devils were tight, only allowing 12.9 shots per match, the eighth fewest.

Moyes will likely be encouraged by his team’s impressive scoring figures and look for them to continue to be very precise with the ball as they start another English Premier League campaign.





With Jose Mourinho back in the saddle at Chelsea, the Blues will undoubtedly be bolstered by fresh ideas from their former and now current legendary manager.

Here is some insight into what and how they did last EPL season with the help of some of their statistics.

Chelsea scored the fourth most goals during their 2012-13 English Premier League campaign. Nine of which came from the penalty spot, which was the most penalties scored by a team in the EPL last year.

Frank Lampard and company pinged the ball around the pitch with a short pass 438 times per match, the sixth highest short pass frequency in the EPL last season.

Lampard and Juan Mata lead the team in goals. 

Chelsea conceded slightly fewer shots than Manchester United.

What sort of tactics will Mourinho look to bring to Stamford Bridge to try and help him win another Premier League title?



Manchester City


United and Chelsea are not the only team’s sporting new managers as the former’s noisy neighbors welcome the Chilean Manuel Pellegrini to Manchester.

Will counter-attacking be something Pellegrini focuses on for City? If so, the team has a decent place to start, at least considering their numbers from last year.

Manchester City tallied 66 times, six of which came on the counter, the second most counter attack goals in the English Premier League last season.

Pellegrini should also be encouraged by the team’s ability to penetrate opposing defenses, City uncorked 56 percent of their shots from inside the 18-yard box, the fourth most of any team in the league and just one percent point fewer than the top three in said category.

Sky Blue supporters might well hope for more discipline from their club, as Manchester City committed the second most fouls of any team in the Premier League last season, 12.4 behind only Stoke.

Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero led Manchester City in goals. 

Dzeko's total was the tenth highest in the 2012-13 English Premier League season.


Who will accrue the most interesting stats in the 2013-14 English Premier League Season?


Data gathered from WhoScored?