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Premier League: Are Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs & Man Utd more vulnerable than ever?

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By Chris Collinson
BBC Sport statistician
Four members of the Premier LeaguesBig Six – Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham – all have shown signs of significant weakness up to now this year.
With a combined 49 points being taken by the four clubs out of their first eight matches – the fewest because the very first Premier League effort in 1992 between them and much fewer than in recent seasons – we all take a look.
After taking just two points out of their first eight games – their smallest tally at this point since 1989 – Manchester United would be the apparent culprit with this drop in points. And with nine goals scored, it is obvious where their problems lie.
With their youngest-ever starting XI in a Premier League season, the team have had the shots from the league, but its the quality of those shots that are the reason for concern.
According to aims that were expected Newcastle have experienced worse shots than Ole Gunnar Solskjaers youthful side, outside of penalties on moderate.
One favorable for United fans is that while the attack is trying to produce great opportunities the defence has restricted the oppositions chances, making it one of the greatest defences at this phase. After purchasing striker Romelu Lukaku over the summertime and spending # 130m on Aaron Wan-Bissaka along with defenders Harry Maguire, this is possibly no surprise.
In the Premier League, Tottenham were third on Valentines Day and just five points behind leaders Liverpool.
But 22 points from 20 games since has placed a strain on the relationship between the team, players and the club, together with discussion of anunsettled squad and a few allegedly seeking to catch the attention of different clubs.
The difficulty for Tottenham is its not one subject of the group thats the problem. As well as the players never pressing such as beforethe table below demonstrates both the defence and the strike so far are equally as poor as they have been at this stage at both seasons under Mauricio Pochettino.
While we cant know for sure, this could be down to the fact players and that the manager have been together for an unusually long time. Eight players continue to be at the club from Pochettinos first year in 2014-15 – in contrast to just three in Manchester City and 2 at Liverpool – some time of their 32 managers at the Champions League this season, only Atletico Madrids Diego Simeone has been in his club longer than his fellow Argentine.
With the club in the table, it may seem odd to mention that Arsenal have experienced problems this year. However, a goal difference of +2 indicates that all isnt quite as comfy as it seems, without a group having sat as large at the table with so low a figure at the point since Phil Browns Hull City did so with a goal difference of zero in 2008.
They let just over 13 within their first campaign under Unai Emery season after permitting 10-12 shots per game in each of the club 13 seasons under Arsene Wenger. This season, but Arsenal are currently allowing an impressive 17 shots per match, with just sides Aston Villa and Norwich having faced more shots than the Gunners this season.
The one consolation for Arsenal fans is that while the group was under fire this past year, theyve been able to stop the opposition with only Burnley allowing opportunities.
So, in the previous five seasons before that one 3 sides have let more or 17 shots per game – Sean Dyches Burnley and David Moyes relegated Sunderland side in 2016-17.
Although Chelseas youngest-ever starting XI in a Premier League season has been commended by many, it has also surrendered an abysmal 14 targets in its eight games so far, with Watford Norwich and Southampton allowing in longer.
Its just the second time from the Roman Abramovich era which double figures have been surrendered by the team following the clubs collapse under Jose Mourinho saw them concede 17 goals in their first eight matches in 2015.
Having saved only 48 percent of those shots hes faced this season, keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga takes some share of this responsibility for the clubs defensive woes and gets the worst save percent at the Premier League so much.
Of the 25 goalkeepers to have performed this season, only Southamptons Angus Gunn has more goals than expected compared to Chelsea keeper.
The blame cannot be laid entirely at his door. This season, just four sides have let the resistance more easy opportunities to score on average than Chelsea, therefore Frank Lampard will be hoping his young side could make Arrizabalagas task at the future.
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