5 mind-boggling Premier League facts you won't believe from the season so far

You may think the Premier League has slipped back to its usual, familiar shape this season – but there are some surprising quirks to be found.

Prepare to be flabbergasted – these facts prove the Premier League still has the power to amaze.

1. Middlesbrough have a better defensive record than Manchester City.

We start with an absolute banger of a stat – Middlesbrough have conceded just 16 goals, while Manchester City, who have one of the most expensive defences ever assembled, have conceded 19.

Four of those came in City’s latest game, a 4-2 defeat against Leicester – meanwhile, Boro have only lost one game by more than one goal so far.

Furthermore, newly promoted Middlesbrough have accrued a respectable four clean sheets, while the Citizens have only half that, with two. De-fence.

2. Crystal Palace are the fifth highest scorers in the Premier League so far.

Yes, you read that correctly: Crystal Palace, who sit 15th and have won just four games, have scored more goals in the league so far than everyone except the top four.

Palace have scored 27 times in the league, with 10 goals in their last three games after a 5-4 defeat against Swansea, a 3-0 win over Southampton, and a 3-3 draw against Hull.

Even more remarkable is that Alan Pardew’s side failed to score in their first two games, which means they’ve averaged more than two goals a game since. What a weird and wonderful team.

3. Chelsea have kept 47% of the top four’s clean sheets.

A stat that draws attention to the fact teams are having real trouble keeping clean sheets: Chelsea have recorded eight shut-outs, while the rest of the top four have nine between them.

Arsenal have managed four, Liverpool three, and as mentioned previously, Manchester City have recorded two. In 15 games, those are pretty poor ratios.

Chelsea’s rearguard has rumbled into action in time to take them three points clear at the top of the league, with seven clean sheets in their last nine games.

4. Bournemouth have hit the woodwork 13 times.

Now this is a rather difficult one to put into context, but Bournemouth have struck the upright on no fewer than 13 occasions – the next closest are Arsenal, Manchester City and Stoke, four behind on nine.

The Cherries have lost three games by a single goal, and drawn three games. Those woodwork worries might have made all the difference.

Furthermore, on-loan Bournemouth midfielder Jack Wilshere has hit the woodwork four times so far this season by himself. How’s your luck?

5. Chelsea are 22 points better off than at this stage last season.

The turnaround of the last 12 months could well go to Leicester, who have gone from champions to chumps – but Chelsea’s upturn in form is just as stark.

With the 2015/16 season 15 games old, the Blues had 15 points and sat in 14th position. This year, after nine wins in a row, Antonio Conte’s side are top of the league with a mammoth 37 points.

A frightening prospect for the rest of the division, and Chelsea are unburdened by European football as well. With Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke up next, we can’t see Chelsea slipping up for the time being.

More in this Section

How have Leicester got things so right this season?How have Leicester got things so right this season?

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

World Para Athletics Championships: Waiting game pays off for Niamh McCarthy in DubaiWorld Para Athletics Championships: Waiting game pays off for Niamh McCarthy in Dubai

Keena’s heart for Ireland causeKeena’s heart for Ireland cause


Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fastion. By Paul McLachen.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

HUSBAND and wife Justin and Jenny Green run Ballyvolane House, in Castlelyons, Co Cork. The mansion and former dairy farm, which was built in 1728, is where Justin grew up. Raised to Scottish parents in Hong Kong, Jenny met fellow hotelier Justin while working in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Having worked in the UK and Bali, they returned to manage Ballyvolane House, as an Irish country house, in 2004.Parents for the Planet: Green family has greener outlook at country house

More From The Irish Examiner