It is common knowledge that the Premiership has been the most exciting league and among the strongest in Europe this season.
Only two weeks ago Liverpool were standing on top but after they lost two consecutive derbies against Manchester City and Chelsea respectively, they dropped to fifth. They are now fourth thanks to Everton’s draw against Stoke.
Let’s take a look at the gap between the top teams in each of the five top European leagues.
In England, the first-placed Arsenal are eight points ahead of sixth-placed Spuds. In Italy, the first-placed Juventus are 18 points ahead of the sixth-placed Inter. There is the same gap in Spain where Barcelona are on the top ahead of Atletico Madrid only thanks to superior goal-difference while Villarreal sit in sixth place.
The reigning European champions and our opponents in the Champions’ League Bayern München are 16 points ahead of Hertha Berlin but the Bavarian side have one game in hand. In France, PSG are leading the race and sixth-placed Nantes are 15 points behind them.
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Back to England, Arsenal are just one point ahead of Manchester City and two ahead of Chelsea respectively. In Italy, after Juventus had beaten Roma 3:0, the gap between the two top teams is eight points (mind you, in the Premiership that gap would have been enough for sixth place). Our well-known friends from Naples are in third spot ten points behind Juventus.
In Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have won the same number of points so far but Los Cules have a superior goal-difference. Real Madrid in third are five points behind. In Germany, the four B’s are on top – Bayern, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia (M) and Borussia (D). Bayer are seven, Borussia (M) are eleven and Borussia (D) are twelve points behind Bayern respectively and that gap will probably widen as soon as Bayern play their spare match against Stuttgart. The reigning French champions PSG are three points ahead of Monaco and four points ahead of Lille.
The Premiership is the toughest place to win points as well. The English leaders Arsenal have averaged 2.25 points per game (75%). Juventus have an incredible percentage (91%) as well as Barcelona as both teams have won 49 points from 18 matches or 2.72 per game while Bayern have been the best in this category as well as they have averaged 2.75 points per game this season (92%). PSG have won 44 points in 19 matches – 77% or 2.31 per game.
In terms of goals scored, Arsenal have scored 39 goals in 20 matches or 1.95 per game. Juventus have averaged 2.33 goals per game, Bayern 2.62, PSG have had the same percentage of goals and points (2.31) while Barcelona have been the most prolific of all the aforementioned sides with 2.94 goals scored per game.
When it comes to defending, Arsenal have conceded 18 goals or 0.9 per game. Juventus’ defence, arguably one of the best in Europe, has allowed opponents to score 11 times in 18 matches (0.61). Barcelona have let in one goal more than the Italians (0.67 per game), PSG have conceded 0.68 goals per game and Bayern have had the meanest defense among the leaders – the reigning champions of pretty much every competition on this planet have conceded just eight goals in 16 matches (0.50 per game).
Among all the aforementioned teams, only Bayern are still unbeaten in their respective league. Arsenal have lost three games while PSG, Juventus and Barcelona have lost one game each.
When it comes to top-scorers of the respective teams, Arsenal’s top-scorers in the Premiership are Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud. Each of them have netted eight goals this term and that has been good enough for joint 8th place on the list of goal-scorers. Barcelona’s top-scorers Pedro and Alexis Sanchez have scored eleven goals each and are joint 4th on the list in Primera. Mario Mandžukić has been the best goal getter in Bayern’s unbeatable machine with 10 goals and lies in third place on the Bundesliga list.
The top two goal-scorers in Ligue 1 are PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimović and Edinson Cavani – they have scored 15 and 12 goals respectively so far. Finally, Carlos Tevez has had an immediate impact at Juventus this season and has been their top-scorer this term. The Argentinian has scored eleven goals in Serie A and has been second only to Giuseppe Rossi but he will probably overtake Rossi given the Fiorentina striker has suffered a knee-injury similar to Walcott’s.
As you can see, from all teams from this comparison, only Arsenal top-scorers are yet to reach double digits which might be a good starting point for this transfer window.
These stats prove that we will have the toughest mission of all the aforementioned teams to stay on top and it would have been the same even if Walcott hadn’t been ruled out for the rest of the season. There are a lot of strong teams in the Premiership (the reigning champions are currently in seventh spot!) and you can’t count on points even when you play against teams in the relegation zone. For example, Bayern have won 87% of their games while Barcelona and Juventus have beaten their opponents in 89% of games. Our percentage stands at 70% which is slightly better than the oil-rich PSG (68%). Given that and the fact that one of our best forwards is ruled out for the rest of the season we should sign a top-class striker that will turn draws into victories, defeats into draws and score goals in the big matches.
If we do that, we can compare Arsenal to other league champions in May!