Manchester City will be looking to set a new club record for games unbeaten in all competitions when they welcome rivals Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Pep Guardiola’s men have gone 28 matches since last tasting defeat and have won the last 21 of those, including 15 wins from their last 15 in the Premier League.
The Manchester derby undoubtedly headlines this weekend’s fixtures in the English top flight, but there are plenty of other intriguing games at both ends of the division.
Players from six different clubs feature among our Opta-fuelled fantasy picks for what could be a defining few days.
Man City haven’t trailed for a single minute in any of their last 19 #PL matches
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 2, 2021
Mendy was the busier of the two goalkeepers in Chelsea’s goalless draw with Manchester United last weekend as he notched another clean sheet.
He now has six shutouts in his first 10 home Premier League starts, which is the most of any goalkeeper after that number of games in the competition since Alisson’s seven for Liverpool at Anfield in 2018.
The only Chelsea keeper with a better return after their first 10 league starts at Stamford Bridge is Petr Cech with eight.
City may have conceded in three of their last four league games but their defence remains the strongest in the division, largely thanks to the form of a resurgent Stones.
The league leaders have conceded just four goals in the 1,440 minutes Stones has been on the field in the Premier League this term – one goal every 360 minutes.
That is the joint-best ratio among defenders with more than 300 minutes of involvement in the competition this season, level with Aston Villa’s Kortney Hause (one goal conceded across his 360 minutes on the field).
32 – 32 of Sheffield United’s Premier League results since last season have finished with a one-goal margin (W13 L19), more than any other side – indeed, their four Premier League wins this season have all been by the odd goal. Knife. pic.twitter.com/GtYSaXkIHE
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 3, 2021
Left-back Shaw is continuing to enjoy his best season for Manchester United, even if the Red Devils are badly struggling for any sort of consistency.
The England international has four Premier League assists to his name in 2021 – more than any other defender – having set up goals for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani and Scott McTominay.
He also leads the way this calendar year for chances created by defenders with 34.
Arsenal skipper Aubameyang appears to be returning to his best form after scoring eight goals in his last 10 matches in all competitions.
The Gabon international may have fired a blank as a late substitute against Leicester City last time out, but he will fancy his chances of finding the net in Saturday’s trip to Burnley.
That is because Aubameyang has scored seven goals in his six previous Premier League meetings with the Clarets, the most he has netted against any team in the competition.
Crystal Palace have recorded back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League, but if they are to extend that run they will need to keep Son quiet in Sunday’s showdown with Tottenham.
The South Korea international tends to enjoy playing against the Eagles, having scored five times and assisted once in seven top-flight starts in this head-to-head.
Son’s five goals against Palace is bettered only by the eight he has managed against Southampton.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 3, 2021
Southampton’s slump continued with defeat to Everton last time out and Ralph Hasenhuttl will know the importance of bringing an end to his side’s nine-game winless streak in the league.
The stuttering Saints head to bottom side Sheffield United on Saturday and that could mean a return to scoring ways for out-of-form Adams, who has scored three goals in three appearances against his former employers.
The 24-year-old, who spent two full seasons at Bramall Lane earlier in his career, has not scored more than once again any other Premier League opponent.
Watkins has gone four matches without scoring in the league, but the statistics suggest you should not lose faith in the Aston Villa striker just yet.
He has netted seven times at home in the Premier League this season – Christian Benteke, with 11 in 2012-13, was the last Villa player to score more in a single top-flight campaign.
The last English player to net more times at Villa Park in a Premier League season, meanwhile, was Darius Vassell in 2001-02 with eight goals.