Stat, Viz, Quiz is the weekly Opta Analyst football newsletter. Our latest edition includes numbers on Arsenal, Mohamed Salah, and those most fouled.

We’re back from the final international break of the season, which means the start of the home straight as we head to what promises to be a dramatic climax to 2023-24.

As you may have seen on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday or the BBC’s Match of the Day at the weekend, our fabled Opta supercomputer has made Liverpool the new favourites for the Premier League title. The Reds beat Brighton on Sunday before Manchester City and Arsenal played out a goalless draw.

We’ll take a closer look at the achievement of the Gunners to shut out the reigning champions, while we’ll also be investigating Mohamed Salah’s afternoon against the Seagulls.

If you have any more room after a feast of football and Easter eggs over the weekend, we also have a quiz for you as well as an Ask Opta question about players who keep getting kicked.

If you haven’t done so already, you can subscribe below and receive Stat, Viz, Quiz direct to your inbox every Tuesday.

STAT Arsenal: Potent City Stoppers

It was the big game of the weekend; so much so that we even previewed it in last week’s SVQ. Manchester City versus Arsenal. The irresistible force versus the immovable object. An absolute chess match.

Of course, the problem with something being like a chess match is that while it can be a lot of fun to play if someone tells you what the horsey one does, it’s not exactly the most exciting spectator event.

And so it proved at the Etihad Stadium.

The 0-0 draw between City and Arsenal may have been music to Liverpool’s ears, but it was hardly the most invigorating of experiences for the neutral. It was, though, undoubtedly an impressive achievement from Mikel Arteta’s men to keep the clash so eventless.

The centre-back pairing of William Saliba and Gabriel were outstanding, although the former will have been relieved to see Erling Haaland uncharacteristically malfunction after the France international lost the Norwegian striker at the back post from a late corner.

Was it just one of those days for both sides, or something more deliberate? Well, it was only the third time this season in the Premier League that a game has featured just three shots on target or fewer. All three of those games have involved Arsenal, and one of the other two was the reverse of this fixture at the Emirates Stadium.

Games with 3 or fewer SoT PL 23-24

It ended a run of 47 consecutive home league games for Man City in which they’d found the net at least once. The last time had been a 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace in October 2021.

Arsenal also became just the fourth side to shut out a Pep Guardiola side in two league matches in the same season, after Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2014-15, Manchester United in 2020-21, and Palace in 2021-22.

It must also be noted that City kept Arsenal at bay impressively too. The Gunners attempted just six shots in the game, their lowest tally in a single Premier League fixture since November 2021, when they had five against Liverpool at Anfield.

Perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Both comfortably have the lowest expected goals against (xGA) in the Premier League this season. City’s 28.47 xGA is almost seven better than fellow title rivals Liverpool, but Arsenal’s is even further ahead of City’s. Their 20.75 xGA is why so many still believe they can leapfrog Jürgen Klopp’s men and claim their first Premier League since 2003-04.

After all, defences win titles.

VIZ Salah’s Shooting Gallery

Salah shot map v Brighton

If defences win titles, then Mohamed Salah clearly believes the best form of defence is as much attacking as humanly possible.

Liverpool’s top goalscorer was determined to score against Brighton on Sunday, attempting 12 shots in total at Anfield.

Eventually, it worked. Salah scored the winning goal in a 2-1 victory that sent Liverpool top of the table, finishing off a delightful move with a typically emphatic finish in front of the Kop.

Up to that point it had been a frustrating afternoon for the Egyptian, though. Liverpool fell behind to an early Danny Welbeck goal, before Luis Díaz equalised following Salah’s header back into the box after a corner.

His 12 shots were Salah’s most in a single game in the Premier League, on his 254th appearance in the competition for both Chelsea and Liverpool. Overall, it was the most shots attempted by a player in a Premier League match since Zlatan Ibrahimovic in October 2016 for Manchester United vs Burnley (12).

Of his 12 shots vs Brighton, four were on target and they accumulated 1.5 xG overall.

In total, Salah has attempted 82 shots in the Premier League this season (including blocks), with 39 on target. Only Erling Haaland (44) and Ollie Watkins (40) have hit the target more often, while his shot conversion rate of 19.5% is better than each of Haaland (19.0%), Watkins (18.0%) and Dominic Solanke (18.4%).

Between Salah and fellow Liverpool attacker Darwin Núñez, the Reds have plenty of firepower and their volume of shots is unlikely to die down any time soon. Núñez has attempted 88 shots himself, also hitting the target with 39, so Liverpool’s opponents can expect to be kept busy between now and the end of the season.

Whether it takes one shot or 12, offer Salah the chance to score a winning goal and he surely won’t mind how long it takes.

QUIZ Palmer Proficient, Solanke Strikes, and Brighton Beaten

The Premier League’s return brought more goals, more drama, and more ammo for the best footy quiz on the planet… probably. Here’s your five brain teasers for this week. Answers in the usual place at the bottom.

1. Chelsea’s Cole Palmer became the first Chelsea player to score in five consecutive Premier League home games for the Blues since who in December 2014?

2. Which player who found the net at the weekend in the Premier League has now recorded the most headed goals in the competition this season with five?

3. Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke has scored 16 Premier League goals this season, the joint-most ever scored for the Cherries during a single season in the competition alongside who in 2016-17?

4. Manchester United have faced 20+ shots in 11 different Premier League matches this term. Who are the only team to face as many more often?

5. Since the start of December, Brighton (6) have lost the second-most away games in the Premier League. Indeed, the Seagulls have won just five points on the road in this period (W1 D2 L6). Who are the only team to have lost more away games in this time?

Ask Opta

This week’s question comes to us via email from Paul Heighton, who asks: “Can you tell me who is the most fouled player for each Premier League team this season?”

Do you have a stat-based question you’d like Opta to answer in a future edition of SVQ? Email us at or message us on X @OptaAnalyst with #AskOpta and we’ll pick the best one.


We can indeed, Paul. Here you go:

  • Arsenal – Bukayo Saka (52)
  • Aston Villa – John McGinn (52)
  • Bournemouth – Dominic Solanke (32)
  • Brentford – Yoane Wissa (43)
  • Brighton – João Pedro (43)
  • Burnley – Josh Cullen (38)
  • Chelsea – Conor Gallagher (38)
  • Crystal Palace – Jordan Ayew (83)
  • Everton – Amadou Onana (40)
  • Fulham – João Palhinha (50)
  • Liverpool – Alexis Mac Allister (38)
  • Luton – Chiedozie Ogbene/Tahith Chong (47)
  • Manchester City – Phil Foden (47)
  • Manchester United – Alejandro Garnacho (44)
  • Newcastle – Bruno Guimarães (83)
  • Nottingham Forest – Morgan Gibbs-White (46)
  • Sheffield United – James McAtee (26)
  • Tottenham – James Maddison (55)
  • West Ham – Mohammed Kudus (56)
  • Wolves – Matheus Cunha/Rayan Aït-Nouri (37)
Most fouled PL players 23-24

What Are We up to at Opta Analyst?

Here’s some of the latest data-driven offerings you can find on our website:

⚽️ Manchester City 0-0 Arsenal Stats: Stalemate at the Etihad Leaves the Title Race Wide Open

📈 Liverpool 2-1 Brighton Stats: Mo Salah Haunts Brighton Again as Hosts Go Top

🏆 Who Will Win the Premier League in 2023-24?

🔵 How Pep Guardiola Expertly Manages Manchester City’s Surprisingly Shallow Squad

🔥 Championship Predictions: Ipswich Rise to the Top as Leicester and Leeds Drop Points

Opta Player Ratings & Games

Opta Games logo

If you haven’t done so yet, check out and play Opta’s FREE weekly football challenges, Opta Max and Opta Five.

Both games are powered by the Opta Player Ratings, a measure that takes into account over 100 different metrics to provide an accurate performance score (out of 100) for every player in a single match.

In Opta Max and Opta Five you can compare players’ latest players ratings and stats. Then put your player ratings knowledge to the test for a chance to win big prizes each week of the football season.

Head to the website to find out more and start playing Opta Games.

Quiz Answers

1. Eden Hazard

2. Chris Wood

3. Josh King

4. Sheffield United (12)

5. Brentford (8)

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