Stat, Viz, Quiz is the weekly Opta Analyst football newsletter. You can subscribe for free, and read our latest edition below, which includes numbers on Manchester City vs Arsenal, Barcelona, and the Premier League’s most-travelled player.

It’s the last international break of the season, and there have been some dramatic moments.

Whether your country is fighting for something or just playing friendlies, though, it’s difficult to take your mind too far away from club football, which returns with a bang at the weekend.

The Premier League comes back with two of the three horses in the title race going head-to-head as Manchester City host Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners don’t have a great record at the Etihad Stadium, but can they earn what would be a massive win in Manchester?

Barcelona boss Xavi said in January that he will step away from the club at the end of the season, and his team have improved since. Coincidence? With reports that the club is trying to change his mind, just how much have the La Liga giants stepped it up in recent weeks?

We also have an Ask Opta question about players with more clubs than Scottie Scheffler, and a Wembley-inspired quiz.

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

STAT Arsenal Must be Great to Avoid Eight

Manchester City’s recent trip to Liverpool was the biggest game of the season in the Premier League. Such is the way of things, now City’s game against Arsenal on Sunday will be the new biggest game of the season.

The three-way battle for the title in England’s top flight has been fascinating up to this point, and will take another turn one way or the other by this time next week.

City have only dropped four points in their last 11 games (W9 D2); Arsenal have won their last eight league games in a row. Something must give.

Pep Guardiola’s men sit one point behind Arsenal but will presumably fancy their chances of ending Sunday two points ahead considering their excellent recent record against Mikel Arteta’s side.

Man City have won 12 of their last 13 Premier League games against Arsenal, though it must be remembered that the one exception was their 1-0 defeat at the Emirates in the reverse fixture this season.

With this game being at the Etihad, though, Arsenal must overcome another hurdle.

They have lost each of their last seven Premier League away games against Man City. The Gunners last had a longer losing run on the road in the league against Leeds United, losing eight in a row between 1958 and 1968.

Arsenal record at Etihad last 7

What also doesn’t help the visitors is that City will come into this clash unbeaten in their last 38 home games in all competitions (W33 D5). The last team to leave with a win was Brentford in November 2022 (2-1). It is City’s second-longest run without defeat at home in their history, following a run of 42 between December 1919 and November 1921.

All that said, records are there to be broken and Arsenal’s eight-game winning streak that sent them top of the table saw them score 33 goals and concede just four. They are the form team, and City will surely need to be at their best to take all three points.

Arteta will just be hoping Arsenal can find a win. The neutrals among us will hope for a better game than the reverse fixture at the Emirates, and something to make the title race even more enticing.

A 5-5 draw will do, lads.

VIZ Can Barcelona Overperformance Force Xavi U-Turn?

Barcelona xG difference since Xavi announced leaving
Viz by Jonathan Manuel

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has said he wants Xavi to change his mind about leaving the club at the end of the season.

The World Cup winner and Barça legend announced in late January that he had decided to step aside at the end of 2023-24.

It followed a poor run of form that saw them thrashed 4-1 at Real Madrid in the Supercopa de España, beaten by Athletic Club in the Copa Del Rey, and suffer an embarrassing 5-3 defeat at home to Villarreal in La Liga. After that, they sat 11 points off Girona (with a game in hand), who led the league at the time Xavi made his announcement.

However, since then, Barça have won six and drawn two of eight La Liga games, overtaking Girona in the process and they are now eight points behind Madrid at the top. They have also qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League after getting past Napoli in the round of 16.

It’s not just an improvement in results, though. As this week’s viz above shows, their performance against their expected goals (xG) was dramatically underwhelming between Matchday 10 and when Xavi made his announcement after Matchday 21. That period consisted of 11 games that saw Barcelona score 21 goals from 26.12 xG and concede 19 goals from 13.69 xG against.

Since then, they have played eight La Liga games, scoring 17 goals from 14.32 xG and conceding five from 6.4 xG against. They’re also on a run of not conceding in their last four league games.

Can they maintain this form? Quite possibly. Will it be enough to convince Xavi to change his mind? It seems unlikely given his reasons appeared to be more to do with the media than the team.

If Xavi’s time at Barça does end in May, it would at least be appropriate to see them end the campaign strongly.

But in this crazy game, never say never.

QUIZ Wembley Wonders

With Endrick scoring the winner for Brazil against England on Saturday, he became the youngest male player to score at Wembley Stadium at just 17 years and 246 days old. Following the achievement of the future Real Madrid forward, we decided to give our quiz this week a Wembley theme. Answers at the bottom of the page.

1. Endrick’s goal made him the youngest player in an international game to score at Wembley, beating which fellow Brazilian’s record?

2. Which former Arsenal and Liverpool player is the youngest ever to score for England men’s senior team at Wembley?

3. Which former Manchester United and Northern Ireland player’s overall record for the youngest male to score at Wembley did Endrick break?

4. The 1-0 defeat to Brazil ended a 20-game unbeaten run for England. They host Belgium on Tuesday and have not lost consecutive games at home since November 2013, when they were beaten by which two nations?

5. What Wembley record could either Leandro Trossard or Youri Tielemans accomplish if they find the net against England in Tuesday’s friendly?

Ask Opta

This week’s question comes to us via X from Morphine_GH, who asks: “Which player has played for most PL teams?”

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.


Marcus Bent is the only player to represent eight Premier League teams during his career, with his CV including Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers, Ipswich Town, Leicester City, Everton, Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic and Wolves. The former striker scored 40 goals in 215 Premier League games overall.

Five players are tied in second, with seven clubs represented each in the Premier League: Craig Bellamy, Tal Ben Haim, Peter Crouch, Andrew Cole and Wayne Routledge.

The evergreen James Milner will join that list if he moves to another Premier League club before retiring, with Brighton the sixth top-flight club of his career.

Most clubs played for PL

What Are We up to at Opta Analyst?

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

⚽️ The Numbers Behind the Premier League Goal Explosion

🧱 From Rock-Solid Arsenal to Manchester United’s Instability: Premier League Centre-Back Partnerships in Review

🏆 Euro 2024 Play-Off Predictions: Deciding the Final Three

🏃‍♂️ Carry Kings of Europe: 2023-24 Edition

👴👶 The Oldest and Youngest Premier League Teams in 2023-24

Opta Player Ratings & Games

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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. Ronaldo (vs England in June 1995, aged 18y 262d)

2. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (vs San Marino in October 2012, aged 19y 58d)

3. Norman Whiteside (for Manchester United vs Liverpool in March 1983, aged 17y, 323d)

4. Chile and Germany

5. Either could become the first Belgian to score a club goal and an international goal at Wembley

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