The PL ‘big six’ head-to-head table in 2022-23: Arsenal still top…

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Mikel Arteta during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium, London, October 2022.

The clashes between the traditional Premier League ‘Big Six’ are always important in the battle for the top four and title race and the 2022-23 season is no exception.

There have been some brilliant clashes in the much-hyped Premier League glamour fixtures and the results in them correlate to how the table is shaping up.

Arsenal have been the story of the 2022-23 season and their performances on the big stage have been a major reason. Their only home defeat this season was to Manchester City, while they lost on the road at Old Trafford, but they’ve beaten Liverpool and Chelsea, done the double over north London rivals Spurs and got their revenge over the Red Devils courtesy Eddie Nketiah’s last-gasp winner at the Emirates.

Mikel Arteta’s Gunners still have to play Manchester City away in the league. There’s every chance that meeting in April decides who lifts the Premier League trophy come May.

The results in the big games this season have been a symbol of Arsenal’s turnaround this season. Arsenal had the worst record in the ‘big six’ mini-league last term, having lost seven of their 10 clashes against their fellow heavyweights last term.

Meanwhile, champions Manchester City have lost to rivals Liverpool and Manchester United but beaten Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and United. In particular, their 4-2 comeback win over Antonio Conte’s Spurs showed you’d be a fool to write them off in the title race – although their 1-0 defeat in the rematch a fortnight later shows they still have a hoodoo at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Erik ten Hag has done stellar work at Old Trafford, leading Manchester United to home wins over City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs. But they’ve also lost away to City and Arsenal and suffered a humiliating 7-0 reverse at Anfield.

Liverpool and Chelsea’s 0-0 draw at Anfield was a demonstration of how the two Champions League sides have regressed this season, but the Reds win over United underlines their recent revival.

Klopp’s Reds have shown some fight in wins over Man City and Spurs but also lost to United and Arsenal.

All the while Chelsea remain the only side yet to win a ‘big six’ clash this season, with the worst record in the heavyweight clashes, though they have mustered draws against Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs.

Tottenham have lost five of their eight ‘big six’ matches, having been beaten by Arsenal home and away, Liverpool, Manchester United and City.

They took a point from their 2-2 draw at home to Chelsea back in August, beating them in February’s reverse fixture, and beat City 1-0, continuing their remarkable home record against Pep Guardiola’s side, who have yet to win or score at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It’s important to note that unlike most seasons of late, the big six are unlikely to occupy the top six places in the table. Surprise packages Brighton, Fulham and Brentford are ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool as things stand, while newly-minted Newcastle United are looking strong in their top-four push.

Should Newcastle continue to improve, we may have to question whether the concept of ‘the big six’ is relevant anymore and whether we might have to extend it to a ‘big seven’ in the coming years.

But, ignoring Newcastle for now, here’s how the traditional ‘big six’ have stacked up in fixtures against one another this season.

1. Arsenal – 15 points

Played: 7
Won: 5
Drawn: 0
Lost: 2

Goals for: 14
Goals against: 11
Goal difference: +3

2. Manchester United – 13 points

Played: 7
Won: 4
Drawn: 1
Lost: 3

Goals for: 15
Goals against: 20
Goal difference: -5

3. Manchester City – 12 points

Played: 7
Won: 4
Drawn: 0
Lost: 3

Goals for: 15
Goals against: 10
Goal difference: +5

4. Liverpool – 10 points

Played: 6
Won: 3
Drawn: 1
Lost: 2

Goals for: 13
Goals against: 6
Goal difference: +7

READ: Comparing every PL club’s point and goals tallies to the halfway stage last term

5. Tottenham – 7 points

Played: 8
Won: 2
Drawn: 1
Lost: 5

Goals for: 9
Goals against: 15
Goal difference: -6

6. Chelsea – 3 points

Played: 5
Won: 0
Drawn: 3
Lost: 3

Goals for: 3
Goals against: 7
Goal difference: -2

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