It often feels as though the Premier League is getting faster and faster paced with every year that passes, prompting Sky Sports to do some research into the distance each team has covered over the course of the 2016/17 campaign.
Having arrived with a reputation for playing a high-pressing game, Jurgen Klopp has guided Liverpool into first place in the rankings with an astounding average of 116.9 km covered per game; a figure that is likely to have given Sam Allardyce and his coaching staff real food for thought in the build-up to the clash.
Similarly, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City occupy a predictably high second place in the table with 115 km per game, highlighting the shift in ethos that has been encouraged under the Spaniard’s guidance but there are more than a few surprising placings along the way too.
After fighting their way to the Premier League title last May with a high-octane style of play, Leicester City occupy a startlingly low position out of the 20 sides, whilst Manchester United, managed by the well-known authoritarian Jose Mourinho are arguably the biggest shock of all.
From our own perspective, it’s worth remembering that the season has seen both Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce take charge of the group, who would both happily admit to having vastly different approaches to the game. As such, there is an obvious case to be made for the final table being somewhat skewed but if anything, it shows just how big a job Sam had on his hands to turn things around when he first arrived at Selhurst Park.
Whilst fitness and work-rate aren’t the only defining factors to take account when measuring a team’s success, they usually offer a pretty good snapshot into a group’s collective approach to the game.