The Weekend in Numbers: Stoke could topple Van Gaal and can Klopp drop the Foxes from the top?

Can Leicester's incredible run of form keep going through the Christmas period?

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool,

Image: Andrew Matthews / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ahead of a bumper festive period, here are a few of the key stats to keep an eye on. 

St. Stephen's Day sees a full fixture list taking place, so here are a few interesting stats nuggets to throw out while the family sit back and watch football straight through from 12.45 until the evening kick off of 7.45pm. 

Is Van Gaal for the chop?

Stoke's win against Manchester City shows just how strong they can be when they play to their full potential; while they were worth more than a 2-0 win that day, that has been their only victory in the last four games, as Mark Hughes struggles to get them to perform consistently at that level. 

They have gotten themselves up the table thanks to a solid defence that has kept seven clean sheets this season. United's goal scoring troubles have been much talked about, and Stoke are certainly not the team they would want to come up against if they're trying to break the duck.

However, there are some statistics that will give fans hope for their trip to the Britannia: Stoke have never kept a clean sheet against Manchester United since their return to the Premier League, and Mark Hughes has only won three of his 20 matches as a manager against his old club, one of which was thanks to a famous hat-trick from David Bentley for Blackburn back in 2006. 

Furthermore, Manchester United have won every single won of their fixtures on the 26th of December in the last 10 years, and with rumours that Van Gaal's job might be on the line, he'll be hoping to make it 11 if possible.  

Can the Foxes outsmart Liverpool? 

The form book says that this game should only really go one way, with Leicester top of the table and Liverpool struggling to find form. 

An embarrassing defensive display against Watford last time out also suggests that this will not be a kind match-up for Klopp's side: Leicester have scored 12 goals in their last five games, while Liverpool have only kept two clean sheets in the Premier League since Klopp joined the club. 

A big headache for the Liverpool manager will be at the back, where his first choice goalkeeper isn't fit and Adam Bogdan had a nightmare game last week that suggested he's not ready for the step up in responsibility. Furthermore, Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren will be missing from this game, leaving a big gaping hole in the middle of the defence, which Leicester are more than able to exploit. 

Only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have been involved in more goals this season (goals and assists) than Riyad Mahrez, while Jamie Vardy is not far behind in that regard either. 

Image: Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal look to avoid their usual slump

After a win against Manchester City on Monday night, Arsenal's title hopes took a big leap forward as they secure their third win on the trot. However, they're struggling with a number of injuries, and given that they tend to have a bit of a slump every season, the congested festive fixture list could see them struggle to make it through unscathed.

Their run of games is favourable, and starts with a trip to St. Mary's on St. Stephen's Day, with Southampton in a real funk. They're without a win in five matches, and have lost four of those games, so manager Ronald Koeman will be desperately hoping their fortunes can turn around here. 

Image: Chris Ison / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal's injury list includes Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez, and they don't have a great record at St. Mary's: they've failed to win away to Southampton since the Saints returned to the Premier League, while their most recent meeting there saw the Londoners beaten 2-0. 

However, Koeman's side have already lost at home four times this season, proving it's not the fortress it once was.