The Weekend in Numbers: Van Gaal's problems go from front to back and Sunderland can't stop conceding

it's the Bank Holiday Monday edition of the stats you need to know ahead of the festive fixtures

David De Gea, Manchester United

Image: Image: Richard Sellers / EMPICS Sport

Another full round of Premier League fixtures awaits, so here are some of the key numbers to keep an eye out for as the festive fixture list gets in to full swing. 

Leicester face a stern test

After losing to Liverpool on Saturday, there's another big test ahead of Claudio Ranieri's table-topping underdogs (or underfoxes) in the form of Manchester City. 

Although Manuel Pellegrini's side have been in good form at home, winning three on the bounce and scoring nine goals in the process, they haven't won on the road since a victory over Crystal Palace in the middle of September. Since that game, they have only scored two goals away from the Etihad and are coming off the back of two losses in a row.

Leicester, on the other hand, were held goalless for the first time this season against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side on Saturday, and while they're no strangers to going behind in a game and coming back to win points, they couldn't find the decisive goal that they needed against a shaky defence. 

Ranieri may opt to emphasise the importance of a clean sheet against this opposition though, as Manchester City have shown that when they get the lead this season, they're loathe to give it up.

Van Gaal's problems go from front to back

At first, they simply couldn't score goals, but now the problem for the Dutchman is becoming much more severe, as it appears that the defence is also struggling for confidence. 

They have gone five games without a win in the Premier League, losing three of those fixtures and scoring only three goals along the way. The more worrying thing is the nature of the goals they are conceding however; as well as having seen seven goals go in over that dire run, they're beginning to concede in greater numbers. 

Their record at home is far superior to their record away (four of their five defeats have been on the road), and with a visiting Chelsea side that have won just once on the road this year (conceding 15 goals in those eight games), Louis will have to hope that Hiddink hasn't quite fixed the errors in their back line just yet.

Sunderland need to arrest their slide

Liverpool aren't in action until Wednesday night when they play Sunderland, who are in a tail spin at the moment. After a decent start to life under Sam Allardyce, which included a 3-0 win over local rivals Newcastle, things have not gone to plan and the usually tight and resolute defensive tactics that Big Sam has built his reputation on do not appear to be having the desired impact. 

Image: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Since that win against the Magpies, they've lost six of their eight games, conceding 18 goals along the way. Despite that, Allardyce may take heart in the fact that Liverpool were not at their best against Watford or Leicester (despite getting three points), and have shown that an organised defence can blunt their attack with relative ease once they manage to shut down Philippe Coutinho. 

Sunderland have won eight of their 12 points so far at home, and with Klopp's side only scoring four in their last five games, there may be a good chance for them to shore things up here. 

Harry Kane finding form again

Last season Kane forced his way into the Spurs starting lineup with a scoring run that meant he simply could not be ignored, and while he had a slow start to the season this time out, he's once again found the type of form that suggests that last year was not a fluke for the England international. 

Image: Tim Ireland / AP/Press Association Images

While he was unable to find the net in six games at the start of the season, he's scored 10 goals in his last nine games in the league, taking his total to 11 for the season. Kane isn't the only player in form however, as Delle Alli is also finding that he's got goals in his boots, whether that's in the form of assists or slotting them home himself.

Unfortunately for Spurs, all that attacking prowess hasn't translated into as many wins as they would like, and they come up against a Watford side who have proven difficult to beat. They recently thrashed Liverpool and drew with Chelsea, winning four out of their last five games. They have also kept clean sheets in six of their nine games at home, so Pochettino will need Kane and Alli in top form if they're going to get points from this match.