Ahead of every round of Premier League games, Sport360 – with some help from our friends at Opta Stats – will provide the pick of the facts and figures. Here are this week's highlights:
– PLAY: Sport360 World Cup Stick Cricket
Saturday February 7 – 16:45 (GST)
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
Saturday February 7 – 19:00 (GST)
Aston Villa v Chelsea
Leicester City v Crystal Palace
Manchester City v Hull City
Queens Park Rangers v Southampton
Swansea City v Sunderland
Everton v Liverpool
Sunday February 8 – 16:00 (GST)
Burnley v West Bromwich Albion
Sunday February 8 – 18:05 (GST)
Newcastle United v Stoke City
Sunday February 8 – 20:15 (GST)
West Ham United v Manchester United
All statistics and facts are brought to you by Opta Sports.
Olympiacos opened up an eight-point gap at the top of the Greek Super League on Wednesday beating Atromitos 2-1 and taking advantage of a defeat for PAOK Salonika.
Barcelona’s vice-president – appeared to contradict the club’s boss by claiming that the Catalan giants want to retain a sponsorship deal with Qatar for “many, many more years”.
Javier Faus said the club had “zero problems” with either the shirt sponsor, Qatar Airways, or the Gulf state itself, which has come under fire for its human rights record.
He was speaking in Doha at a star-spangled launch of the latest marketing campaign involving the football club and the airline, with Brazilian superstar Neymar and Spain’s 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 winning central defender Gerard Pique in attendance.
Last week, the club’s president Josep Bartomeu created a stir when he said the club were sensitive to “social and political aspects” in Qatar. But Faus said the five-year, estimated €165 million (Dh692m) sponsorship deal may be extended beyond next year when the initial contract runs out.
“We are extremely, extremely satisfied with Qatar Airways,” he said. “I can assure you there are zero, zero, zero problems with Qatar Airways, zero with Qatar and we definitely hope that this partnership lasts many, many, more years.”
Faus said the club had chosen Qatar “of course” for financial reasons, adding that Barcelona were operating in a very competitive arena where some of their rival clubs have unlimited resources.
The deal, which has been criticised by some in Barcelona, comes to an end in 2016.He was backed by a bullish Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar al-Baker who was also at the launch and suggested that Bartomeu, who has subsequently been named in a tax fraud probe in regarding the signing of striker Neymar, did not mean what he said about the political situation.
“I think we should ignore political statements,” he said. “You can see that we still have a partnership, we are promoting Barcelona, Barcelona is promoting Qatar Airways and we don’t get carried away by comments of people who may say something which really they don’t mean.”
The deal was the first paid-for sponsorship in Barcelona’s history. Initially, their shirt carried the name of the Qatar Foundation, a education non-profit organisation, but in 2013 this changed to Qatar Airways.
Bartomeu added last week that the club were “obliged” to look at other sponsors and said the social situation in Qatar had changed since the deal was signed.