Chelsea are in exceptional form right now having rattled off 11 consecutive wins in the Premier League, but Antonio Conte will have a reason to be upset.
Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have led their charge thus far, with the Spanish striker topping the goalscoring charts with 13 in 17 games, while his Belgian teammate has been back to somewhere near his best form after a forgettable campaign last year.
In turn, given their involvement in Chelsea’s overall play and success so far this season, it’s perhaps no surprise to see that they lead a list of the most fouled players in the Premier League.
As seen in the tweet below from Squawka, Hazard takes top spot having been fouled on 54 occasions, while Costa is a close second with 46.
Most fouls suffered in the Premier League this season:
Eden Hazard (54)
Diego Costa (46)
Wilfried Zaha (44)
Adam Smith (38)
Paul Pogba (37) pic.twitter.com/Ga5YWO35jw
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 18, 2016
Given the lack of depth that Conte has up front, he’ll be desperate to see more protection of his players in order to avoid one of these fouls resulting in a serious setback.
Costa will miss the clash with Bournemouth due to suspension, which in turn will give summer signing Michy Batshuayi a chance to impress.
However, there is no replacing Costa in this type of form and so while his critics may argue he brings most of it on himself and plays up to fouls, from a Chelsea perspective there will be concern.
In contrast, a pair of Manchester United superstars lead the way in the most fouls committed so far this season category, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (38) and Paul Pogba (36) clearly needing to control themselves more efficiently.
With United finding some form in recent weeks with three consecutive Premier League wins, the last thing they need is for either Ibrahimovic or Pogba to miss out due to suspension in a busy schedule and so that will be a concern for Jose Mourinho.
Ibrahimovic in particular was in the headlines on Saturday night after a heavy challenge on Craig Dawson in the win at West Bromwich Albion.
While the 35-year-old escaped punishment, on another day his aggression could have cost his side badly.
Most fouls committed in the Premier League this season:
Z. Ibrahimovic (38)
P. Pogba (36)
V. Wanyama (34)
N. Amrabat (33)
Red devils. pic.twitter.com/XBjnOQQGog
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 17, 2016