The stat that highlights one of Newcastle and Sunderland's biggest problems

Sunderland Stadium of Light

Some clear patterns have developed so far this Premier League campaign...

Newcastle United and Sunderland may both be works in progress but a key stat shows why there is so much room for improvement in the North East after four Premier League games.

Indeed, both Newcastle and Sunderland are struggling massively in the creativity department.

While Arsenal have created no less than 65 chances so far this term - even if they have far from converted them all - the local rivals have only just managed more than half that between them...

  Chances CreatedGames
West Brom 33 4
Everton 29 4
Stoke 28 4
West Ham 28 4
Sunderland 26 4
Newcastle 17 4

As Opta stats show, both the Magpies and the Black Cats have created the fewest chances in the top flight so far. Rather un-coincidentally, they are in the bottom three after four games.

What's interesting is the fact Everton and West Ham United are also in the bottom six, despite registering impressive away wins so far this Premier League season.

That suggests West Ham and Everton have so far been better at actually taking their chances - but Newcastle have still created far less. Granted, the Magpies have endured tough games against Manchester United and Arsenal, where they will have been on the defensive.

The fact they have only fashioned 17 opportunities, though, suggests Newcastle's strikers aren't yet a problem - but the service to them is. That should improve with time, while Sunderland fans will no doubt hope the same applies to them, although their back four remains their biggest concern.

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