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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

The Importance Of Scoring First

IF you listen in to Mark Hughes' pre-match press conferences you will often hear him highlight the importance of scoring the first goal in Premier League matches.

It was certainly influential to claiming maximum spoils against Crystal Palace at the weekend, but exactly how important is it to net the first goal of the game in the top-flight?

Well to help find out, has teamed up with 'NWSIS' to take an in-depth look at the finer details of stats based around scoring first at the bet365 Stadium.

Since being appointed as Potters boss in the summer of 2013, Hughes has overseen 70 home encounters in the Premier League, with his team scoring first in 40 of them.

Of those 40 only once have the Potters not gone on to claim at least a point from the fixture, with the only time they have been beaten from 1-0 up being against Crystal Palace, coincidentally our most recent home opponents, back in March, 2015.

Twenty seven of the 40 matches the side opened the scoring in were won, whilst a further 12 ended all square.

Conversely, at the other end of the field, the Potters have largely struggled to turn matches around when they have fallen behind to the opening goal.

In total, Hughes' troops have shipped the opening goal of the match in 25 of the 70 meetings on home soil, and have come back to win just six of those - the most recent being on the final day of the 2015/16 campaign.

Second half efforts from Giannelli Imbula and Mame Diouf proved enough to secure maximum spoils against West Ham United, who led through Michail Antonio, and secure the Club a third successive ninth place finish.

During Hughes' tenure in charge the Potters have come from 1-0 down to win six times, although they haven't been able to secure maximum points from any of the three matches they have conceded first in, at home, this term.

In fact, the Welshman has only picked up a point once in those 25 matches too, proving that scoring first really is pivotal to the outcome of a Premier League encounter.

Tomorrow we will take a look at which player has opened the scoring in more Premier League matches than any other and find out how the Potters fair when they are ahead at the half-time interval.

NWSIS is headed by Nick Webb, a professional statistician, who has spent most of his working life providing intelligence to the leaders of some of the biggest names in the financial services industry.

He has enjoyed a lifelong love of all sports-related statistical information and was an early member of both the Association of Football Statisticians and the Association of Cricket Statisticians.

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