Needless to say, as the season is still ongoing, the number of games versus big six sides is different for each team. Swansea have played the most but are still top of the table, with double the wins over next closest QPR and the fewest losses.
(It's also worth pointing out that of the ten remaining games, for QPR six of them will be against big six sides in a close title race. Also, QPR have no more games left against any of the other teams caught in the relegation quagmire. Sparky's got his work cut out and no mistake).
To offset the discrepancy in the number of games played, I also calculated the teams Goals For Per Game (GFPG), Goals Against Per Game (GAPG) and Points Per Game (PPG); once again, Swansea comfortably lead all categories, with literally four times the points return of Norwich and twice that of QPR.
As things stand, the Swans are hitting a very respectable point-per-game versus the big boys; at the start of the season, a point-per-game clip would have given any of the promoted teams 38 points total and a chance of staying up. That Swansea have managed a point per game against the big six sides is remarkable, and makes the best statement yet about Swansea's legitimacy as a top flight team.
Having conducted this experiment, I couldn't help but wonder what the flipside would be - how these three promoted teams have fared against the weakest teams in the league. Looking at the table, the bottom five clubs have formed a relegation bracket of their own, with an eight point difference acting as a breakwater between the mid-table supremacists, and only four points separating the five relegation-threatened teams.
Of course, this is slightly unfair to QPR, as they presently are one of those five teams. However, since we'll be looking at points averages, the fact QPR's figures are based on a slightly smaller sampling of games shouldn't matter too much. Here's the table :
Interestingly, Swansea are not top here, but Norwich are instead, and by an impressive distance. Or is it impressive? Considering Norwich came dead last in the results table versus big six opposition and clear first in the 'weakest five' table, perhaps it would be fair to say they flatter to deceive, beating up the weaker teams whilst capitulating to the stronger. It's an understandable pattern, but considering the Swans own record versus weak teams is still very respectable, and their record against the league's biggest teams is fantastic, I feel the Swans can be justifiably proud of their Premier League performance so far.
Clearly, I am not the only one to think so, as Brendan's boys won the 'performance of the week award' for the display against Man City. It probably helped that Sir Alex Ferguson was on the judging panel, but nevertheless, it was a great result. When you can miss a penalty and force Roberto Mancini to make a tactical substitution with only half an hour gone, you must be doing something right.
On the subject of the penalty miss; I think it's probably a good thing. Not having missed a penalty in two years was a considerable rod for Scott Sinclair's back, and the fact he has finally missed will hopefully have taken a load of pressure off for future kicks. The fact it didn't cost the game probably helped, too.
Next up, a tricky away fixture against an in-form Fulham side. It's a real six-pointer, with Fulham sitting one place above the Swans only by virtue of goal difference. Predictions?