Chelsea have topped the Match of the Day running order more times than any other team so far this season but what about Newcastle United?

The head of BBC football coverage, Mark Cole, has been explaining why some clubs have featured more prominently this season than others.

The main focus being on Chelsea and Manchester United.

Chelsea have easily been the most popular (x5) choice, which Cole says is because the Champions losing is always a story.

With West Ham next most popular (x3), the Hammers producing some great football but also winning big games, including beating Manchester City and Arsenal away.

As for Manchester United, amazingly considering all their armchair fans, Man Utd have only figured in top spot once this season. The BBC’s head of football pointing to their style of football not being ‘easy on the eye’.

Newcastle have hit top spot only once, whilst Sunderland have had the honour twice.

As for being shown last, Newcastle have filled the final spot twice, yet Sunderland not at all – a possible explanation below though….

The BBC’s head of football Mark Cole:

“When the champions (Chelsea) are losing, it is always a story. Throw in a bit of Jose Mourinho and it means they are quite often in the mix around the top of the running order.

“We also look at the publicity side, in terms of what is going to be on the back pages of the newspapers, because that basically is what people want to see.”

Mourinho a key factor?

“Absolutely. In one of the last rounds of games, when he did his interview we actually ran it in full and it was about two minutes. Normally we would put a couple of 20-second clips in there, but we decided to run it in full because it was a really interesting exchange and we thought that was really insightful for the audience to see Mourinho’s state of mind.

“It dominates so many of the back pages and it is something there is real interest in – what is going to happen next in the soap opera that is Jose Mourinho?”

match of the day running order

Manchester United:

“I think if you probably look 10 years ago or to when (Manchester!) United used to play that free-flowing football with pace and wingers and an attacking style, that was a lot easier on the eye.

“It is not to say that Louis van Gaal is not doing a fantastic job – and I think for Manchester United fans it is about them being in the top four of the Premier League and not the top four of our running order.”

Why Sunderland have avoided last place…

Sunderland’s capacity to leak goals may have saved them from last place, with seven of the 12 programmes featuring goalless draws as the last game.

The first match of the Match of The Day running order averages 4.33 goals, whereas the final one averages only 0.66 goals.