Arsenal face Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in the Premier League on Sunday.

With Stats Zone, you can brush up on the facts and figures behind every Gunners match this season, brought to you by Opta and the official matchday programme.  

ROCK OF AGES

Per Mertesacker defensive display v Bayern Munich (a)
Per Mertesacker defensive display v Bayern Munich (a)

With Arsenal on the back foot in Munich, they needed an outstanding performance from Per Mertesacker - and they got one. Against a Bayern side that had scored 15 goals in their previous three games, the Germany international and the rest of the Arsenal defence restricted the hosts to relatively few chances.

Mertesacker led the backline superbly, barking out instructions to team-mates and ensuring they kept their shape in the face of waves of Bayern pressure, particularly in the first half. As our heatmap above shows, he spent most of his time in and around his own area but stood firm to frustrate the European champions.

At 6ft 6in, Mertesacker also made use of his height to win every single one of his aerial duels, while his 12 clearances (purple triangles in the chalkboard above) was the joint-most - with Javi Martinez - of any player on the pitch. Not only that, Mertesacker made three interceptions (blue) just outside the box, one defensive block (yellow) and five recoveries (orange) to win the ball back for Arsenal.

It was a consummate display from Mertesacker, but one we have come to expect from him during a stellar season at the heart of the Arsenal defence.

KEY BATTLE: ADEBAYOR v MERTESACKER

Emmanuel Adebayor v Per Mertesacker
Emmanuel Adebayor v Per Mertesacker

Mertesacker will have his hands full with the rejuvenated Emmanuel Adebayor on Sunday, though. The former Arsenal striker has been the chief beneficiary of Tim Sherwood's appointment as Tottenham boss in December, scoring 11 goals in 17 games, having only played once under former manager Andre Villas-Boas this season.

Mertesacker will be wary of the Togo forward's pace and movement, although he should be able to dominate in the air, having won 71.6 per cent of his aerial challenges to Adebayor's 34.1 per cent. The Arsenal centre back should be equally confident on the floor as he has a tackle success rate of 72.2 per cent (although this is exactly the same as Adebayor's).

The Tottenham striker scores on average every 147.3 minutes in the Premier League and, having failed in his past three domestic games - against Norwich, Cardiff and Chelsea - he is 'due' a goal. However, with Mertesacker in imperious form you would not bet against the Germany centre back locking Adebayor out again on Sunday.

TOTTENHAM v ARSENAL - MATCH FACTS

  • Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in their last five Premier League home games but shipped five against Man City in the other match
  • Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in their last seven Premier League away games and have won none of the last three (D1 L2)
  • Emmanuel Adebayor has scored more goals than any other player in north London derby history (10 – eight for Arsenal and two for Spurs)
  • Arsenal have won none of the last five Premier League north London derbies at White Hart Lane (W0 D2 L3) with all three defeats by a 1-2 scoreline
  • Per Mertesacker has scored in two of his last three Premier League games against Tottenham
  • Olivier Giroud has scored the opening goal in seven different Premier League matches this season; more often than any other player
  • Tottenham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 30 Premier League north London derbies (Feb 2009)
  • Tottenham are seeking their 50th league win over the Gunners. Arsenal have won 63 and there have been 41 draws
  • Tottenham have made 13 errors leading to goal in the Premier League this season, three more than any other side. Three of them came last weekend against Chelsea

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Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Rob Kelly 14 Mar 2014