Arsenal face Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge 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.
SHERE CLASS - JACK HITS TOP FORM
Jack Wilshere has hit top form in recent weeks, and has earned a host of plaudits for his displays over the past seven days in particular. He was imperious against Swansea on Wednesday, scoring the only goal of the game and delivering a performance of such poise and promise that Arsène Wenger was moved to reflect on his "outstanding" talisman. "He is the complete midfielder, he can play anywhere. He is a guy who can dribble and give a final ball, so the closer he is to goal, the better it is. He has quality and enthusiasm, and love for the game," the manager said.
The England international was deployed in a more advanced role against Swansea, but it was his bustling, energetic display against Manchester City just three days prior that was perhaps even more remarkable. Then, Wilshere sat in the deeper role that he usually occupies in the Arsenal midfield, but as our heatmap and chalkboard above indicates, he drove forward at every available opportunity.
Wilshere made 47 passes against the champions as Wenger's 10-man team attempted to drag themselves back into the game, and finished with a success rate of 85.7 per cent (only bettered by second-half substitute Aaron Ramsey). Wilshere won seven fouls, more than any player on the pitch, as City set about trying to close him down and limit his influence - yet still Wilshere remained at the heartbeat of almost every Arsenal attack.
It was a highly-encouraging performance and one that Wenger will hope he is able to repeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
THE HEART OF THE MATA
Two of the most exciting talents in the Premier League will go head to head at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, when Juan Mata and Santi Cazorla line up on opposing sides. The Spain internationals are similar players in terms of their superb passing, their exceptional use of space and their ability to dictate plays for their respective teams.
Mata has been one of the stars of the season so far. The 24-year-old had been strongly linked with Arsenal before he eventually signed for Chelsea, and he has proved a revelation since his arrival in England. Mata and Cazorla have both scored seven times in the Premier League this term, although the former has created marginally more chances than his compatriot (52 to 51) and has claimed three more assists.
Cazorla, however, has made over 300 passes more than Mata, yet possesses a superior success rate of 87.6 per cent to 85.8 per cent and is more influential with those passes in the opposition's half. Despite his diminutive stature, Cazorla has surprisingly won more of his aerial duels than the Chelsea man (44.4 per cent to 33.3 per cent) and has made far more recoveries.
Both Mata and Cazorla will be dangermen at Stamford Bridge this weekend, but the one who is able to have more influence on the game could prove to be decisive.
CHELSEA v ARSENAL - MATCH FACTS
- Arsenal have won away at Stamford Bridge more often than any other Premier League side (seven times) and scored more goals (27)
- When Arsenal won 5-3 away at Chelsea last season, they became the first and only away team to net five times in a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge
- Demba Ba scored two goals in his final match for Newcastle before signing for Chelsea and they came against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on December 29
- Theo Walcott scored his first ever goal for Arsenal against Chelsea when he netted in the 2007 League Cup final
- Arsenal have fewer points this season after 21 games than in any previous Premier League campaign under Arsène Wenger
- The Gunners have lost just three of their last 19 Premier League away matches (W9 D7 L3) and are unbeaten in the last five (W2 D3 L0)
- Arsenal have scored more goals (9) in the final 10 minutes of games this season than any other team in the top flight
- The Blues scored two goals from just three shots on target in their 2-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates earlier this season
- Rafa Benitez's home record in games as an opposition coach against Arsène Wenger with Valencia and Liverpool is (W5 D2 L3)
- Chelsea got fewer points from London derbies than any capital club last season (8), but have already matched that tally this season
- Chelsea have won only one of their last seven Premier League home games
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