This week our statistician Josh James looks at Arsenal's incredible passing statistics in the Premier League.
Arsenal have completed more passes than any other Premier League team so far this season, with Mikel Arteta leading the individual passing stakes for the league.
According to Opta stats, the Gunners have completed a league-high 15,770 passes from their 33 games so far (an average of 478 per game).
Arteta has already broken the Premier League record for complete passes in a season, and there are still five games to go
That's more than 1,000 passes ahead of the second-placed team, Manchester United. Arsenal also lead the charts in terms of passing accuracy with an 85.94 per cent success rate.
Of these 15,770 completed passes, 2,343 have been into the final third of the pitch (the fifth most in the league) while Arsenal have created 369 chances from open play so far this season - only Liverpool (415) and Tottenham (388) have created more.
Arsenal's chance conversion rate is such that they have outscored these two teams though, with 64 goals. In fact the Gunners have outscored every team aside from league leaders Manchester United (75), demonstrating that there has often been an end product to the build-up play.
The key to this might lie within the stats for passing accuracy when looking purely at passes in the opponents' half.
Here passing becomes more difficult as space is naturally restricted, but in this category Arsenal are the league leaders again, with 82.2 per cent accuracy, clear of Manchester City (80.3 per cent) and Manchester United (80.2 per cent).
Premier League passing stats 2012/13
|Successful passes||Passing accuracy (per cent)||Passes into final third||Chances created from open play|
Opta's stats also show that Gunners midfielder Mikel Arteta leads the way individually when it comes to the pass masters in the Premier League this season.
The Spaniard has been successful with 2,249 of his passes this term; Man United's Michael Carrick is the only other player with more than 2,000. In fact Arteta has already broken the Premier League record for complete passes in a season, and there are still five games to go.
Arteta very rarely wastes the ball too. His pass success rate is 92.4 per cent, while in the opponents' half his rate is a very impressive 90.4 per cent.
He has also created 16 chances from open play, but it's our other Spanish midfielder who catches the eye in this category. Santi Cazorla, who has completed the fourth most passes in his debut Premier League campaign, has created 65 chances this season - only three players (Luis Suarez, Rickie Lambert and David Silva) have more. Cazorla has seven Premier League assists.
Players' passing stats, Premier League 2012/13
|Player||Successful passes||Passing accuracy (per cent)||Passes into final third||Chances created from open play||Passing accuracy in opponents' half (per cent)|
|Jonathan De Guzman||1,490||88.53||220||26||83.78|
Should Arsenal finish top of the passing charts this season, it will be the fourth time in the past six years they have done so.
Every team that has finished top of the passing charts in the past six seasons has finished in the top four in the league
The wider implication is that every team that has finished top of the passing charts in the past six seasons has finished in the top four in the league, and only once in those seasons (2010/11) has the team finished outside the top three.
Last season, champions Manchester City led the way, with 17,930 complete passes - the most since Opta started gathering this data.
Arsenal also completed their highest seasonal passing tally last year - 17,420. In fact, in each of the past six seasons, the number of successful passes the Gunners have managed has increased year on year.
If they complete the current season at the present rate of passes per game, they will finish on 18,159. The current tally of 15,770 is higher than any complete season prior to 2010/11.
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From the 17 league games at Emirates in 2012/13, there have been 63 goals, at an average of 3.7 per game. That's more than at any other Premier League ground this season, six ahead of Old Trafford.
Of those 63 goals, Arsenal have scored 42 (66.7 per cent) and conceded 21. It's the joint most league goals scored at Emirates in a single season, tied with 2009/10, when the Gunners netted 48 and conceded 15.
Overall this season there have been 84 goals at Emirates Stadium in all competitions (3.5 per game), which is six off the seasonal record for the stadium, set in 2009/10.
On average, since moving to the Emirates in 2006, fans have witnessed 53.5 league goals per season. This compares to 57.4 per season at Highbury (from 1995 when the league was reduced to 20 teams).
The most goals ever scored at a stadium during a single Premier League season was 107, at Selhurst Park in 1992/93. That season though the ground was shared by Crystal Palace and Wimbledon, so twice the number of games were staged.
Not including ground shares, the most goals at a single venue was 82, at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge in 2009/2010. That worked out at 4.32 goals per game.
Highbury, however, was the only stadium to witness more than three-and-a-half goals per game in three separate Premier League seasons - 2001/02, 2002/03 and 2004/05. Emirates Stadium looks set to join that list this season.
With thanks to Opta. All stats correct as at April 18, 2013Copyright 2013 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 18 Apr 2013