Arsenal face Norwich City in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
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.
RAMBO THE ENFORCER
Arguably the player of the season so far, much has been made of Aaron Ramsey's attacking prowess. Indeed, the stats make compelling viewing: eight goals in 11 games for Arsenal, and two in four for Wales, 500 Premier League passes (behind only Kyle Walker and Michael Carrick) with a success rate of 86.8 per cent and eight chances created for his team-mates.
This commitment to both aspects of the game make him one of the most complete midfielders in the Premier League
Ramsey has been absolutely outstanding, but his defensive work has been similarly impressive. The Wales star has made the most tackles in the Premier League (35, one more than Manchester City's Pablo Zabaleta), has won the most tackles (31) with a success rate of 88.6 per cent, and has made 11 interceptions.
This commitment to both aspects of the game make him one of the most complete midfielders in the Premier League, and importantly Ramsey's willingness to chase back and defend does not depend on how the game is going. For example, in Figure 1, we can see the Wales international's defensive work in the 1-1 draw at West Brom. He made two tackles (green triangles), one in each half, one interception (blue triangle) and seven recoveries to win the ball back (orange triangles).
Against Napoli just five days earlier, a game in which Arsenal were far more in the ascendency, Ramsey's work-rate remained prodigiously high. He made four tackles (green triangles) and six recoveries (yellow), and set up the opening goal for Mesut Ozil after a typically lung-busting run.
What Ramsey does with the ball may be hitting the headlines, but his work in trying to win it back is proving just as important to Arsenal's success this season.
KEY BATTLE - RAMSEY v FER
Over the past two years, Norwich have made life difficult for Arsenal at the Emirates by pushing high up the pitch and congesting the midfield. If they adopt a similar tactic on Saturday, it will become imperative that the midfield runners - particularly the energetic Ramsey - get beyond Olivier Giroud.
However, the Welshman is likely to find the impressive Leroy Fer close at hand and winning this personal duel will be crucial. The Holland international is a technically-accomplished midfielder and unafraid of a tackle. He may have won fewer than Ramsey this term (18 to 31), but his success rate remains an impressive 81.8 per cent. He has also won 53.2 per cent of his duels, and rarely gives the ball away - as his pass success rate can testify.
Norwich have a number of players that Arsenal will have to keep quiet, such as Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Robert Snograss, but if Ramsey is able to win his battle with Fer it would go a long way towards securing a positive result.
ARSENAL v NORWICH CITY - MATCH FACTS
- Arsenal have collected more points (56) and more wins (17) in the Premier League in 2013 than any other side
- Norwich have scored in each of their last seven league games against Arsenal, but have collected just four points in this run
- The Gunners have the longest current unbeaten run in the top-flight (six games) and have a longer run of scoring in consecutive games than any other side in the Premier League (12 games)
- Norwich have failed to score in seven of their last 11 Premier League away games
- Norwich won 4-2 at Arsenal in their first ever Premier League game back in August 1992; only on four occasions since that game have the Gunners conceded four or more home league goals
- Despite committing a league-high 22 fouls this season, Ricky van Wolfswinkel is yet to pick up a yellow card
- Wenger's side have only managed three clean sheets in their last 14 league games at the Emirates
- Norwich have conceded their first goal of the match earlier than any other Premier League side on average this season (29th minute)
- Arsenal have scored a league-high four goals in the opening 15 minutes this term, and a league-high five in the 15 minute period after half time
The Matchday Programme is now available on the iPad! Find out more here.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 18 Oct 2013