Arsenal face Reading in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
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Since his return to the Arsenal starting XI in recent weeks, Laurent Koscielny has been immaculate at the back. His partnership with Per Mertesacker has been composed and assured, keeping clean sheets against Bayern Munich and then Swansea City - and hopes will be high for a third against Reading on Saturday.
No Reading player has found the net since Hal Robson-Kanu's 84th-minute strike at Everton on March 2 - their goal at Aston Villa a week later was scored by home defender Nathan Baker - yet Adam Le Fondre remains their biggest threat. The 26-year-old is perhaps at his most effective when stepping off the bench and scored against the Gunners in the Royals' 5-2 defeat in December.
Le Fondre has 10 goals this season, and makes the scoresheet every 127 minutes on average. He has also created nine chances for his team-mates, and has proved a real nuisance for opposition defenders, winning 20 fouls this term. Koscielny will have his hands full against this predatory striker, and will need to be alert to keep him quiet.
ARSENAL v READING - MATCH FACTS
- Arsenal have won all 11 of their previous competitive meetings with Reading, including two wins already this season
- The two meetings between Arsenal and Reading in 2012/13 already have seen 19 goals scored; with Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla each scoring hat-tricks for Arsenal over these meetings
- Reading have conceded more Premier League goals against Arsenal (16) than versus any other opponent in the competition
- No side have faced more shots at goal in the top five European Leagues this season than Reading (531)
- Arsenal have averaged the highest possession figure in the Premier League this season (57.9 per cent), while Reading have the lowest (39.4 per cent)
- Reading have lost five successive Premier League games; two away from the worst run seen this season in the Premier League, set by the Royals (seven games)
- The Gunners are yet to lose a Premier League game that they have taken the lead in this season (W14 D2)
- If only the second half of Premier League games counted this season, Arsenal would be top of the league by four points. If games ended at half-time, they'd be 12th in the table
- The Gunners have won 36 per cent of Premier League games this season without Jack Wilshere in the side, compared to 56 per cent with him
- Arsenal have conceded only two goals after the 75th minute of Premier League games this season; a league-low
The Matchday Programme is now available on the iPad! Find out more here.Copyright 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 27 Mar 2013