This week our statistician Josh James looks at Arsenal's record over the final 10 league games of previous seasons.
Arsenal go into the last 10 games of the season knowing they need to climb at least one place in the table if they want to qualify for the Champions League through their league placing for the 17th consecutive season.
In each of the previous three Premier League campaigns that Arsenal have been fifth at this stage of the season, they have gone on to finish in the top four
The omens appear to be positive. In each of the previous three Premier League campaigns that Arsenal have been fifth at this stage of the season, they have gone on to finish in the top four, most recently in 2008/09.
That year Arsenal were three points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa at this stage, but leapfrogged them to finish in the top four with 72 points, 10 ahead of Villa, representing a 13-point swing over the team above them.
There was a 13-point swing in 1999/2000 too. Back then Arsenal were fifth after 28 games, with 48 points. They eventually finished second, with 73 points, four points ahead of Leeds United who had been nine points better off than Arsenal with 10 games left.
In 2005/06 Arsenal were fifth with 10 games left, two points behind Tottenham. Spurs had a game in hand, which they won to open a five-point gap, but Arsenal went on to finish two points ahead of their local rivals - completing a seven-point swing.
Overall since the Premier League began in 1992/93, the Gunners have improved their finishing position over the last 10 matches nine times (45 per cent), finished lower six times (30 per cent) and stayed the same on five occasions (25 per cent).
Last ten games of Premier League seasons
|Season||Points earned during last 10 games||Position with 10 left||Final position||Change in last 10 games|
On average Arsenal take 1.92 points per game during the last 10 matches of a Premier League season, slightly higher than the 1.86 points per game average for the rest of their Premier League fixtures, meaning there is usually a slight upturn in form over this period.
From the 200 cumulative 'run-in' games Arsenal have played in Premier League history, there have been 111 wins (55.5 per cent), 50 draws (25 per cent) and 39 defeats (19.5 per cent).
During the Champions League era, Arsenal have been outside the top four at this stage of the season three times - in 2000, 2006 and 2009. The 'run-in' records for those campaigns are particularly impressive
On average they score 18.3 goals and concede 9.2 during the last 10 fixtures.
Arsenal have twice remained unbeaten for the entirety of the last 10 games of a Premier League season, and both times the Gunners went on to win the league (2002 and 2004).
The stats also show that the seasons in which Arsenal needed to improve their position to reach the top four, they did so.
During the Champions League era, Arsenal have been outside the top four at this stage of the season three times - in 2000, 2006 and 2009. The 'run-in' records for those campaigns are particularly impressive. They are the three seasons in which Arsenal scored the most goals in a run-in (25, 25 and 27 respectively) and in each of those years Arsenal won at least seven of the last 10 games, losing just once.
If Arsenal do finish in the top four again, it would extend the existing club record for consecutive top four finishes to 17. The Club's previous best run of top-four finishes was five in a row - between 1930/31 and 1934/35 inclusive.
Records for last 10 games of season
Arsenal brought up a couple of milestones at the weekend. The game at Tottenham was the Club's 800th Premier League fixture, while Wojciech Szczesny made his 100th senior appearance for the Gunners.
Szczesny became the 17th goalkeeper to make 100 outings for Arsenal
Arsenal - one of the seven Premier League ever-present teams - have a record of W428, D212, L160, F1398, A749 from their 800 matches. That gives them the second best all-time win percentage (53.5) in the league, behind Manchester United.
Also in Sunday's north London derby, Szczesny became the 17th goalkeeper to make 100 outings for Arsenal, and so far he has kept 37 clean sheets. All of his appearances have been from the start.
Only three Arsenal goalkeepers in history have kept more clean sheets from their first 100 games than the Pole - David Seaman (41), Manuel Almunia (41) and James Ashcroft (39). Szczesny's tally is exactly the same as John Lukic, Jens Lehmann and Jock Robson (who played for Arsenal in the 1920s).
Szczesny's first clean sheet came on his debut, against West Bromwich Albion in the Carling Cup on September 22, 2009. He was 19 at the time.
Szczesny had already been with the Club for three years, having joined as a scholar in the summer of 2006. During his time in the academy, he made 43 appearances for the under-18 team, despite suffering a double arm break while in his teens.
|Prem||UCL||FA Cup||League Cup||Total|
All stats correct as at March 6, 2013
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