Arsenal face Swansea City in the Premier League at the Liberty Stadium Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
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'S RETURN TO FORM
|Green = Tackles||Purple = Clearances|
|Blue = Defensive blocks||Orange = Recoveries|
With Jack Wilshere out injured for the next three weeks, Aaron Ramsey is having an increasing influence on the Arsenal team. As a former Cardiff City player, he faces a major test of character at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, but if he continues in his current vein of form he could prove the difference.
Although naturally a creative presence in central midfield, the Wales international has found himself used in several different positions this term. But with Wilshere out, Ramsey will likely start in his favoured role in the middle of the park, as he did against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.
The 22-year-old has developed into a more muscular presence over the past year, and the player known to his team-mates as 'Rambo' used it to his advantage at the Allianz Arena. As our heatmap above indicates, Ramsey's prodigious work-rate was of real benefit both in attack and defence, but it was at the back that it really proved crucial.
He made no fewer than six clearances inside his own area, one key interception, six recoveries and one tackle. He also used his engine to continually break up Bayern attacks just outside the Arsenal area and quickly launch counters upfield. It was a compelling performance from a player quietly starting to come back into his best form and it bodes well for the rest of the campaign.
Arsenal know more than most about the threat posed by Swansea's Spanish forward, Michu. Although nominally an attacking midfielder before he came to England, the 26-year-old has been used as both the central striker and in the hole behind another forward this season. But wherever he has played, he has scored goals - including three against the Gunners in three games.
Should Michu play in the hole, his opposite number will likely be another Real Oviedo graduate, Santi Cazorla. The Arsenal player is perhaps a more natural No 10, and while he does not have as many goals as Michu (11 to 15), he has more assists (six to two) and has created 40 more chances for team-mates (68 to 28).
Cazorla has also played more than twice the number of passes, yet still has a superior success rate of 87.5 per cent to 77.6 per cent. He also wins more of his duels, and despite his diminutive stature he only has a marginally inferior success rate in the air. Both players will be key to their respective sides' chances at the Liberty Stadium.
SWANSEA CITY v ARSENAL - MATCH FACTS
- This will be the fourth competitive meeting between Arsenal and Swansea already this season, with both teams having a W1 D1 L1 record
- Six of the seven goals scored in games between Arsenal and Swansea this season have come in the closing 10 minutes
- Michu has scored three of Swansea’s four goals against Arsenal this season
- Swansea have conceded a higher proportion of goals from set pieces than any other team in the PL this season (50 per cent)
- Swansea are looking to win four Premier League home games in a row for the first time
- Arsenal have averaged 58.5 per cent possession this season, higher than any other team (Swansea are sixth - 55.6 per cent
- Ki-Seung Young has had more shots (including blocked) without scoring than any other Premier League player this season (36)
- Arsenal (14) have picked up only one more point than QPR (13) in 2013, while Swansea (12) have one point fewer than the bottom of the league side
- Ashley Williams has made a league-high 40 blocks this season, only 26 fewer than Arsenal have in total (66 being a joint-low)
- Swansea have conceded more goals from indirect free-kicks than any other side (6)
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 14 Mar 2013