Arsenal take on Chelsea 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.
In this week's edition, we focus on Arsenal's pass masters and compare Premier League new boys Santi Cazorla and Eden Hazard.
TOUCHY FEELY - ARSENAL'S PASS MASTERS
- We are five games into the season and Arsenal have already attempted 2,916 and completed 2,513 passes, more than any other side in the top flight
- Saturday's opponents, Chelsea, are seventh overall, having tried 2,487 passes and completed 2,105 of them (Figure 1)
- Individually, Arsenal also lead the way in terms of overall touches so far this term. Mikel Arteta has taken more (555) than any other player in the league
- Arsenal also have Santi Cazorla (482) and Carl Jenkinson (456) in the top four, while Kieran Gibbs is 10th on 416 touches (Figure 2)
PLAYER COMPARISON - CAZORLA v HAZARD
Two of the biggest stars of the new Premier League season have been two new boys - Cazorla and Hazard. Both have easily adjusted to the rigours of English football and become key attacking outlets for their respective teams. Now they go head to head at the Emirates on Saturday.
Spain international Cazorla has been utilised as the most advanced member of Arsenal's midfield trio and his creativity, vision and silky passing have already seen him described as the 'new Fabregas'. "He has that quality," Arsène Wenger says. "He is a good link between midfield and the final third. He gives you availability always to turn the game forward and he has an exceptional technical level.” The Spaniard has attempted 367 passes already this season, of which 90.7 per cent have been successful. And despite his diminutive height, Cazorla has won a surprising 40 per cent of his aeriel duels.
Hazard, meanwhile, has been similarly effective since moving to Chelsea from Lille this summer. The Belgian schemer has had a direct involvement in seven of Chelsea's nine league goals, scoring one and claiming six assists. "He has been voted best player of the French league for two consecutive years,” Wenger says. “You need some quality to do that at his age. I’m not surprised at all that he goes to Chelsea and straight away is one of their stars because everybody knew about him." Hazard may have an inferior pass success rate to Cazorla, but he has won more of his duels (54.2 per cent to 51.9 per cent).
It promises to be a mouthwatering contest between the pair this Saturday lunchtime.
- In the last 33 Premier League games between Chelsea and Arsenal, the Blues' record with Didier Drogba playing is W7 D3 L1, while without him it is W0 D9 L13
- Theo Walcott has scored in two of his last three Premier League starts against Chelsea
- After winning nine and losing none of the first 12 Premier League home matches against Chelsea, Arsenal have won just two of the last eight home Premier League games against the Blues (W2 D3 L3)
- The Gunners have scored just six goals in their last seven Premier League games at home to Chelsea
- Only Vito Mannone (91 per cent) has a better saves to shots ration this season than Petr Cech (88 per cent
- Only Norwich City (one yellow) have picked up fewer cards than Arsenal in this season’s Premier League (two yellows, no reds)
- Chelsea and Arsenal are the only teams in the Premier League yet to concede a second-half goal this season
- The Blues have kept four clean sheets in the Premier League this season, more than any other side
- The Gunners are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League games but have drawn six of those
- Mikel Arteta has averaged 111 touches per game this season, more than any other player in the Premier League
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 28 Sep 2012