This week our statistician Josh James looks at Arsenal's record against local rivals.
Arsenal play their second consecutive Premier League London derby this weekend, and each of the next three home league fixtures are also against London teams. So this week we take a look at the Gunners' all-time Premier League record in London derbies.
Arsenal sit proudly on top of the all-time 'London-only Premier League' table, having played 185 derbies in all since the league was established in 1992, winning 93. The Club's full record in derby matches is P185, W93, D53, L39, F308, A177.
Those matches have come against eight different London-based teams (five of which are in the Premier League this season).
In fact more than a quarter (26 per cent) of Arsenal's league fixtures this season will be London derbies, so it's encouraging to know that Arsenal have the best record among all the London teams for Premier League derby matches.
The Gunners have taken 332 points from derbies, ahead of Chelsea (330), Tottenham (228) and West Ham United (178). Arsenal are also the top scorers in such matches (308 goals) and have the best goal difference (+131).
In all there have been 527 London derbies in Premier League history, which accounts for 6.7 per cent of the total games played in the league.
Arsenal have also taken more Premier League points overall than any other London team - 40 more than Chelsea and 361 more than Tottenham.
|4||West Ham United||150||48||34||68||165||226||-61||178|
|8||Queens Park Rangers||53||15||16||22||55||67||-12||61|
|West Ham United||622||205||160||257||775|
|Queens Park Rangers||208||69||48||91||255|
So Arsenal average 1.79 points per game from Premier League derbies, which is slightly less than the average points they have taken from non-derby matches (1.9 per game).
The Gunners also score fewer goals in derby matches compared to the other fixtures - 1.66 goals a game in derbies compared to 1.76 in other matches.
These stats would appear to add some weight to the argument that it's tougher for London clubs to win the league, due to the intensity and number of local derbies they have to play.
However, it's worth remembering that in each of Arsenal's past two Double-winning campaigns (1997/98 and 2001/02), there were six London clubs in the top flight, as there are again this year.
When we break down the results by opposition, it's clear that fortunes in London derbies vary wildly depending on the individual fixture. For example, Arsenal average a very healthy 2.38 points per game against Charlton in the Premier League era (16 matches) but have taken less than half that (1.1 points per game) from the 10 Premier League matches against Queens Park Rangers.
In fact, QPR are the only London team that Arsenal do not have a superior record against, having won just twice against them in the Premier League, and never away from home.
As for this Saturday's opponents West Ham, Arsenal have played 32 Premier League derbies against them, winning 19 - more than against any other London side. The team also average an impressive 1.88 points per game from the games at Upton Park.
|West Ham United||16||11||1||4||25||9||2.13||16||8||6||2||23||10||1.88||32||19||7||6||48||19||2|
|Queens Park Rangers||5||2||2||1||5||3||1.6||5||0||3||2||4||7||0.6||10||2||5||3||9||10||1.1|
In 11 of the 20 Premier League seasons so far (55 per cent), Arsenal have had the best record in London derbies, including nine seasons in a row between 1996/97 and 2004/05. They have also finished as the top London team in the table on 11 occasions, most recently last season.
There have been five instances of London teams remaining unbeaten in derbies for an entire season - and four of them were recorded by Arsenal. In the title seasons of 1997/98 and 2003/04 Arsenal didn't lose a London derby, nor in 2002/03. In 2004/05 both Arsenal and Chelsea remained unbeaten in derby matches.
The Gunners also hold the all-time record for the longest unbeaten run in top-flight league London derbies, a run of 35 matches.
The sequence lasted from November 4, 2001, when the Gunners lost 4-2 at home to Charlton, to August 21, 2005 and a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
|Nov 17, 2001||Tottenham H||away||1-1||draw|
|Dec 15, 2001||West Ham||away||1-1||draw|
|Dec 26, 2001||Chelsea||home||2-1||win|
|Feb 23, 2002||Fulham||home||4-1||win|
|Apr 1, 2002||Charlton||away||3-0||win|
|Apr 6, 2002||Tottenham H||home||2-1||win|
|Apr 24, 2002||West Ham||home||2-0||win|
|Aug 24, 2002||West Ham||away||2-2||draw|
|Sep 1, 2002||Chelsea||away||1-1||draw|
|Sep 14, 2002||Charlton||away||3-0||win|
|Nov 3, 2002||Fulham||away||1-0||win|
|Nov 16, 2002||Tottenham H||home||3-0||win|
|Dec 15, 2002||Tottenham H||away||1-1||draw|
|Jan 1, 2003||Chelsea||home||3-2||win|
|Jan 19, 2003||West Ham||home||3-1||win|
|Feb 1, 2003||Fulham||home||2-1||win|
|Mar 2, 2003||Charlton||home||2-0||win|
|Oct 18, 2003||Chelsea||home||2-1||win|
|Oct 26, 2003||Charlton||away||1-1||draw|
|Nov 8, 2003||Tottenham H||home||2-1||win|
|Nov 30, 2003||Fulham||home||0-0||draw|
|Feb 21, 2004||Chelsea||away||2-1||win|
|Feb 28, 2004||Charlton||home||2-1||win|
|Apr 25, 2004||Tottenham H||away||2-2||draw|
|May 9, 2004||Fulham||away||1-0||win|
|Sep 11, 2004||Fulham||away||3-0||win|
|Oct 2, 2004||Charlton||home||4-0||win|
|Nov 6, 2004||Crystal Palace||away||1-1||draw|
|Nov 13, 2004||Tottenham H||away||5-4||win|
|Dec 12, 2004||Chelsea||home||2-2||draw|
|Dec 26, 2004||Fulham||home||2-0||win|
|Jan 1, 2005||Charlton||away||3-1||win|
|Feb 14, 2005||Crystal Palace||home||5-1||win|
|April 20, 2005||Chelsea||away||0-0||draw|
|April 25, 2005||Tottenham H||home||1-0||win|
|Season||Top side in London derbies||Pts|
* = ahead of Chelsea on goals scored
Stats correct as at October 4, 2012. With thanks to Opta.
Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme.