This week our statistician Josh James looks at one of Arsenal's longest-standing rivalries.
Arsenal have won more league games and have scored more league goals against Everton than any other opposition.
Wednesday night's fixture at Goodison Park will be the 183rd league meeting between the sides, making it the fourth most common fixture in the history of English league football. Arsenal have so far won 90 (49.5 per cent) of those matches, while there have been 38 draws (20.8 per cent).
The Gunners have scored 301 goals against Everton, since the first meeting between the sides way back in 1905.
Arsenal have met Everton home and away in each of the last 69 seasons, making it currently the longest-running top-flight fixture.
This season Arsenal are taking part in their 87th consecutive top-flight campaign, while Everton have been in the division ever since 1954/55.
Only three fixtures in the history of the football league have been played more often than Arsenal v Everton - they are Everton v Liverpool (187), Arsenal v Manchester United (187) and Aston Villa v Everton (195).
As well as the 182 league games between the Toffees and the Gunners, there have also been 11 meetings in the League Cup, three in the FA Cup and one in the Charity Shield, making it 197 matches in all.
Arsenal have so far won 98 to Everton's 58, and there have been 41 draws. Everton therefore look to be on course to become the first team against whom Arsenal record 100 victories.
Arsenal and Everton are two of the seven ever-present members of the Premier League (with Man United, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool) and on Wednesday the sides will meet for the 41st time in the competition.
Arsenal have beaten Everton 26 times so far - more Premier League victories than they have managed against any other team - and have taken 87 points in all from the 40 games to date.
Arsenal have scored 81 goals in the 40 fixtures, 10 more than they have netted against the next team on the list, Tottenham.
Some of the Premier League meetings with Everton are among the most significant Arsenal have played.
Their first Premier League title, in 1997/98, was wrapped up with a 4-0 home win over Everton, while the 2001/02 title-winning season was rounded off with a celebratory 4-3 win at Highbury against the Toffees.
The 'Invincibles' year of 2003/04 kicked off with another home win over Everton, and the following season Arsenal began the campaign with a 4-1 win at Goodison (in which Cesc Fabregas made his league debut). Later that same season the Gunners marked their last ever game wearing red and white at Highbury with a 7-0 thumping of David Moyes' side.
The 2009/10 season began with a 6-1 win at Everton (notable for Thomas Vermaelen scoring on his Premier League debut - the last Arsenal player to do so). And just last season, the Club's 125th anniversary was celebrated in fine style by Robin van Persie's winning volley in a 1-0 win on December 10, 2011.
In the Premier League era, Goodison Park has proved a happy hunting ground for the Gunners. The team have scored more goals there (32) than at any other away ground and have won 10 of the 20 Premier League fixtures at Everton, including the last three in a row.
The 36 points gleaned from those 20 games is the joint most from any of Arsenal's away fixtures in the Premier League era, and they have scored twice as many goals as they have conceded at Goodison.
As far as points per game ratios are concerned, Molineux has been the most fruitful away ground during the Premier League era - the Gunners have won all four games there, scoring 12 and conceding just two. Ipswich's Portman Road (2.6 PPG) and West Brom's Hawthorns (2.5 PPG) have also proved happy hunting grounds since 1992/93.
Incidentally, Arsenal's home record with Everton down the years is also notable – for the lack of goalless draws. Amazingly, there has yet to be a scoreless match between these sides in an Arsenal home fixture in the league since the Gunners moved to north London. That's 93 games without a scoreless draw.
The last time both sides drew a blank in a league match in London was 1912, when Arsenal were playing home games in Plumstead. Arsenal moved to Highbury the following year, and so far the six meetings at Emirates have all yielded at least one goal as well.
Arsenal beat Everton at Highbury more than they beat any other side. Everton were the most frequent visitors to Arsenal's former home, playing 83 times at N5. Of those games, Arsenal won 57, drew 12 and lost just 14. The Gunners netted 177 goals there against the Toffees - more than they scored against any other team.
|West Ham United||17||9||6||2||26||11||33|
|West Bromwich Albion||6||4||1||1||13||8||15|
Stats correct as at November 27, 2012. With thanks to Opta.
Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme.27 Nov 2012