This week our statistician Josh James takes a look at Arsenal's record during the festive period.

For the fourth season in a row, Arsenal will not play a Boxing Day game - and they will have just two league fixtures over the Christmas and New Year period.

Traditionally a staple of the footballing calendar, Arsenal last played a Boxing Day match in 2008 - a 2-2 draw at Villa Park, and are yet to play on that date at all at Emirates Stadium. The last time Arsenal played at home on Boxing Day was in 2004 (beating Fulham 2-0 at Highbury).

The Christmas schedule has a reputation as being a crucial part of the season - with most Premier League clubs playing three games in roughly the space of a week between Christmas and over New Year. Arsenal will play just twice - against Newcastle on December 29 and away to Southampton on New Year's Day. So how have Arsenal fared during 'Christmas week' in the past?

Since the birth of the Premier League in 1992, Arsenal have played 56 fixtures between the dates of December 26 and January 3 inclusive, winning 32, at a healthy points-per-game ratio of 1.98.

Concentrating purely at Arsène Wenger's tenure, the numbers are even more impressive. His teams have lost just four of 43 such fixtures, picking up 2.2 points per game.

In addition Arsenal have lost just two of the last 30 league fixtures played between Dec 26 and Jan 3, though this does include the defeat to Fulham on January 2 last season.

Premier League results (Dec 26 - Jan 3)
P W D L PPG
1992/93 2 0 1 1 0.5
1993/94 4 3 1 0 2.5
1994/95 4 1 1 2 1
1995/96 3 1 0 2 1
1996/97 3 1 2 0 1.6
1997/98 2 1 1 0 2
1998/99 2 2 0 0 3
1999/2000 3 1 1 1 1.3
2000/01 3 1 1 1 1.3
2001/02 2 2 0 0 3
2002/03 3 2 1 0 2.3
2003/04 2 2 0 0 3
2004/05 3 3 0 0 3
2005/06 4 2 2 0 2
2006/07 3 2 0 1 2
2007/08 3 2 1 0 2.3
2008/09 2 1 1 0 2
2009/10 2 2 0 0 3
2010/11 3 2 1 0 2.3
2011/12 3 1 1 1 1.3
TOTAL 56 32 15 9 1.98

For the eighth time in Premier League history, Arsenal are due to play on New Year's Day. The Gunners have won six of the previous seven games on this date, including each of the past four.

The only time Arsenal have lost on New Year's Day in the last 27 years was in 2001 - a 1-0 defeat away to Charlton.

However, the date hasn't always proved successful for the team. The Club's first 14 New Year's Day fixtures were all played away from home and only one (in 1903) ended in victory.

Since then though (and when home and away fixtures have been rotated) fortunes have improved for this date. Arsenal have played 27 fixtures on January 1 since 1923, with a record of W16 D5 L6, at a rate of 1.96 points per game (using three points a win).

Arsenal will be at St Mary's on the first day of 2013, having beaten Southampton 1-0 away on New Year's Day 1980.

Behind The Numbers

Arsenal's New Year's Day results
Year Opponents Venue Score Result
2011 Birmingham A 3-0 W
2008 West Ham H 2-0 W
2005 Charlton A 3-1 W
2003 Chelsea H 3-2 W
2001 Charlton A 0-1 L
1997 Middlesbrough H 2-0 W
1994 Wimbledon A 3-0 W
1992 Wimbledon H 1-1 D
1991 Man City A 1-0 W
1990 Crystal Palace H 4-1 W
1988 Portsmouth A 1-1 D
1987 Wimbledon H 3-1 W
1986 Tottenham H 0-0 D
1985 Tottenham A 1-2 L
1983 Swansea H 2-1 W
1980 Southampton A 1-0 W
1974 Newcastle H 0-1 L
1972 Everton H 1-1 D
1966 Fulham A 0-1 L
1955 West Brom H 2-2 D
1949 Manchester United A 0-2 L
1948 Bolton A 1-0 W
1938 Everton H 2-1 W
1937 Bolton A 5-0 W
1929 Sunderland A 1-5 L
1927 Cardiff H 3-2 W
1923 Blackburn A 5-0 W
1921 Bradford City H 1-2 L
1915 Barnsley A 0-1 L
1914 Notts Co A 0-1 L
1913 Sunderland A 1-4 L
1912 Manchester United A 0-2 L
1910 Liverpool A 1-5 L
1908 Sunderland A 2-5 L
1907 Sheffield Wednesday A 1-1 D
1906 Bolton A 1-6 L
1904 Stockport A 0-0 D
1903 Stockport A 1-0 W
1898 Blackpool A 3-3 D
1897 Darwen A 1-4 L
1895 Darwen A 1-3 L
1894 Liverpool A 1-2 L

Bold = Division Two fixtures

To return briefly to the Reading match on Monday, that game saw Santi Cazorla become the 98th different player to score a hat-trick for Arsenal.

It was the 228th triple the Club has scored in all, and the 35th of the Arsène Wenger era. It was Cazorla's first ever hat-trick, and he becomes the first Spaniard to claim the match ball for Arsenal.

It was the Club's 33rd hat-trick in the Premier League, meaning they arrive at a rate of once every 23.9 games.

Overall during the Wenger reign, hat-tricks come along once every 26.5 matches in all competitions.

Cazorla's hat-trick goal was also the 100th Arsenal had scored so far in 2012, in the 50th match of the calendar year. This compares favourably with 2011, during which Arsenal scored 102 goals, from 60 matches.

Behind The Numbers

All hat-tricks under Arsène Wenger
Date Opposition Scorer Competition Score
Dec 17, 2012 Reading (a) Santi Cazorla League 5-2
Oct 30, 2012 Reading (a) Theo Walcott Capital One Cup 7-5
Feb 4, 2012 Blackburn (h) Robin van Persie League 7-1
Oct 29, 2011 Chelsea (a) Robin van Persie League 5-3
Mar 2, 2011 Leyton Orient (h) Nicklas Bendtner FA Cup 5-0
Jan 22, 2011 Wigan (h) Robin van Persie League 3-0
Aug 21, 2010 Blackpool (h) Theo Walcott League 6-0
Mar 9, 2010 FC Porto (h) Nicklas Bendtner Champions League 5-0
Apr 21, 2009 Liverpool (a) Andrey Arshavin (4) League 4-4
Sept 23, 2008 Sheffield United (h) Carlos Vela Carling Cup 6-0
Sept 13, 2008 Blackburn (a) Emmanuel Adebayor League 4-0
Apr 28, 2008 Derby (a) Emmanuel Adebayor League 6-2
Sept 22, 2007 Derby (h) Emmanuel Adebayor League 5-0
Jan 9, 2007 Liverpool (a) Julio Baptista (4) Carling Cup 6-3
May 7, 2006 Wigan (h) Thierry Henry League 4-2
Jan 14, 2006 Middlesbrough (h) Thierry Henry League 7-0
Apr 2, 2005 Norwich (h) Thierry Henry League 4-1
Mar 5, 2005 Portsmouth (h) Thierry Henry League 3-0
Apr 16, 2004 Leeds (h) Thierry Henry (4) League 5-0
Apr 9, 2004 Liverpool (h) Thierry Henry League 4-2
May 11, 2003 Sunderland (a) Freddie Ljungberg League 4-0
May 7, 2003 Southampton (h) Robert Pires, Jermaine Pennant League 6-1
Jan 19, 2003 West Ham (h) Thierry Henry League 3-1
Nov 27, 2002 Roma (a) Thierry Henry Champions League 3-1
Nov 5, 2001 Manchester United (h) Sylvain Wiltord Carling Cup 4-0
Mar 3, 2001 West Ham (h) Sylvain Wiltord League 3-0
Dec 26, 2000 Leicester (h) Thierry Henry League 6-1
Dec 9, 2000 Newcastle (h) Ray Parlour League 5-0
Mar 23, 2000 Werder Bremen (a) Ray Parlour UEFA Cup 4-2
Nov 20, 1999 Middlesbrough (h) Marc Overmars League 5-1
Oct 23, 1999 Chelsea (a) Nwankwo Kanu League 3-2
Feb 20, 1999 Leicester (h) Nicolas Anelka League 5-0
Sep 13, 1997 Bolton (h) Ian Wright League 4-1
Aug 27, 1997 Leicester (a) Dennis Bergkamp League 3-3

Stats correct as at December 19, 2012.

Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme.

Copyright 2014 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 19 Dec 2012