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.
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.
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.
|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.