Arsenal will be hoping to avenge November's Emirates Stadium defeat against Aston Villa when they travel to Birmingham on Boxing Day. This season will be identifying the key battles for the game. We will bring you all the statistics and information a fan could need so swot up now and come Friday you will be impressing anyone who will listen with your new-found knowledge.

Gabriel Agbonlahor

Player Profile - William Gallas

Gabriel Agbonlahor v William Gallas
The form of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Aston Villa’s assault on the Premier League’s top four are certainly not mutually exclusive. The rapid frontman is the spearhead of a fearsome Villa attacking unit and has racked up nine goals in his 17 appearances this season, one of which came at Emirates Stadium in November. However, William Gallas has the superior passing stats of the pair and has also completed 20 clearances and four tackles in his 13 appearances.

  Gabriel Agbonlahor William Gallas
Appearances 17 13
Minutes played 1521 1170
Assists 4 0
Clearances 5 20
Successful dribbles 9 2
Unsuccessful dribbles 7 1
Fouls 18 6
Goals scored 9 1
Complete passes 60 52
Incomplete passes 33 20
Shots off target 6 4
Shots on target 18 4
Tackles lost 7 3
Tackles won 3 4

Martin Laursen

Player Profile - Robin van Persie

Martin Laursen v Robin van Persie
Martin Laursen’s superb Premier League form this term has helped Villa deal with the summer departure of Olof Mellberg with relative ease. The Danish defender has been successful in all of his 11 tackles, completed a staggering 33 clearances and notched a trademark header at the other end. But he will have to be at his best to shackle Robin van Persie who missed the Emirates clash through suspension. The Dutchman averages a goal every other game and has three assists to his name this season.

  Martin Laursen Robin van Persie
Appearances 17 14
Minutes played 1528 1084
Assists 2 3
Clearances 33 2
Successful dribbles 2 4
Unsuccessful dribbles 2 2
Goals scored 1 7
Complete passes 64 53
Incomplete passes 28 31
Shots on target 5 23
Shots off target 7 29
Woodwork struck 1 2
Tackles won 11 2
Tackles lost 0 3

Luke Young

Player Profile - Samir Nasri

Luke Young v Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri could be fit to face Villa and, if selected, the Frenchman is likely to come face-to-face with Luke Young. The full back is of course a product of the Spurs youth system and signed for the Villans from Charlton in the summer. The 29-year-old has won 11 of his 16 tackles and completed four out of six dribbles but will have to be aware of the Frenchman’s shooting accuracy; Nasri has hit the target 16 times out of 18 since his arrival in the summer.

  Luke Young Samir Nasri
Appearances 16 12
Minutes played 1270 918
Assists 0 1
Clearances 23 0
Successful dribbles 4 10
Unsuccessful dribbles 2 5
Fouls 11 10
Goals scored 1 4
Complete passes 70 49
Incomplete passes 36 26
Shots on target 2 16
Shots off target 1 2
Tackles lost 5 7
Tackles won 11 3

Please note that the stats used are of Friday, December 19.

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
22 Dec 2008