Arsenal will be hoping to avenge November's Emirates Stadium defeat against Aston Villa when they travel to Birmingham on Boxing Day. This season Arsenal.com 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 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|
|Shots off target||6||4|
|Shots on target||18||4|
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|
|Shots on target||5||23|
|Shots off target||7||29|
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|
|Shots on target||2||16|
|Shots off target||1||2|
Please note that the stats used are of Friday, December 19.Copyright 2013 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 22 Dec 2008