Two of the brightest young midfield talents in the Premiership go head to head when Emirates Stadium hosts its inaugural Premiership encounter on Saturday.

Cesc Fabregas, 19, lit up this summer's World Cup with a series of mature displays for Spain and began the new campaign in style last week, scoring twice as Arsenal beat Dinamo Zagreb 3-0 in their Champions League qualifier.

Aston Villa's Steven Davis, meanwhile, has declared himself fit for what will be Martin O'Neill's first competitive game in charge of Villa.

Both players made 35 league appearances for their clubs last season although the Villa man clocked up over 300 more minutes than his Arsenal counterpart. Despite the shortfall in playing time, Fabregas [5] created four more goals for his team-mates than Davis [1].

But the 21-year-old Davis did manage one more goal - contributing a quartet of strikes to the Villa cause.

The end-of-season statistics for the 2005/06 campaign also indicate that Davis was marginally the better tackler last season, achieving a success rate of 67 per cent compared with the Spaniard's 65 per cent.

But Fabregas leaves Davis in his wake in most other departments according to the stats. The Spaniard had a shot accuracy of 71 per cent compared to Davis' 52 per cent and made more passes, [207] in less time, with a higher success rate [54] than the Villa man [196 and 51 per cent respectively].

Fabregas also comes out on top in the dribbling stakes with a success rate of 49 per cent compared to Davis' 38 per cent. The Arsenal teenager did however pick up five bookings in the league last term while Davis avoided seeing yellow all campaign long.


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Head to Head Statistics Cesc Fabregas Steven Davis Premiership Appearances 35 35 Minutes on pitch 2652 2960 Attacking Goals 3 4 Shots on target 24 13 Shots off target 10 11 Shots blocked 6 6 Offside 3 1 Supporting Assists 5 1 Passes made 207 196 Passes complete 112 100 Passes incomplete 95 96 Crosses successful 2 2 Crosses unsuccessful 6 27 Total dribbles 45 50 Dribbles successful 22 19 Dribbles unsuccessful 23 31 Defending Tackles made 74 75 Tackles won 48 50 Tackles lost 26 25 Interceptions 30 31 Blocked Shots 1 2 Clearances 16 17 Penalties Conceded 0 0 Own Goals 0 0 Discipline Fouls 44 24 Yellow Cards 5 0

12/1 - Arsenal v Aston Villa: Cesc Fabregas to score the first goal


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 17 Aug 2006