By Adam Clark
When Thomas Sorensen kept goal in Aston Villa's 1-1 draw with Fulham earlier this month he became a veteran of 300 Premiership games.
The 30-year-old first appeared in August 1999 following Sunderland's promotion to the top flight and has firmly established himself as the Danish No 1, and the Premiership's No 1 Dane, following the retirement of compatriot Peter Schmeichel.
Sorensen made 171 Premiership appearances for the Black Cats but when the club was relegated in 2003 Aston Villa stumped up £2.25 million to prolong his Premiership stay. They'll be glad they did.
In three and a half seasons the stopper has made 129 appearances for the Midlands club and taken his international appearances to 48.
Next up is the task of keeping out an Arsenal side looking to ensure a Champions League spot as quickly as possible.
Sorensen's opposite number on Wednesday will be Jens Lehmann. The German No 1 arrived at Arsenal just weeks after Sorensen's switch to Villa Park in 2003 and has racked up 130 Premiership appearances of his own.
In terms of silverware Lehmann has been the more successful of the two in that time but statistically who has been the better player this campaign?
Well, their respective clean sheet records tell us little as both have managed eight so far.
In terms of saves though Lehmann is in the ascendancy. The Arsenal stopper has made 121 stops this season including a memorable save from Ole Gunner Solskjaer which earned Arsenal a 1-0 win at Old Trafford. Sorensen on the other hand has made 96 saves, 25 fewer than the German.
In fairness, the Villa man was hit by a knee injury earlier in the season and as a result has played 650 fewer minutes than Lehmann.
In that time Sorensen has shipped 18 goals, five fewer than our man. Nonetheless, that equates to one every 102 minutes for the Arsenal keeper and one every 94 minutes for the Dane.
Finally, Lehmann has also had the upper hand when it comes to distribution. The World Cup star is often the one to initiate Arsenal's swift counter-attacking moves and has proven accurate with 68 per cent of his throws, kicks and passes to date.
In comparison Sorensen has also enjoyed success, finding his team-mates 63 per cent of the time.
When it comes to statistics it can be difficult to separate goalkeepers and these two prove no exception. There are certainly no obvious weaknesses in either player.
In fact, with these two at either end of Villa Park on Wednesday, it's the strikers who will need to be on top form.
View Jens Lehmann's player profile
Head to Head Statistics Jens Lehmann Thomas Sorensen Premiership Appearances 26 19 Minutes on pitch 2340 1690 Attacking Goals 0 0 Shots on target 0 0 Shots off target 0 0 Shots blocked 0 0 Offside 0 0 Supporting Assists 1 0 Distributions made 272 191 Distributions successful 185 121 Distributions unsuccessful 87 70 Crosses successful 0 0 Crosses unsuccessful 0 0 Total dribbles 0 0 Dribbles successful 0 0 Dribbles unsuccessful 0 0 Defending Tackles made 0 0 Tackles won 0 0 Tackles lost 0 0 Clean sheets 8 8 Blocked Shots 0 0 Clearances 1 1 Penalties Conceded 0 0 Goals conceded 23 18 Discipline Fouls 0 0 Yellow Cards 5 0
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 13 Mar 2007