Arsenal face Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening.
With Stats Zone, you can brush up on the facts and figures behind every Gunners match this season, brought to you by Opta and the Official Matchday Programme.
RAMSEY'S ROAMING ROLE
(Successful passes - green, unsuccessful passes/
crosses - red, key passes - yellow)
Aaron Ramsey was handed his chance in central midfield against Aston Villa on Saturday, and proved to be one of the most influential players on the pitch. With Jack Wilshere requiring a rest, the Wales international took his place alongside Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla and delivered a busy, energetic performance as his tried to unlock a robust home defence.
As our chalkboard and heatmap demonstrate, Ramsey roamed all over midfield and took 90 touches, more than any other player apart from Cazorla (who took just two more). The 21-year-old also made 80 passes, more than any other player on the field. Not only that, but his pass completion rate of 90 per cent was also one of the highest, bettered only by Arteta (69 passes at 95.7 per cent), Per Mertesacker (72 passes at 93.1 per cent), Gervinho (14 passes at 92.9 per cent), Ashley Westwood (43 passes at 90.7 per cent) and Carl Jenkinson (53 passes at 90.6 per cent).
It was a hard-working, assiduous display and one that Ramsey will hope allows him to retain his place for the trip to Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
BATTLE FOR MIDFIELD - ARTETA v FELLAINI
Mikel Arteta returns to Everton for the second time on Wednesday since leaving the club in August 2011, and he will undoubtedly receive a good reception from the home fans. On the pitch however, things will be somewhat different. As the deepest-lying member of Arsenal's midfield trio, the 30-year-old will not only be expected to link up play but also try to keep the in-form Marouane Fellani quiet in the hole behind Nikica Jelavic.
Arteta has once again been a model of consistency for the Gunners this season, and only Barcelona midfielder Xavi has played more passes than him across Europe. Despite this volume of passes, Arteta has completed an exceptional 93 per cent of them, far more than his former Everton colleague on 79.4 per cent. Arteta's passing range is also used to good effect in the opponents' half, where 89 per cent reach their target, compared to 75.4 per cent of Fellaini's. The Spaniard also compares favourably in terms of the number of duels won and the recoveries he has made so far this term.
Fellaini, meanwhile, poses more of a goal threat than Arteta and his six league goals this term attest to that. He has already had 27 shots this season, of which 13 have been on target, while his height, power and quick feet have created an impressive 18 chances for team-mates (compared to Arteta's 16). Fellaini has also won more of his tackles (77 per cent to his rival's 66 per cent).
It promises to be a fascinating battle that could play a key role in determining the outcome of a tight contest.
EVERTON v ARSENAL - FACTS
- Arsenal have won eight and lost none of their last 10 Premier League meetings against Everton
- Arsenal have scored 81 goals in Premier League history against Everton; only Man Utd (82 v Everton) have scored more against a single opponent in the competition
- Arsenal have inflicted Everton’s two biggest defeats in the Premier League - 6-1 in August 2009 at Goodison Park and 7-0 at Highbury in May 2005
- In the last 21 games against Arsenal (in all competitions), Everton have only managed more than one goal in a game on one occasion
- Michael Oliver will officiate Everton v Arsenal. He has only ever taken four Arsenal games and they have won one and lost three
- Everton are unbeaten in five games with Oliver as the referee (W3 D2 L0), with red cards for opposition players in the last two Toffees’ games he has handled
- Thomas Vermaelen has scored in both games he has played at Goodison Park. He scored on his Premier League debut in the 6-1 win in August 2009 and also netted the only goal in a 1-0 win in the two sides’ last meeting in March
- No player in Eurpoe’s big five leagues has created more chances than Leighton Baines (50)
- In the Premier League, Santi Cazorla is second to Baines in terms of chances created (39)
- Everton have taken the most shots (excl.uding blocked) in the Premier League this season, 183
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