Arsenal face Aston Villa in the Premier League at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. 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.
LEAGUE OF NATIONS
On Tuesday, Bayern Munich became the 69th different team to play at Emirates Stadium. Saturday's visitors, Aston Villa, were the very first. Here are the nationalities of all the visiting sides:
KEY BATTLE - MERTESACKER v BENTEKE
If Arsenal are to return to winning ways on Saturday, keeping Christian Benteke quiet will be vital. The Belgian striker has had a superb first season in the Premier League, scoring 15 goals in all competitions, but was stifled in the goalless draw against the Gunners at Villa Park in November.
Mertesacker played a vital role in that encounter, and will be expected to do the same this weekend. Benteke's height and power has caused problems for opposing defenders all season, but Mertesacker has actually won more of his aerial duels (66.7 per cent to 58.2 per cent) and boasts a better overall duels record as well.
The German international has made an impressive 119 clearances this term, 12 blocks and 37 interceptions. He will be in for a major physical battle with Benteke though, as the Belgian has won 25 fouls for his side this season and conceded 43. It is not only his goalscoring and power that makes him so dangerous - he has also made 34 chances for his team-mates.
Mertesacker will need to be at his calm, unflappable best if Arsenal are to subdue Villa's main attacking threat. If the German is successful, it will give his side a firm base to go in search of a morale-boosting victory.
ARSENAL v ASTON VILLA - MATCH FACTS
- Arsenal have won only two of their last six home games against Aston Villa in the Premier League, after winning each of the previous eight
- Villa have only scored 16 goals in 20 away trips to Arsenal in the Premier League
- Christian Benteke has now scored in five successive appearances for Aston Villa in all competitions (six goals)
- Theo Walcott has equalled his highest tally of assists in a single Premier League season (8 - the same as 2011-12)
- Only three players have produced more assists in the Premier League since the start of last season than Walcott (16), Mata, Silva and Valencia
- Arsenal have caught more players offside than any other top-flight team this season (91)
- Arsenal have created fewer goalscoring chances from corners than any other side this season (24)
- Villa have been shown more yellow cards than any other Premier League team this season (54)
- While Arsenal have been shown fewer yellow cards than any other side (24)
- Arsenal have only scored one goal fewer (50) than they had at this point of their 'Invincibles' season of 2003/04 (51)
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