Here are 11 things you should know about Arsenal and Swansea before this afternoon’s game at The Emirates:
1. A midweek draw with Everton left Arsenal seventh in the Premier league standings. Although this is below fans’ expectations, The Gunners are just five points off Chelsea in third. A home win against Swansea this afternoon would haul them towards the Champions League qualification spots.
2. Theo Walcott made a good case for more starts at Arsenal with a first-minute goal on Wednesday night. His 66.6% shooting accuracy rate (from 15 shots) is identical to that of Lukas Podolski and much greater than Olivier Giroud’s 51.2% from 39 efforts.
3. Per Mertesacker has split opinion amongst much of Arsenal’s fan base this season, but has an excellent tackling record in the league. He’s won 89.5% of the nineteen challenges he’s put in a figure topped by only four others this season.
4. Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla were Arsenal’s two most tireless players against Everton, covering 12.9 miles between them. The pair have both covered more distance than any of their team-mates for three consecutive matches according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
5. Cazorla continues to shine for Arsenal following his summer move form Malaga as he maintains his running battle with Yaya Toure to be the league’s most successful passer. He’s notched up 602 passes in the opponent’s half according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
6. The Gunners failed to score in either of their opening two matches this season, but have done so in eleven of the twelve fixtures since then, so Swansea’s defence will have to be on top of their game this afternoon.
7. Swansea produced a great performance on Wednesday, comfortably defeating an in-form West Brom side. The win will have galvanized the club’s fans who will do their best to roar their side to victory at Arsenal.
8. Wayne Routledge scored an excellent brace against The Baggies, becoming the club’s joint-second highest scorer with Nathan Dyer. The winger has a better rate of shooting accuracy than Dyer this season, 85.7% of his 14 shots being on target compared to Dyer’s 68.8% from 16 shots.
9. Michu took his goals tally to nine with another strike on Wednesday. Interestingly, the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows him to be the only man in the league to have shot on target and won a tackle twenty times each. This versatility will be key to a strong result.
10. Pablo Hernandez was another superb performer in the midweek game. With 187 passes at a rate of just under one every four minutes this season, he’s Swansea’s most prolific passer of the ball.
11. Only Norwich and champions Manchester City can share the Swans’ boast of being on a five-match unbeaten run, with two wins and three draws in November.
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