STAT ATTACK: Arsenal v Crystal Palace

Tony Pulis will be pitting his wits against Wenger this afternoon.

Tony Pulis will be pitting his wits against Wenger this afternoon.

First published in Sport Streatham Guardian: Photograph of the Author by

Crystal Palace take on Arsenal today at the Emirates Stadium and as always here are some pre match stats to get your teeth into.

The Tony Pulis revival at Palace continued this week as the Eagles beat Hull 1-0 at Selhurst Park.

A well-taken goal from Jason Puncheon secured all three points for Pulis’ side but they will face a stern test of their newfound defensive solidity at the Emirates this weekend.

Mile Jedinak continues to be the heartbeat of Crystal Palace this term, the midfielder excelling in his role as their defensive enforcer.

He ranks third on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total tackles won with 77, this figure representing an overall success rate of 74.8% for the imposing Australian.

Jason Puncheon’s powerful strike against Hull will have come as little surprise to Palace fans who have been keeping an eye on his shooting statistics.

The former Southampton man has maneuvered his way into more scoring positions than other Palace player this term, letting fly with a squad-high 33 attempts this season.

Defender Damien Delaney is on the cusp of a personal statistical landmark after some impressive performances so far this season.

He’s been intervening repeatedly at the back for Palace this term and is currently sitting on 199 clearances for the season, placing him joint fourth in the league.

Marouane Chamakh will need to be aware of giving away too many fouls this weekend, his former club possessing the quality to exploit any repeated indiscretions.

He gave away the joint highest number of fouls in the last round of fixtures with 5.

Arsenal dropped what could prove to be a crucial two points as they drew 2-2 with Southampton at St Mary’s on Tuesday night.

A back-and-forth contest saw the Gunners fail to establish their customary dominance of possession in the first half, but goals from Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla rescued a point for Arsene Wenger’s side.

Olivier Giroud’s goal against Southampton was a great example of the fantastic technique the Frenchman possesses for a big man. However, Gunners fans will be hoping the Frenchman can make more of his chances when in front of goal for the rest of the season.

Giroud ranks second in the league for total off-target scoring attempts, with 34 to his name so far this term.

Key to Arsenal’s impressive defensive record this season has been the outstanding form of Laurent Koscielny, the Frenchman establishing himself as one of the premier defenders in the league this term.

His ability to read the game has been second to none and he currently ranks joint third in the league for total interceptions with 61 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.

Koscielny’s partnership with Per Mertesacker has been another building block of Arsenal’s success, the pair establishing themselves as Arsene Wenger’s first choice centre-half combination.

The German has been in impressive form in his own right as well though, racking up the joint second highest number of interceptions in the last round of fixtures with 6.

The impact of Mesut Ozil has been a noticeable part of Arsenal’s success so far this term, the former Real Madrid maestro adding even more guile and technique to an already talented Arsenal midfield.

Such has been his impact, he’s now supplanted Manchester City’s Yaya Toure at the summit of the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for total passes completed in the opponent’s half with an incredible 856 to his name.

This represents an average of one every 1.84 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season.

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