FOOTBALL – The following are some key facts and figures on a selected assortment of matches in the Premier League this weekend. The matches we have looked into are Arsenal – Aston Villa, Queens Park Rangers – Manchester United and Manchester City – Chelsea.
Arsenal – Aston Villa (Saturday 23 February, 16:00 CET)
> Arsenal are unbeaten in their last four matches against Aston Villa in all competitions, since a 2-1 defeat in the PL in May 2011 when Darren Bent scored both of Villa’s goals, and Robin van Persie netted for Arsenal.
> Arsene Wenger has only won more PL matches as manager against Everton (23) and Blackburn Rovers (18), than he has against Aston Villa (17). He has also won 17 against West Ham United.
> This will be Arsenal’s 400th PL home match. They have won 253 (63%), drawn 95, and lost 51.
> Mikel Arteta has committed 53 fouls in the PL this season, the equal-most alongside Everton’s Marouane Fellaini.
> Lukas Podolski has been substituted in 19 of his 21 PL starts for the club this season.
Queens Park Rangers – Manchester United (Saturday 23 February, 16:00 CET)
> QPR have lost each of the last three PL meetings. They haven’t picked up a point since March 1996 when they drew 1-1. Denis Irwin scored an own goal and Eric Cantona scored a last-minute equaliser.
> Harry Redknapp hasn’t won any of his last 11 PL matches against Manchester United, since his Portsmouth side won 2-1 at home in August 2007. In total, he has won three of 32 career PL matches against them (21 defeats).
> United have 65 points from 26 PL matches this season – they have never had more at this stage of a PL season. Only Chelsea (2004-05 and 2005-06) have had as many points at this stage of a PL season, and went on to win the title in both seasons.
> Only three clubs in top flight history have had a better record after 26 league matches – Tottenham (68) in 1960-61, Liverpool (66) in 1987-88 and Chelsea (66) in 2005-06. All won the title that season.
> Robin van Persie is the PL top scorer with 19 goals this season. He can become the sixth different player to score 20 goals in a single PL season for United after Ruud van Nistelrooy (4 times), Wayne Rooney (2 times), Cristiano Ronaldo, Dimitar Berbatov and Dwight Yorke.
Manchester City – Chelsea (Sunday 24 February, 14:30 CET)
> Manchester City have won their last three PL matches against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, since a 3-1 defeat in September 2008. Ricardo Carvalho, Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka scored for Chelsea, Robinho netted for City.
> City are winless in their last three PL matches. They last went four without victory between September and November 2009, when they were on a run of seven consecutive PL draws under Mark Hughes.
> Rafael Benitez is unbeaten in his last 11 PL matches against Manchester City, drawing the last four. His only defeat in 13 PL matches against them was 1-0 away in April 2005. His first ever PL win came against them – Liverpool’s 2-1 home victory in August 2004.
> Chelsea have 49 points from 26 PL matches this season, three more than they had at the same stage last season (46).
> Fernando Torres has scored three goals in nine PL matches against Manchester City, and has been unable to score in his last six against them.