Arsenal take on German giants Borussia Dortmund in the pick of the Champions League matches this week.
The Gunners have been perfect in Europe so far this season but this is one of their biggest tests against one of the only sides to have got close to Bayern Munich over the last couple of years.
Both teams like to play a pure brand of football, dominating the ball and grinding the opposition into the ground as they look for big wins and a chance to make a point in emphatic style.
Here’s how the teams match up against each other in key statistical areas.
The only area that the Gunners have scored more goals than the German side is when they have counter attacked with one more effort.
Borussia Dortmund have enjoyed more of the ball this season with 57% of possession from matches compared to Arsenal’s 54%.
What this tells us either way is that the side that doesn’t have control of the ball is going to have to work extremely hard to get it back again. Misplaced passes and a lack of concentration are two weaknesses which cannot appear.
Arsenal get a strike back as they have a higher passing success rate this season; 86% compared to 82%.
That suggests the Gunners are a little bit more precise than their opponents and not so wasteful when it comes to that final ball inside the opponent’s penalty area.
It also suggests that Arsenal have a greater chance of maintaining pressure over Borussia Dortmund if they can get on top early in the game.
Dortmund have been the better side in terms of discipline by some distance; 7 yellows and one red compared to Arsenal’s 14 yellows and one red.
Dortmund could try and get underneath the skin of Arsenal’s main stars but realistically the stat is down to the differences between the Premier League and the Bundesliga, with Arsenal playing in a more aggressive and physical league.
The discipline stat is remarkable when considering that Dortmund are making a higher number of tackles per game on average.
Dortmund make 27 attempts to win the ball back compared to the 19 coming from Arsenal.
That suggests that Dortmund are much more willing to launch into a challenge higher up the pitch and the fact their booking count is relatively low suggests they’re quite successful at doing just that.
There is nothing between the sides in terms of interceptions with Dortmund making one more per game on average this season.
No surprise considering the quality and talent of all areas of the squad on both sides.
Arsenal are allowing 13 shots per match on their own goal at the moment, much higher than Borussia Dortmund, allowing just eight shots on their own goal per match.
Arsenal have a defence which doesn’t have the pace to play a very high line all the time and more space is naturally created when a back four drops off, allowing midfield and attacking players from the opposition to have more efforts on their goal.
It’s not a majorly worrying stat for Arsenal and suggests that Dortmund could be vulnerable to counter attacks in behind, with a high defensive line.
Attacking Action Zones
Interestingly both sides favour attacking down the right hand side of the pitch, which won’t be a surprise as far as Arsenal fans are concerned with Lukas Podolski out injured.
What's your score prediction for the match?