The key battle that could decide Arsenal v Everton

Olivier Giroud could be facing off against Phil Jagielka once again.

Based on their Premier League positions, today's Everton clash should be a shoo-in for Arsenal.

But the Toffees have traditionally been tough opponents for Arsene Wenger's men. In their last five meetings, in fact, the north London side haven't beaten Everton.

And, after Arsenal's Champions League collapse at home to Monaco earlier this week, confidence is not guaranteed.

A key battle that could determine the outcome of today's clash is Everton centre-back Phil Jagielka coming up against Arsrenal's Olivier Giroud.

  Won HeadersWon TacklesEffective ClearancesInterception WonsAppearancesMinutes Played
Phil Jagielka 61.46% 83% 236 42 25 2,205

The Everton man's form was questionable at the start of the campaign but, as Opta stats show, Jagielka has racked up decent numbers in recent months.

The experienced centre-back, 32, has won an impressive 83 per cent of his tackles this term, while also winning 61.4% of his aerial duels. Jagielka has, too, made over 200 clearances (his 236 is the third-highest tally in the Premier League) and won 42 interceptions this term.

  Won HeadersOn Target Shooting AccuracyChances CreatedDribblesAppearancesMinutes Played
Olivier Giroud 53.33 41% 14 4 15 895

Looking at Giroud's stats, the first important aspect to note in this key duel is that the Frenchman has won a smaller percentage of his headers.

If Everton can stop the Gunners' flair players speeding past them, Jagielka could prevail should the Gunners resort to crossing into the box.

Giroud has also created less than a chance per match and only won four dribbles this season. But the 28-year-old has been solid in front of goal in recent weeks and hits the target with 41% of his shots. The Arsenal man's eight league goals this campaign could be the most important statistic of all, with Everton often conceding porously this term.

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