Wenger v Southgate
Opta break down Arsene Wenger's surprisingly poor head-to-head record with Gareth Southgate.
Last Updated: 24/04/09 5:03pm
Arsenal have been a completely rejuvenated side recently.
After a period of three losses in four games in the league in November and four consecutive 0-0 draws at the end of January and February, The Gunners have been flying of late.
Not only have they qualified for the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, but they have won five of their last six games in the English top flight, only drawing in their last match 4-4 at Anfield.
However, on Sunday, Wenger faces his toughest challenge yet this year: a match against his bête noire - Gareth Southgate.
Incredibly, Gareth Southgate is the only currently-serving Premier League boss against whom Arsene Wenger is yet to manage a win in the competition (of managers that he has faced on five or more occasions), meaning that he is more of a thorn in the Frenchman's side than even Sir Alex Ferguson or Rafa Benítez.
|Arsene Wenger league performance vs Current PL Managers (five or more games)|
|Manager||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Win%||Points per Game|
Of Arsenal's five meetings with 'Boro under Southgate, four have ended with the score tied at 1-1, the other ending 2-1 (at the Riverside last season) in favour of the side from the North-East. This means that Arsene Wenger's teams have managed fewer goals per game against a Southgate-managed side than any other Premier League manager (they have averaged 1.2 against Ferguson).
Though it may seem as if Premier League matches for the London side are now purely academic with a spot in next year's Champions League all-but assured, the Gunners still have much to lose as they host 'Boro at the Emirates on Sunday.
Not only will the players be wanting a good performance to prepare themselves for their Champions League match against Manchester United on Wednesday, but Arsenal have also now managed seven consecutive league clean sheets at home, meaning that one more will see them set a new club record in the Premier League.
However, with former Gunner Jeremie Aliadiere a potential feature for Southgate they will have to be on their guard - the Frenchman has scored in his last two against his old club.