Arsenal vs. Aston Villa – Match Preview – Can Villa sneak it?

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Arsenal vs. Aston Villa – Match Preview


Contributed by Korben O’BrienJoin The Team


Villa face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium for the first time in three and a half years this Sunday.

It has been a decent hunting ground for us over the years, with only Manchester United and Liverpool winning more times in North London than Villa.

In the here and now though, ‘The Gunners’ haven’t won any of their last three going into this fixture, whilst Smith has guided Villato one win [Everton 2-0], one loss [Crystal Palace 1-0] and a draw [West Ham 0-0] to their name.

LAST TIME OUT

They are players normally noted for classy performances in defence and midfield respectively, but Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish both threw themselves in the line of fire in aid of the Villa cause.

Both players made vital blocks in the second half to ensure that the Hammers didn’t walk away with all three points.

The 0-0 draw against a ten man West Ham will likely be looked back upon as a missed opportunity.  Despite a resolute performance from the visitors, Villa were largely untroubled at the back but frighteningly wasteful in terms of creativity in the final third.  The latter is something that we daren’t repeat at The Emirates.

For full reflection on the West Ham game – grab the latest edition of the podcast.

PREDICTING ARSENAL

Korben’s Prediction:

My prediction for the game is that it will be avery very tough affair against a clinical Arsenal side.  However, I also think that the way Arsenal concede goals that Villa could go there and knick a point.

Result Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Villa – with Wesley and Grealish scoring for Villa.

VillaUnderground.com Prediction:

There’s no doubt that this is a tough fixture, but this is not the team of invincibles it once was.  Indeed, this is an Arsenal team that hasn’t got going at all this season.  The evidence of this came just last weekend with them surrending a 2 goal lead to bottom club Watford, whom went on to get an 8-0 mauling at the hands of Manchester City.

Whilst Arsenal can undoutedly hurt us with their attacking line-up, Aubameyang being in fine goalscoring form, Mings and Engels have surpassed expectations in terms of the quality of their defensive partnership to date.

However, we look decidedly weak on the flanks, something any decent opposition will look to exploit.

Arsenal too carry their weaknesses, with David Luiz and Sokratis at centre-half hardly inspiring great confidence for the home fans.  Indeed, this might be the opportunity for big Brazilian Wesley to impose himself, with any combination of Grealish, Jota, El Ghazi & McGinn comfortable creating danger in that space.

The reality of the Premier League, as we know all too well, is that it is a ruthless beast.  There can be no room for overly casual play, nor limited creativity as witnessed against West Ham.  If we are to take anything from Arsenal, we simply must create and take our chance.

Result Prediction: Arsenal 0-1 Aston Villa – Wesley the goalscorer.

Key Facts

  • Villa have won three Premier League away games at Arsenal, a tally only exceeded by Manchester United and Chelsea.
  • Arsenal are on a 6 game winning streak against AVFC though.
  • We’ve also been unable to score against Arsenal in 5 of those 6 games.
  • However, they’ve only managed 1 clean sheet in their last ten games.
  • Jack Grealish has been fouled 179 times in league football, (including play offs) since the start of last season, more than any other players in the top four tiers.
  • Matt Targett is fit & back in contention for the Gunners clash.
  • Arsenal have just lost once in their last 20 PL games.
  • Aubameyang is the danger man, particularly at home.  He’s struck in each of his last 7 starts at The Emirates.
  • Alexandre Lacazette, Bellerin & Tierney remain out injured for the hosts.
  • Mahmoud Trezeguet is available after his sending off in the defeat at Palace.
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