If you look at this game on paper, it looks like it’s all over for us even before we kick off, doesn’t it?
And to be honest, I suspect that’s about right, as in my heart of hearts, I don’t feel we’re going to get anything out of it.
Even the bookies, who are generally correct most of the time, rate us as having practically no chance whatsoever; I’m currently seeing odds as low as 9/2 on for Arsenal and 13/1 for a Villa win for example.
So an Arsenal win’s in the bag then.
Or is it?
There are some factors in our favour though, that make that 13/1 worth a couple of quid as a punt, in my opinion (not that I’m a betting man really and I’m not encouraging gambling at all).
First, we actually have a very decent record over recent years at the Emirates.
I’m sure many will remember some of Gabby’s goals and it seems he’s fit and will again be a threat with his pace.
Christian Benteke has scored three goals in four appearances against Arsenal.
And we’re actually quite difficult to score against, if the defence is playing well.
Then again, lately, we’ve struggled to score. Let’s not forget we’re just shy of nine hours playing time in the Prem without a goal. I’m going to turn that around though and say that the longer we go without scoring, the more likely we have to be to score, surely?
Hence, I’m expecting us to get a goal.
The big question for me, is how is Lambert going to play this one?
I’d expect Sinclair to at least play and he’ll probably start, else why buy a wide player, if Lambert isn’t looking to add width?
So who loses out?
As per usual, I don’t have a clue how Lambert sees things, so I’ll just see on the day.
Gabby’s fit, but we still have Cole, Vlaar and Sendoros out.
Arsenal have Wellbeck as a possible, but doubtful.
So how do I see things panning out?
Well, I’ve tried to be optimistic and although I think we’ll score one, I can’t see us getting the result we want.
It’s got to be a 2-1 loss, I’m afraid.
You just never know though and I’ll have my fingers crossed.