Arsenal – Villa Preview; Tough one, this

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.

Team news?

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.

140 Comments

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  1. gerry
    gerry January 31, 2015 at 5:29 pm .

    If the players needed motivation, and they shouldn’t, then that has to be a perfect set of results for us.

  2. GIDDYVILLAN
    GIDDYVILLAN January 31, 2015 at 5:42 pm .

    I think we’ll grab a point.

    1. sasa c
      sasa c January 31, 2015 at 6:27 pm .

      Piss poor that as early as January we are looking at results below us, recent history say’s we may get a point – reality points to a heavy defeat. I can’t see Sinclair starting as he’s been in semi retirement for 3 years, but if ever this “new tactic” of holding the ball with little end product was needed, then this is the one.

  3. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion January 31, 2015 at 8:16 pm .

    A few comments above about the pace advantage that Villa might enjoy on the attack. It could work out with two fast players – though the probable scores will come from penalties Arsenal’s CB’s concede.

    At the other end of the pitch though we could have Baker, who must be the slowest young CB in the Premiership, and any of Arsenals forward’s could leave him for dead. I can’t see Hutton getting away with an average position on the half way line in this game.

    Arsenal are the Premiership home banker of the weekend at 73% (Manure were 70%) which I agree does not square with Villa’s record at the Emirates. But perhaps they have the inside info on Lambert’s team. The mistakes he could make include. Having Benteke and Gabby on the pitch together. Playing Richardson and Cleverley in preference to Westwood and Sinclair. Starting Delph.

    Prediction 4-2 defeat and another Red card. However if Lambert makes none of the above mistakes I would change that to 2-2 and no Red.

    1. Ardent Villain
      Ardent Villain January 31, 2015 at 8:49 pm .

      OLL – you clearly don’t rate Delph!
      Must admit I haven’t made up my mind about him: sometimes [OK – rarely ] he’s looked the real deal, then the next few games he’s completely reckless and looks out of his depth.
      Wonder which one will turn up tomorrow?

      1. OriginalLondonLion
        OriginalLondonLion January 31, 2015 at 9:08 pm .

        I don’t start off with a negative view of a Villa player, even if I didn’t think much of him at his previous club. I just find Delph’s record, particularly when starting at home, unbelievably poor. No other player with such a bad win/loss record has lasted for as many games as he has.

        He is better playing away – but the typical Arsenal midfield player Cazorla, Wilshere Ramsey are just the type to provoke one of Delph’s rash challenges or to nick the ball off him when we have no cover. Delph is the sort of player I would bring on for the last quarter if we needed a goal.

      2. sasa c
        sasa c January 31, 2015 at 9:17 pm .

        Ardent, hope you are well mate, I’m in the camp that really rates Delph, I know he needs to reel it in a bit at times, but he can move forward and can pass, and although I am certain that he has signed with a view to be released whenever suitable to either him or the club, the fact that he signed at all makes him a country mile a better man than Ashley Young all day long, and for that I respect the kid – just wish we had got Barry back when it could’ve happened as he really would have benefited the team and allowed Delph to get forward without the need to “fly into the tackle” irrespective of the cost.

        1. ifiruledtheworld
          ifiruledtheworld February 1, 2015 at 11:07 am .

          I think Delph is great, and I will always love him quite simply for what happened in this exact match last year. His reaction to hitting the post showed just how passionate he is about the club, and the exact type of player we need.

  4. Ardent Villain
    Ardent Villain January 31, 2015 at 10:32 pm .

    Sasa, I’m with you on his re-signing; whatever clauses they’ve agreed for the future, he said all of the right things [and yes, he’s shown up both Young and Downing for what they are], and the basic fact is that he’s not taken the first available exit out of the club.

    I’m hoping that if he gets to spend a bit more time in Hodgson’s England set-up then the reckless element of his play will get removed – or even that Lambert and the coaches at VP must be pointing out to him that he’s spent enough time out through injury himself so more red cards or time in plaster are hardly going to progress his career now [he’s not 19 or 20 any more, the ‘promising future’ will be behind him sooner than he knows…].

  5. bencey83
    bencey83 January 31, 2015 at 10:46 pm .

    Rosicky’s looking on form lately

  6. Jay Dee
    Jay Dee January 31, 2015 at 10:51 pm .

    We are in for Izco on deadline day from Chievo Verona

    1. mike
      mike January 31, 2015 at 11:12 pm .

      I doubt it jay . We will purchase some obscure striker on loan.

      1. Andrew
        Andrew February 1, 2015 at 4:25 am .

        Wouldn’t be all that surprising to see a Midfielder still come in, especially one that can play CM or RM, as I suspect we’ll still see a lot of a 3 man midfield.

        I do think we’ll sign a striker on loan.

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