The Premier League season is among us and Aston Villa kick off their campaign against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. These teams have endured very contrasting summers, Arsenal have endured a very frustrating summer, missing out on many key transfer targets such as Jovetic, Higuian and Rooney; as a result, Wenger has only brought in one player, Sanogo. Aston Villa, meanwhile have brought in 6 young players.
Arsenal will hope to maintain their Champions League status, however fans had hoped for a push for the Premier League title after Wenger had allegedly been given a transfer chest of over £70 million pounds. Aston Villa, will hope to improve on last season and hope for a better Premier League finish from last season.
Arteta is out injured for roughly 6 weeks following a thigh injury. Vermaelen and Diaby are long-term injuries and will certainly not feature. Cazorla is a doubt and his fitness will be assessed before the game. Some encouraging news for Wenger is that Ramsay is fit and available after missing Wales friendly due to injury.
Aston Villa will be without Sylla who has picked up a twisted knee following a youth game. Midfielder Chris Herd is still out with a calf injury. N’Zogbia is another long-term casualty.
Villa have won just two of their last 19 trips to London to face Arsenal, but both of these have come since the Gunners moved to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal have not lost any of their last 12 opening Premier League games (W8 D4), though they have drawn their last three.
The Emirates Stadium saw more goals than any other stadium in the Premier League last season (70).
Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa
I think Aston Villa can snatch a draw, I think there might be a hint of frustration from the Arsenal fans, and if things don’t go well for Arsenal quickly, it will be tough. There is more optimism around Aston Villa and I think that Lambert will get his team playing more freely. Without Sylla, I think we are a bit weaker defensively, but with Tonev in the squad, I think that Lambert will have a go at Arsenal.