Aston Villa host Arsenal on Monday night this January 13th. Arsenal will be looking for revenge after Aston Villa beat Wenger’s men at the Emirates stadium at the first game of the season. That was a day where Aston Villa looked good and where tipped for great things; while Arsenal failed to bring anyone during the transfer window and looked like a team that would struggle. 6 months on, the complete opposite occurred. Aston Villa in mid-table not looking too inspiring, and Arsenal are doing well, with the team chasing the League title.
Aston Villa haven’t been doing to well at home this season, recently lost to Crystal Palace and struggled to beat Swansea. However they have beaten Man. City at home so the team is capable of putting in a good performance. Arsenal meanwhile are struggling with injuries, Walcott has been ruled out for the season and Bendtner is out for a few months. It has made their team light.
Aston Villa will assess the fitness of central defenders Ron Vlaar and Nathan Baker. Both defenders missed the FA Cup clash against Sheffield United. Gabby Agbonlahor and Brad Guzan will be fit to play having both missed the FA Cup game with niggling injuries. Meanwhile the match against Arsenal is too soon for Chris Herd and Joe Bennett who have both returned to training.
Arsenal expect to recall Olivier Giroud who has recovered from illness and an ankle problem. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in the squad having recovered from a serious knee injury, he made his return in a reserve match this Thursday. Meanwhile, Ramsay and Gibbs are doubts for this game. Walcott, Diaby, Sanogo and Bendtner all miss out with injuries.
Victory in this game would be Aston Villa’s 300th in Barclays Premier League history.
Arsenal are unbeaten in 14 Barclays Premier League trips to Villa Park, winning seven and drawing seven.
The Gunners’ 14 game unbeaten run at Villa is their longest away run without defeat against a single side in Premier League history.
No team has scored the first goal in more Premier League games this season than Arsenal (15). Conversely, no side has scored the first goal on fewer occasions this season than Aston Villa (5).
Arsene Wenger’s side have won just two of their last nine Premier League matches in January (D2 L5).
Aston Villa have used fewer players in the Premier League this season (21) than any other club.
Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal
I’ve seen many people predicting a draw to Aston Villa, which I can personally see happening. But the thing is, in order for Aston Villa to get a draw Arsenal are going to have to play badly. I just don’t see that happening. We beat them last game but that’ll only motivate them to win. Also the return of Vlaar is essential. He is such a key defender, he organises the back well and with him in the side Aston Villa are much stronger defensively. I think we’ll see 5 at the back should both Baker and Vlaar return. Arsenal will play good football and I reckon Cazorla and Podolski will cause the most amount of trouble.