Arsenal v Aston Villa: Match Preview

740ad730-a293-d129-501dd5ef8f9e9a91Arsenal Likely Line Up (4-5-1)

Sagna – Gallas(c)- Silvestre –
Walcott – Fabregas
– Diaby – Denilson – Nasri

Subs from: Fabianski, Toure, Djourou, Song, Vela, Ramsey, Wilshere, Adebayor

Aston Villa Likely Line Up (4-4-2)

Cuellar – Davies- Laursen(c) – Sho
Reo-Coker – Sidwell
– Barry – A. Young
Carew – Agbonlahor

Subs from: Guzan, Knight, Gardner, Milner, Harewood, Routledge, Salifou, Delfouneso, L. Young, Petrov

Injury doubts: Adebayor, Carew, Petrov, Luke Young

Form Guide: Arsenal (3rd) W7 D2 L3= 23 points   Aston Villa (5th): W6 D2 L4= 20 points

Tactics Talk: Last year at the Emirates Senderos scored an own goal and Arsenal had to be saved by a last minute Bendtner header to get a point out of the game. The away fixture at Villa park was a similarly close affair as Arsenal had to come froma goal behind to win. The positive note is that Aston Villa like to play football and are usually set up as a 4-4-2 and that would be the case providing Carew is fit. If not, Milner will play behind Agbonlahor but the tall Norweigan is crucial as Arsenal have struggled from high crosses as will the threat from Laursen, Davies and Cuellar (if Luke Young is unfit) from set plays.

Agbonlahor and Ashley Young are dangerous with their pace and direct running. Young  will look to cut in and cross with his right which Sagna will need to identify while breaking forward will be Barry and Sidwell who must be tracked by Denilson and Fabregas.

O’Neill has started Reo-Coker on the right in this season which has been a surprise and though he is hard working, looks uncomfortable at times and as he is not in the centre, the cover in front of the defense is weaker. Barry and Sidwell are strong forces going forward but defensively they may have too much on their plate as Arsenal’s passing and movement may be too strong, playing in triangles. Walcott may have too much for Shorey who can be identified as a weak link along with the central midfield cover which Nasri and Diaby can exploit.

Arsenal will likely play 4-5-1 similar to the game against United, Diaby challenging close to Bendther for goal kicks and then dropping back to provide help and link up play. His power could be key to breaking down a stubborn Villa defense however if Arsenal play like they did against Man Utd they shouldn’t have much trouble. This will mean Nasri getting closer to Bendtner when Arsenal attack, supported by Diaby, Fabregas and Walcott. The latter especially will have to learn when to come closer and not stick too wide if the ball is on the other flank. Aggressiveness in the box has been lacking this season and if chances are not converted the game could become frustrating.

Key Man: Nicklas Bendtner      Aston Villa Dangerman: Ashley Young

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa

Team Arsenal Aston Villa
Games Played 12 12
Goal Attempts    
Goals 25 20
Ave Goals per game 2.08 1.67
Shots (excl blocked shots) 185 109
% Shots on Target 43% 46%
% Goals to Shots 14% 18%
Short Passes 5,467 3,161
Long Passes 705 631
Overall Pass Completion % 84% 72%
Total Crosses 359 293
Cross Completion % 23% 19%
Goals Conceded 13 16
Ave goals conceded per game 1.08 1.33
Tackles 252 299
Tackles Won % 74% 80%
Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions 632 814
Fouls 127 148
Yellow Cards 23 19
Red Cards 1 0

3 thoughts on “Arsenal v Aston Villa: Match Preview

  1. We should keep the good feeling going and as we’re at home i’ld forget the 4-5-1 and stick with the 4-4-2 :

    Sagna – JD – Gallas – Clichy(c)
    Theo – Cesc – Ramsey/Diaby – Nasri
    Nik – Vela

    I would leave out Denilson because Cescs performances for some reason are effected when next to him. I feel that Gallas just wants the armband to feel important but players like Clichy and Cesc have really grown to love the club and should be fighting it out to be the new captain.

  2. Hi Stu. I would like 4-4-2 aswell but it is what I feel Wenger would choose (I don’t know if you already know that). Gallas for the mean time should stick to captaincy. Vela played and got a slight knock so he may not be able to start while Wenger has already stated that we look weaker in midfield in terms of cover for the defense hense the 4-5-1. I too like Djourou and prefer him over Silvestre.

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