Arsenal Likely Line Up (4-5-1)
Sagna – Gallas(c)- Silvestre – Clichy
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) – Shorey
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
|Ave Goals per game||2.08||1.67|
|Shots (excl blocked shots)||185||109|
|% Shots on Target||43%||46%|
|% Goals to Shots||14%||18%|
|Overall Pass Completion %||84%||72%|
|Cross Completion %||23%||19%|
|Ave goals conceded per game||1.08||1.33|
|Tackles Won %||74%||80%|
|Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions||632||814|