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English Premier League Preview: Aston Villa vs. Arsenal

Kapil Sathe
ANALYST
Modified 11 Jan 2014
Preview

Arsenal travel to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa at the Villa Park on Monday night. The Gunners lost 3-1 to Villa on the opening day of the Premier League at the Emirates and no one saw that coming. After that defeat, Gunners went on to a flying start and currently sit at the top of the Premier League table. Meanwhile, after the heroics at the Emirates, the Villains are 11th in the table with 23 points having won just 6 matches out of 20. A victory over Arsenal would be Aston Villa’s 300th in the Premier League history.

Arsenal v Aston Villa - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 17: Olivier Giroud of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on August 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

LAST Corresponding Fixture:

  • Aston Villa 0-0 Arsenal
  • Saturday, 24 November 2012, Villa Park

The Gunners come into this game after securing a comfortable win over their arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the 3rd round of FA Cup. It seemed Arsenal had a blip when the drew against Everton and Chelsea & lost to Manchester City and Napoli but since then, Arsenal have recovered and injuries have not affected their performances. After drawing against Chelsea at the Emirates few weeks ago, Gunners won 3 matches in a row to get their season back on track. Aston Villa come to this game after getting 3 points against Sunderland on New Year’s Day. Villains lost 4 times in a row before they drew against Southampton and hard fought win at Stadium of Light.

.

TEAM Performance:

Played

Won

Lost

Drawn

GF

GA

Aston Villa at Home

10

2

6

2

7

14

Arsenal at away from Home

10

7

2

1

21

12

Arsenal hosted Aston Villa on the opening day of the Premier League 2013/14 season. Christian Benteke scored twice while Antonio Luna added another one as Villains stunned Gunners at the Emirates. Laurent Koscielny was sent off that day while Olivier Giroud scored the opening goal. The frenchman is back for the game on monday night after being ill & missing out the game against Spurs. For Aston Villa, after first few weeks of the season when he scored 4 goals, continuing his form of last season, the Belgian forward Christian Benteke was injured and since then is misfiring for the Villains. Benteke along with Gabriel Agbonlahor have failed to deliver up front for the Villains and Paul Lambert needs his players to perform week in week out if Villa are to stay in the Premier League.

So far this season:

ASTON VILLA

 

ARSENAL

42

Average Possession (%)

56

73.7

Passing Accuracy (%)

85.2

41

Shooting Accuracy (%)

52.3

6

Clean Sheets

9

.

TEAM News:

  • Aston Villa: Availability of Nathan Baker (hamstring) and Ron Vlaar (calf) will be checked ahead of Monday’s game. Both the players missed Villas’ FA Cup game against Sheffield United along with Gabriel Agbonlahor. The forward is set to make a return to the squad while Brad Guzan is also declared fit to face the Gunners. Joe Bennett & Chris Herd lack match fitness so they are not supposed to play on Monday.
  • Arsenal: Winger Theo Walcott is ruled out for rest of the season after suffering knee ligament damage when Arsenal faced Tottenham few days ago. Olivier Giroud is back after recovering from an ankle problem and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back into the team after spending five months on the sidelines. Welshman Aaron Ramsey & defender Kieran Gibbs are closing in on a return while club captain Thomas Vermaelen (knee) is doubtful for the game. Nicklas Bendtner (ankle) will be back in three weeks while Abou Diaby & Yaya Sanogo are the long term absentees.

OPTA Stats:

  • 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).
  • The Villains have kept just two clean sheets in their last 21 home league matches.
  • 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.
  • The Gunners have scored more headed goals than any other team in the league this season (9).
  • Victory in this game would be Aston Villa’s 300th in Premier League history.
  • Arsenal are unbeaten in 14 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.
  • Arsenal conceded two penalties in the reverse fixture against Aston Villa this season for the first time in the PL since Feb 5 2011 v Newcastle.

MATCH Appointments

  • Referee: Neil Swarbrick.
  • Assistants: S Ledger, A Halliday.
  • Fourth Official: M Atkinson.
Published 11 Jan 2014
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