Match Preview: Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Games nowadays are coming thick and fast, and the opposition tomorrow is high flying Aston Villa. A win would see them level on point with us, which indicates the good season they're having.

A target of ourselves, Gareth Barry has been very good in the middle of the park this season and with pace down the wings and up front in Young and Agbonlahor and Carew up front, this will be a stern test for our team. Some early teams news from Villa is that Carew has a hip injury, but I think they'll do everything they can to get him fit.

The game against Villa will ultimately tell us whether the win against Man United was a statement of intent or just papering the cracks.

Arsene's spoken about the squad and revealed:

“Adebayor is back in the squad. I will decide (if he plays) tomorrow. Almunia is doing well and has recovered completely.”

And on Rosicky

“The surgery went very well. He should be back with us in six to eight weeks, but that doesn’t mean he will be back playing. He will start training. I think a reasonable delay is to consider the beginning of next year.”

And on Eduardo

“Eduardo is close to full training and should be playing in two to three weeks.”

So looking at tomorrow’s game and looking at the team, I’d expect the starting line up to be the same as that against United. If Ade is fit, I’d expect both Ade and Bendtner to start up front, if not Bendtner and Diaby will most probably start. I’d like to see more of Vela, but I believe having played most of the game against Wigan, he will most probably be on the bench.

So… the line up should be:

Almunia
Goalkeeper
 
Sagna
Right Back
Gallas
Centre Back
Silvestre
Centre Back
Clichy
Left Back
 
Walcott
Right Wing
Denilson
Midfielder
Cesc
Midfielder
Nasri
Left Wing
Diaby
In the hole
  Bendtner
Striker

With Fabianski, Djourou, Toure, Ramsey, Song, Adebayor and Vela on the bench.

I’m not a fan of 4-5-1, but with the games coming thick and fast, it seems like this would be Arsene’s preferred option.

Okay, good luck boys, we need to press on with a win tomorrow… Til then…]]>

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[Looks good for the weekend. This will indeed be the test we need to demonstrate we are capable of following good performances with good performances.

    I can't wait to have Eduardo back, I hope his first game is at the Emirates because he will get a great reception.

    On an entirely seperate note, has anyone else noticed the distinct lack of songs for individual players (except Ade, RVP, Cesc, Rosicky, not sure "Theo, Theo, Theo..." counts).

    I always felt a bit sorry for Flamini last season when he'd play a blinder, everyone would know it, but all we could sing was "We've got Cesc Fabregas"... maybe thats why he left?]]>

  • Debs

    lol Steve! Maybe we should employ you as the official composer for the club ;)

  • gary

    < ![CDATA[If you have never read it, and you like a spot of laughter, it is always worth taking a peek at page 338 on BBC Teletext.

    It is a summary, updated daily, of the madcap ramblings of a drunken bunch of nae’r do wells with nothing else to say (ie Fleet Street’s Finest). Each story lasts a few lines and they tell you absolutely that the Lord Wenger is plotting to buy some reserve geek you’ve never heard of from a second division club that probably doesn’t exist in a country somewhere east of Afghanistan.

    To be fair none of them actually said any of the things in my headline - but they might have done, because just as I made that lot up, so do the papers.

    My point is, apart from the jolly amusement that the BBC Gossip column gives each day (it was there, for example that I read last summer that we were selling Adebayor and buying Peter Crouch instead), it is a reminder that it is all going to happen again.

    The journalists, having had a swift half of G&T are even now sharpening their noses to write up the wind up in the walk up to the start up of the transfer window being opened (if you get my drift).

    And some people will get worried. “Why is it always our players that want to leave,” they will scream in anguish, forgetting that the same gibberish is being written about the players of every team. Chrissy Ronald Ronaldo wants £800 million a second to stay at Manchester Bankrupts otherwise he is off to Antarctica, Tevez wants to leave whoever he plays for, and it is the same old barmy army of Real Mad, BarBarBarcaSheep, WC Milan, Inter, and someone else I can’t be bothered to remember who are doing the buying.

    So, let me strike a word in first.

    It’s all a load of tripe. This is how it goes:

    Agent says to player - “you are worth more than this” and makes a fuss.

    Manager ignores it, but at proper time says yes or no and opens negotiations or not depending on what he thinks of the deal.

    Meanwhile agent puts story to drunked up hacks saying “Peter Crouch to Arsenal” and the silly boys down the pub print it because they lost any sense of reality years ago.

    Agent then says to his boy, “look sunshine everyone wants you…”

    So it goes round and round. But in the end, the Lord Wenger usually gets who he wants, where he wants him and when. Not every time - Flamini was an exception, but mostly those who go, go with Wenger’s blessing - from Vieira on.

    And for what it is worth, my guess is that Wenger didn’t mind Hleb going once he knew he had Nasri. And if that is the case, I am with him all the way.

    Last little word before I make the long treck from the wild and windy Midlands to glorious sunny north London: goonernews has decided it doesn’t like us - or rather it did yesterday - so if you fancy reading about Arsenal’s Genetic Production Factory and other exciting stories, go back a page or two (or see the list top right, depending which sort of page you are looking at).]]>

  • mazon

    < ![CDATA[It was this fixture last year that the wheels came off. Well, at least partially. Ok, almost completely but only for poor Phillipe Senderos. If you remember, Villa came to the Emirates in the match directly after the sickening tackle by Taylor had struck down Eduardo. Travelling Villa fans showed their intelligence by chanting sickening songs comparing Eduardo to Heather Mills. This in turn sparked fights, ejections, and a tranche of condemnation by all thinking people on the planet.

    Furthering the psychic pain that Arsenal felt at the time, Senderos scored an own goal in the 27th minute, was sacrificed in the 80th minute and was only spared blushes by an injury time goal by Bendtner. Arsenal recovered enough to go to the San Siro and put two past their Italian hosts but really this fixture set a course for the season that would see us crash out of all three competitions. Further, this match was the penultimate last straw for Senderos (he officially broke the camel’s back against Liverpool in the Champions League one month later). He would never recover the form that Arsenal supporters and the boss expected and during the summer was dispatched to Italy to rot on the bench.

    Getting rid of Senderos haven’t cured Arsenal’s defensive woes and the back four will need to be on the watch for Ashley Young’s pace and ability to put in a cross, not to mention his ability from set pieces. Sagna has the most direct responsibility here but whoever Arsene puts in the center of defense will need to rise to the occasion and put in some clearances. If Almunia is still effected by the knock he took against United then I would expect Fabianski to come in and show the same youthful vigor he showed against Wigan and be the main Arsenal player to handle corners, crosses, and set pieces. If Almunia is healthy then that responsibility lies with Gallas and Silvestre. That’s right, I don’t expect Toure to get any starts for ther time being; the boss clearly thinks he’s to blame for Arsenal’s aerial woes.

    Well… lol… Wenger just passed both Almunia and Adebayor as fit. Oh well, I was kind of hoping to see Fabianski in the sticks but it looks like England’s Future Number One will get the start; Adebayor is a game time decision.

    The rest of the squad picks itself, really. Everyone is rested and I don’t see any reason why Arsenal won’t play the same squad they played against United. We will probably see Vela, Wilshere, and Ramsey on the bench and I suspect that Arsene will start Bendtner and bring on Vela and Ade late in the match if Arsenal don’t have a lead.

    Either way I’m looking for a modicum of revenge here for last season’s game. Plus Arsenal really need to put in a good performance and show some consistency after the win against United. I would like to see the first team play with the fire that the kids had on Tuesday but I don’t expect it. I expect that the players will play their measured, moving, passing type of game.]]>

  • debs

    < ![CDATA[from the bbc sports website:

    "There is no way any Arsenal fan can consider us serious title contenders after today's performance. Shocking."
    Tom, Brighton, via text on 81111

    My thoughts at the moment, but I'll wait until I see the match highlights and see what happened, before I draw any conclusions!]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[What kind of torture is this.This is worse than hell itself.
    Personally am confused, I dont knw if its the players or the coaches fault. But one thing is for sure we where relegated to our supposed position in the league with the quality of players we have.

    Personally I ve lost hope. Even if we do a double against the other big teams, I dont ve the confidence in this team,not me. If I do its simply heart attack. Like deb mentioned sometime couple of weeks ago, I will zero my mind and hope we at least get a carlings cup.

    Kieren, Dan am not trying to sound sarcastic here but am been reasonable, this torture is too much to handle, the emotions invested is begining to weigh me down.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[You were missed this week Pissed Off! when we won 3-0. I expected you'd be here within hours of us losing though.

    I haven't seen the game, or the highlights, so I'll reserve partial judgement but from the small amount of commentary I heard on the radio before they scored their first, it sounded like Villa were the better team.

    I really wish I knew what the problem was - but then I guess so does Arsene, because two memorable victories have been forgotten already.]]>

  • Pissed off

    Kieren absolutely ,we are human and will blow were the wind carries us. But tell me what cud be wrong, its certainly not bad luck .

  • http://blogtown.co.nz Dc

    Mate couldn’t agree with you more. I think Arsenal need to get rid Bendtner. They just don’t have the fiinishing power that they use to have before. Even from down here in New Zealand – the Gunners are looking very poor! Todays match highlighted their terrible mindset that is currently showing. I feel they were still celebrating their United win last weekend and not concerntrating on todays match. I’m not a fan of Bendtner or Sylvestre. they have been the worst players by far this season and they need to be given away to some 3rd division squad.