Match Day: Aston Villa vs Arsenal

Big game #1 as Arsene says…

“I have never known a run of four League games as significant as these in all my time here. Never. Not four on the trot.  It is a real coincidence that we have games – one after the other – that are all decisive. ’If we win them all we are in a very strong position for sure, so let’s start with the first one and ignore all the others for now. ’It is a great opportunity to send a message to the rest of the Premier League. We want to take it and I am very confident that we are in a good position. So let’s go for it.”

Exactly what I want to hear and we’ve been boosted by the return of a few players for tonight’s fiery encounter.

The team news ahead of tonight’s game is that Bacary Sagna is still suffering from a shoulder injury and is a doubt for tonight – but apart from that we have our back line back and we’ll also have a strong bench with Niklas Bendtner and Nasri added to the squad.

Almunia

[Sagna / Eastmond]* – Gallas – Vermaelen – Clichy

Denilson – Ramsey

Rosicky – Cesc – Arshavin

Eduardo

With a bench of Fabianski, Silvestre, [Eastmond / Coqulein], Walcott, Nasri, Vela and Bendtner.

The [] brackets indicate the choice if Sagna is fit and if he isn’t…

As it’s a big game, let’s have a look at the possible Villa line up:

Friedel

Cuellar – Dunne – Collins – L Young

Downing – Petrov – Milner – A Young

Agbonlahor –  Heskey

We’ll have to be careful of Villa, no doubt, but we did them over at the Emirates and we can do the same tonight! Young and Agbonlahor offer pace and Heskey offers power. Milner and Downing offer craft, and our back 5 + DM have to be alert and aware of the counter attack.

Aaron Ramsey is looking forward to the next couple of games, and in the absence of Alex Song tonight, I think he’ll start and of course he’ll definitely play some part in the next few games.

“Obviously we are playing Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool straight after each other so it is going to be a difficult period but these are the things you want to be a part of. These are the occasions you look forward to the most. Hopefully we can make the most of the situation we are in and take maximum points from all the games to put ourselves in a really strong position. I think Villa have been a solid, strong team this season, and they have a good spirit. They have caused a number of teams problems and that shows from their position in the League. They have done well and it won’t be easy for us but these are the games we all want to play in and hopefully we can get the right result.”

So, let’s start with Villa tonight and make a statement of intent. Let’s not worry about the other three right now.

Come on you Gooners!

  • Gooner Get Ya

    I am more optimistic than confident if I am honest as we haven’t made the most of these opportunities.

    Let’s hope Almunia gets another clean sheet tonight to build up his confidence a bit for the Man U, Chelski and Liverpool games.

  • Nick

    Gonna be a tough match today and a very tough string of matches over the next two weeks. I’ve never seen any other team have to play 3/4 of the top 4 plus another “contender” all in a row.

    Hopefully Eduardo can finally find the back of the net. He’s been so close and steadily improving. Bendtner will be welcome back as well. I just wish he’d score a goal (good thing he changed his number, lol).

    I’m counting on Cesc to have a very good game today.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    With you on that one Nick. I would love Eduardo to get back to his best. I can still picture that sweet volley he scored with the outside of his boot…that was one of the best goals I have ever seen.

  • ny

    Missing Diaby.He usually plays well against Villa

  • vj

    there is a greater sense of confidence going into this game i feel, if we can win today and go on to come out of these games still up there then we as a team can really start to believe, this is something our team hasn’t had in a long time and therefore wenger knows that his players really need to be fired up for tonight, lets start this run with a win

  • kodjo

    Okay off topic but rio ferdinand has denied violent conduct charge….i guess fergie badly wants to prevent citeh from getting to the carling cup finals….but that means rio starts his ban on sunday….instead…

    I hope denilson gets his act together as villa may press us in the middle of the park bcos of our glaring weakness in the absence of song. We saw stoke, everton and bolton do that to good effect. Whoever plays in the middle has to be strong enough to break up play and provide cover for the back 4..stokes 2 goal is an example of this problem…other than that i have no worries for today’s game.

    It will also be interesting to see of villa will sit back at home or attack. they tend to struggle when other teams come to villa park and sit back…this forces villa to come out and attack which is not one of their strong points…

  • Marc Callan

    I like Arsene’s pre match talk, sounds great and seems like he is enjoying the pressure…I think Denilson got caught for pace but to be honest, where was Traore? Denilson is there to break up the play not act as a winger so with Clichy replacing Traore I dont think we will suffer the same problems as we did against Stoke…

    Can’t wait for tonights game, really have a good feeling this team can go places…Anyway anyone get a stream for the game, please put it up here…

    Put your game faces on Gooners, it’s time Arsenal faced with destiny!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    COME ON ARSENAL!

  • Kuka

    any link / stream online showing the game?

  • Will Scott

    Starting XI’s:

    Aston Villa: Friedel, Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Luke Young, Ashley Young, Milner, Petrov, Downing, Agbonlahor, Heskey.
    Subs: Guzan, Sidwell, Delfouneso, Davies, Delph, Shorey, Beye.

    Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas, Ramsey, Rosicky, Eduardo, Arshavin.
    Subs: Fabianski, Nasri, Walcott, Traore, Campbell, Eastmond, Bendtner.

  • tyoung

    Anybody got a link please!

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah

    Yes sagna starts :D

  • Marc Callan

    No link lads???

  • Marc Callan

    Lads,

    http://atdhe.net is showing it, click on the link and it should direct you to it

  • amri gooner

    I found these links for the game. I didn’t try them because I don’t need them but I hope they are useful for who need.
    If they worked, that what I hope. If not, I’m sorry.

    http://www.atdhe.net/12366/watch-aston-villa-vs-arsenal

    http://www.rifmax.com/channel1.html

    http://www.tvoo.net/ch1.html

    http://www.iraqgoals.net/ch4.html

  • http://worldofarsenal Josiah
  • Sam

    Worrying time. Verminator off for Sol on 35′. Hope he’ll be back for Sunday.

  • Josiah

    did you get to see what was wrong with him?

  • Josiah

    We hit the post!

  • Josiah

    ive given up on a stream and just listening on bbc 5 live.

  • Josiah

    Come on we need to take this game 2nd half.

  • amri gooner

    I found these links for the game. I didn’t try them because I don’t need them but I hope they are useful for who need.
    If they worked, that what I hope. If not, I’m sorry.

    http://www.atdhe.net/12366/watch-aston-villa-vs-arsenal

    http://www.rifmax.com/channel1.html

    http://www.tvoo.net/ch1.html

    http://www.iraqgoals.net/ch4.html

  • Jeffo
  • goonerman

    hes got a calf injury! LETS HOPE ITS REALLY MINOR

  • Jeffo

    denilson is not doing enough tonight, looked on tv that Verm got a stud on the shin.

    Assume run from fabregas towards the end but we really need to step it up in the secound half.

  • Sam

    If we get this one, I’m sure we’ll beat ManU too.

  • Sam

    Edu pulled a muscle or… B52 coming on!
    We heat the bar again!!!!!!!!!

  • Josiah

    come onnnn

  • Sam

    Hit the bar.

  • Sam

    Gunners waking up!

  • pires

    Substitution, Arsenal. Nicklas Bendtner forward replaces Eduardo because of an injury.?!!!!!

  • Josiah

    hate the way everyone gets injured for us.

  • Sam

    This can’t be good for my heart!

  • Josiah

    Is the 0-0 draw good or bad?

  • manoo

    I couldnt watch the game
    so how may times did we hit the wood work?
    Did we play well?
    to be honest we did get a clean sheet. a bit gutted about hitting the woodwork aparently and the injuries.

  • Sam

    Gotte be happy with a single point. 2 against woodwork is our best.
    How will we fair against Chelsea?!
    B52 was rusty.

  • tom G

    nasri looked good.. B52 didn’t, but good to get some time on the pitch.. Song back for man u?

  • tm17

    clichy didnt look good
    denilson neither
    man utd vs man city
    going to extra time better for us as this means more fatigue

  • tm17

    sorry no extra time

  • Josiah

    yeah i think song is back

  • goonerman

    LMAO !! there is a curse over arsenal football club! Vermaelen left the ground on crutches with a suspected broken fibula! I think its just getting SAD how bad our luck is when it comes to injuries! can campbell play for months in his place?? I REALLY DOUBT IT

  • vj

    guys ease up on B52 hes had a long time out and he came in a tough situation, i cant comment on nasri, as for the performance Sol looked solid the defence did well, but again like stoke no real penetration up front, the only chances came through fabregas’ brilliance. My problem is now, dare i say it, arshavin, as great as he is, he never seems to get into the game and it does get frustating the amount of times he loses possestion. I dont think he has been playing brilliantly so far he seems to be closed out and pushed out physically, hes not a player who can just push past players like diaby or rosicky he needs to run with the ball. This is also why walcott hasn’t been great. We haven’t run with the ball enough down the wings. B52 gives us the height now for crosses I hope wenger can sort something out for sunday, watching the city game as well made me think that man u are really now making their title push

  • mesol

    we need another striker asap…pls find it AW..dont be too stubborn to pay the cash…

  • Nick

    B52 wasn’t doing anything before his injury and he’s not gonna be doing anything in the near future. Verm with what I’m sure (because we’re Arsenal) is a broken leg. Eddie pulled his hamstring so he’ll miss Man U. Who do we start at striker!?!?!?!??!?!??!?!?! Great idea to not strengthen the squad in Jan. Even if we bought someone today they still wouldn’t be able to play in an absolutely critical game against Man U. this weekend. This is cursed!

  • ny

    we actually lost the game in midfield.A standby for Song is what we really miss.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    Looks like it has been confirmed that Vermaelen has broken his leg…that is 3 broken legs now. I guess he will be out for the season then.

    I bet AW is not a happy man after losing the Smalling deal now…that’ll teach him for being tight. I really hope he pulls some out of the hat as we still have time to buy.

    The list is growing Mr Wenger

    1 GK
    2 cover CB’s
    1 cover DM
    1 world class striker

    Get the chequebook out!!!!

  • Yemi

    In my opinion, we have one too many attacking midfielders and just one DM…. Forget all those standing in, no one has lived up to expectation

  • tm17

    Why don t we buy Kaboul i know he was with the s***rs
    But now with “cash trapped” porthmouth why couldn t we just buy him off.Height: 1.93m not bad as well considering his height
    that of course only if the vermalen news was confirmed

  • tm17

    I know it might seem sudden
    but I believe he could do a decent job at least until verminator comes back ???!!!!???

  • Gooner Get Ya

    There appears to be a growing divide in the camp when it comes to Arsene. On one hand are the “in Arsene we trust” crew and the other hand we have “Arsene is a liar and only cares about profit” crew.

    I am actually on the fence with this one. I love the style of football he has created as well as the good job he has done with the stadium move and training facilities but he does seem to lose sight of the here and now, it seems like he is always looking to the future. It’s not a bad thing to plan ahead but he seems to look too far and ends up missing things that are happening now.