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Arsenal versus Villa: the “mind the gap” edition

By Phil Gregory

Arsenal host Aston Villa in one of Saturday’s 3pm kick offs, but no doubt some eyes will be on the earlier Chelsea vs. Tottenham game. The pre-match chat about that game has been covered excellently in our new game week preview by Arun, but I will just add that should Spurs slip to a defeat – which seems probable given their dire recent performances and away record – they will be a mere two points clear of Chelsea in fifth, and if they aren’t already feeling the pressure, they would do then. Mind the gap, lads!

Looking at our game, we’re pretty healthy in regards to injuries. Even Diaby is back fit, though Wenger said in his recent press conference he’ll be looking to get the Frenchman ninety minutes in a reserves game before looking to include him in a match day squad for the first team. All in all, that gives us a pretty healthy team to select from, and a lack of additional injuries from the Everton game was fantastic.

Szcznesy

Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs

Song Arteta

Rosicky

Walcott Van Persie Chamberlain

There’s certainly enough in that line up to comfortably beat Aston Villa at home. Villa aren’t the same side they have been over the last couple of seasons: they’ve lost some big players (Young I mean, Downing less so!) and of course have Darren Bent out injured. We mustn’t be overconfident however: Villa have actually performed better away this season than in front of their own fans. Much of their game under O’Neill was based around a direct style, countering with pace and undoubtedly this lends itself well to nicking points and wins with gritty performances away from home. Certainly then, this will be something to watch out for.

I’ll wrap up a fairly brief preview at this point, as since writing the latter I’ve been to the pub, and only Dogface can blog eloquently after a few drinks. 2-0 to the Arse for me. I’ll be keeping track of this one on live text as I’m moving home for the holidays, so a couple of goals will keep me entertained for the journey home. If Spurs lose, life will become brilliantly hilarious, so fingers crossed!

RefWatch: Arsenal v Villa starring Phil Dowd as panto villain

Premier League weekend previews – the games of Arsenal, Man U, Man C, Chelsea and Tottenham

Our last match – how the referee did.   Everton 0 Arsenal 1

24 comments to Arsenal versus Villa: the “mind the gap” edition

  • Donnyfan1

    Just one point Phil—Song, Rosicky and Ramsey in front would be a better combination. Aaron could have had 4 against Everton and one day soon- he will!! Don’t bet on anyone else being the highest scoring midfielder in the Prem next season!

  • Gord

    If the team is pressing as a team, one hopes that takes a lot away from the ability of the other team to counter attack. I guess AW is counting on no more injuries at the back, Yennaris is gone on loan, Coquelin is not yet healed. I just counted up the on-loan players. Arsenal has 20 players out on loan, only 1 is not to end of season.

    Phil. I regurgitated some math oriented stuff at the end of your FA reform article. Good luck moving.
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/19568

  • Craf

    As for preferred result from the second string match today. We should put aside your emotions and wish for a draw at lunch time. only 2 points from that match (rather than the 3 one of them would get from a win) is best at this stage of the season against x2 near rivals. What do others think?

  • Nnaemeka

    We are moving to the next level

  • Brickfields Gunners

    2-0 to the Arsenal just about sounds right .A Chelski win would get ‘Arry all sweaty and flustered .

  • Just in case anyone is interested in historic things, while Arsenal were winning the double in 1971, Aston Villa were… in the third division.

    I hadn’t realised that until I started working on the series on the first double in the Arsenal History site. If you fancy testing your knowledge, the five short quizzes are all now up – along with the answers.
    http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/arsenal-quizzes/

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks for the quizzes , Tony – had a blast ,but missed out on the last and the answers to it came too fast for me .But I did get 4 right .
    Please do another one after you’ve done with your project .What about the 60s , 70s. 80s , 90s & The Arsene years (or just call it A D – the time of the Lord).

  • Gord

    Oops, Koscielny tweaks his knee in the warmup. Djourou in for centerback.

  • Gord

    Assist to Ryo in the Bolton-Blackburn game.
    Goal to Bendtner in the Sunderland-QPR game.

  • Ruaridh

    king kenny, ahahaha!

    top match tho tbh, we lacked a bit of clinicleness (is that a word).

  • Ruaridh

    viva fox soccer!

  • dan

    Media silence on LFC?

  • Ruaridh

    we might have to wait until MOTD dan, if there’s nout on it then maybe, yeah or “king Kenny” was too embarressed to appear for a post match interview…

  • Arvind

    Awesome stuff Gord. Thanks for keeping tabs; specially on Ryo. Real good that he’s doing well there. And I’m happy about NB52 too; in case nothing happens in the transfer market and Chamakh and Park do leave; I won’t mind NB52 with a slightly smaller ego coming back.

  • Gord

    Another piece of trivia from the arsenal.com website. Someone has been arrested for that racist chanting at the Newcastle game.

    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/man-arrested-after-incident-at-newcastle-game

  • dan

    catch up on all the goals:-

    http://www.sportsaim.com/

  • Ruaridh

    3 mins on MOTD tonight, joke-thank god I streamed it online

  • Mahdain

    @ruriadh i streamed it too..what a joke they are..it was like they said you won..next
    funny how we lose they have a field day and is anyone suprised hansen and lawro werent in?would love to see their faces for today..hansen was really looking funny when they analysed the QPR match midweek

  • Mahdain

    *how when

  • WalterBroeckx

    Now that was great day out in London for our supporters from the Benelux and myself included.

    Great to see you all and what a great performance from 11 Gooners on the field.

    They played Aston Villa off the pitch as the expression is in Dutch. Oh and looking from the stands Dowd had a great game to be honest.

    Just seen the 3 minutes of MOTD but I have the whole game on my hard disk as it was shown live on our sports channel. 🙂 Looking forward to see it again.

  • bob

    Phil,
    The other “gap” to mind that’s being closed is that our season, what I like to call “The Great Turnaround” will have continued to close the gap with the media’s preferred brew, the “Rednose XX.” We will win the season on the real pitch that counts – all fandom’s hearts and minds. (Perhaps Le Turnaround Grande would be more nettlesome to the media stenographers.)

  • Damien Luu

    Everything seems to turn our way, does it not? 🙂

    Really can’t wait for the next game, and the next season, in which we will be back to what we really are, and what some of our neighbours ARE NOT – “title contenders”.

  • bob

    Damien Luu,
    Agreed! Thanks for your comment and our agreement from the other day: http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/19717