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February 2021
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Aston Villa v Arsenal: statistics point to a balanced game.

By Bulldog Drummond

 

For a few weeks at the start of the season Arsenal and Aston Villa were high flying clubs, but that quickly slipped away.

Villa have now played a uniquely low level of home games but when it comes to comparing Villa’s home form with Arsenal’s away form, the parallels are obvious, despite their resistance to play at home.

Pos Club / venue P W D L F A GD Pts
13 Aston Villa home 9 4 1 4 18 14 4 13
11 Arsenal away 11 5 1 5 15 11 4 16

Arsenal’s last five in League and Cup away have given three wins and two defeats with a goal difference of 9-4.

Date Game Res Score Competition
29 Dec 2020 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal W 0-1 Premier League
02 Jan 2021 West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal W 0-4 Premier League
23 Jan 2021 Southampton v Arsenal L 1-0 FA Cup
26 Jan 2021 Southampton v Arsenal W 1-3 Premier League
02 Feb 2021 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Arsenal L 2-1 Premier League

Aston Villa’s last five home games gives them two wins, two defeats and a draw.

Date Game Res Score Competition
17 Dec 2020 Aston Villa v Burnley D 0-0 Premier League
26 Dec 2020 Aston Villa v Crystal Palace W 3-0 Premier League
08 Jan 2021 Aston Villa v Liverpool L 1-4 FA Cup
23 Jan 2021 Aston Villa v Newcastle United W 2-0 Premier League
03 Feb 2021 Aston Villa v West Ham United L 1-3 Premier League

These figures give a slight advantage to the away team, which is what the overall figures in the league continue to give for this season.  They have scored seven and conceded seven.

So current form gives us a slight advantage.  And in fact if we look at Villa’s form both home and away in the games since the start of the year it is won two, lost five, those wins being against Southampton (0-1) and Newcastle (2-0).    They have scored eight,

Arsenal since  the start of the year have given us four wins, two defeats and two draws.  13 goals scored and three conceded 14.

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So looked at all ways the form is with us.

As for their tactics

Club Tackles Fouls Tackles per foul Yellow cards Fouls per yellow Penalties for Penalties against Lge pos
Arsenal 266 202 1.32 32 6.31 3 2 10
Aston Villa 258 220 1.17 30 7.33 4 3 9

Aston Villa have played two fewer games than Arsenal, which if played at their current rate of tackling and fouling would give them 283 tackles and 242 fouls, so a notable difference from Arsenal, but of course this probably would not change their ratios.

As things are proceeding this season Arsenal are committing slightly more tackles before they are given a foul against them, and are having to commit fewer tackles before they get a yellow card.  But the differences are small.

With teams as balanced as this in terms of results and performance, the entire issue seems to come down to weather Arsenal’s defeats to Wolverhampton and Southampton were anomalies caused by the situation (the sendings off at Wolverhampton and saving the team at Southampton for the subsequent league game), or whether they are a sign of the turning of the tide.

Aston Villa’s form of two wins in the last eight (against Newcastle and Southampton) as compared to Arsenal’s four wins in the last eight suggests the game could be tight – which is exactly what the league performance throughout the season suggests.

 

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