So off we go again on Wednesday with another match. This time at home to Villa. And indeed as we noted recently a win against Villa on Wednesday will mean we are matching the record in the 2004/5 season.
Also as we have already seen, we have been matching the 2003/4 season thus far.
So what about game five? In the Unbeaten Season game five was a 1-1 home draw to Portsmouth. This was considered a bit of a challenging match; Portsmouth had thus far won two and drawn two and only conceded two goals – the same as Arsenal. They were sitting third in the league. So a win on Wednesday will put us above the achievements of the Unbeaten Season – at least for the moment.
Looking at this forthcoming game, something of a gap has appeared between the two teams…
And as we have now had four games in the league we can return to our normal approach of comparing home and away form.
|19||Aston Villa away||2||0||0||2||1||5||-4||0|
Two defeats for Villa away from home – including rather surprisingly a defeat to Bournemouth who have today sacked their manager. Villa then went on and lost to Crystal Palace. They did beat Bolton in the league cup away, but back in the league lost their game at the weekend at home to West Ham who previously couldn’t buy a win.
But these are early days so maybe we should also look back to last season.
|5||Arsenal all games 2021/2||38||22||3||13||61||48||13||69|
|14||Aston Villa all games 2021/2||38||13||6||19||52||54||-2||45|
|3||Arsenal home 2021/2||19||13||2||4||35||17||18||41|
|10||Aston Villa away 2021/2||19||7||1||11||23||25||-2||22|
As for transfers Villa have brought in Diego Carlos, (£26m), Philippe Coutinho (£17m), Robin Olsen (£3m), plus Ewan Simpson, Ludwig Augustinsson, Rory Wilson, and Boubacar Kamara. Having sold a load of players at the same time they have actually made a transfer profit this time; the Guardian says it is £7.8m.
This compares with a net outgoing of £90m from Arsenal, the prime purchases being Jesus and Zinchenko, the two big buys from Manchester City.
Sporting News using figures from TransferMarkt have very kindly provided an up to the minute list of transfers per club to calculate the net income or outflow. Arsenal have the seventh highest expenditure and also the seventh highest net spend
Aston Villa have been back in the Premier League for three seasons, since having a three-year break in the easier challenges of the Championship. They then came up through the playoffs and have finished 17th, 11th, and 14th. In each of these seasons they have also gone out in the third round of the FA Cup although they did make the final of the league cup in 2020.
Their last bit of silverware was the Championship play off final, but before that we have to go back to 2002 when they won the Intertoto Cup. They did win the league cup twice in the 1990s however.
So for Villa to get anything out of this game they will have to be on form AND Arsenal will very much have to be off form.
Even the recent form table doesn’t really help that much since December 2011 the clubs have played each other 18 times in the Premier League (16 games) and FA Cup. Arsenal have won 13, and Aston Villa four.
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