Aston Villa vs Arsenal Preview + Gibbs Setback
Well the rush of the festive period is on us now, in the football sense of it, with a pile of fixtures to deal with in a short space of time and after losing at league leaders Manchester City on Saturday, Arsenal make the trip to the midlands to face 9th placed Aston Villa in a Premier League encounter.
The lone goal loss at the Etihad was our first reverse after a run of nine league matches undefeated, a streak that saw the club garner eight wins and a draw. That run indicates how very much we have improved in the course of the season yet at 5th place, 12 points behind Shitty, it also pays testament to how woeful our start to the season was.
To matters at hand however, we’ve won three of our last four matches on the road and with the Villans without Chris Herd, Emile Heskey and most importantly Darren Bent, our good run of form looks favoured to continue.
We’d have to make do without a whooping five defenders though after manager Arsène Wenger revealed Kieran Gibbs suffered a setback to his recovery from a hernia operation.
That opens the way for Ignasi Miquel to start at the back while ‘Dench’ Frimpong will also likely start with Alex Song set to miss out on the Villa trip suspended no thanks to his fifth yellow card picked up on Sunday.
Szczesny; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Miquel; Arteta, Frimpong, Ramsey; Gervinho, Walcott/Arshavin; van Persie (c).
Yes, Andrei Arshavin, seeing as the boss is willing to give the Russian a go in the team despite the obvious. And with a number of injuries to deal with, Squillaci could make the bench tonight.
Talking of injuries, Bacary Sagna is fit enough to run in training so we should be seeing him back in the team (sigh of relief) very soon. It is as you were for the rest.
With a record of six wins and six draws in our last dozen visits to Villa Park, I’m counting on a 2-0 win in our favour.
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