Arsenal host Aston Villa at the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Gunners beat Manchester City at the Etihad in their last league game before notching up a 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup. Arsene Wenger’s side are on a four match unbeaten run in all competitions and are just a point behind the final Champions League berth.
Arsenal would seek to continue their winning streak against the very goal-shy Villans when they visit the Emirates on Sunday. I would have given a lineup I would have preferred to see but Wenger has said in his presser yesterday that the squad would remain the same as the one that demolished city with Sanchez the only player to be doubtful due to his hamstring injury. [quote font=”palatino” font_size=”18″ color=”#dd3333″ arrow=”yes” align=”left”]We know we are in an important period of the season where our commitment needs to be at the top level. Now consistency will decide our future. That’s why this game against Villa is important.[/quote]If Sanchez passes the test today, we can be sure Wenger would include him in the side which for me is not a good idea as I feel the Chilean deserves some rest.
There is one man we have to be wary about though if we are to take the game against Villa, and that is Villa new man, Carles Gil.
The Spanish playmaker who is a graduate of the same Valencia academy that nurtured David Silva and Juan Mata, is a left footed playmaker with imagination and captivation and technical ability.
Nacho Monreal sure has to be wary of his fellow country man on Sunday to increase our chances of winning. Another
Player we should keep an eye on is Man city reject, Scot Sinclair who joined the villains earlier this week and we could be almost certain that Paul Lambert would throw the attacker into the game.
With February upon us, we are now entering the critical point in the season when teams will rise as others fall away.
Arsenal have tended to belong in the former camp in recent years, and with key players returning and results on an upward trajectory there is renewed optimism about the months ahead and there would be no better time to start than against Villa.
But, as Wenger has reiterated again and again, his side’s commitment must be total if they are to fulfil their potential.
“We know we are in an important period of the season where our commitment needs to be at the top level,” he said. “Now consistency will decide our future. That’s why this game against Villa is important.”
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Arsenal have won 65%, drawn 30% and lost 5% of their last 20 home games.
[graph title=”Won” score=”65″ color=”#dd3333″]
[graph title=”Drawn” score=”30″ color=”#1e73be”]
[graph title=”Lost” score=”5″ color=”#eded10″]
[list icon=”momizat-icon-radio-checked” icon_color=”#dd3333″ icon_size=”12″ margin_bottom=”2″ ]In their last 20 home games against teams positioned in the bottom half of the table Arsenal have won 19 drawn 1 and lost 0 of these matches., In their last 20 home games against teams positioned below them in the table Arsenal have won 14 drawn 6 and lost 0 of these matches., In their last 20 away games against teams positioned above them in the table Aston Villa have won 2 drawn 5 and lost 13 of these matches.,Villa have gone eight hours and 42 minutes without scoring in the top flight Only Derby in 2007/08 have scored less goals after 22 games than Aston Villa this season (11)[/list]
Aston Villa have won 15%, drawn 20% and lost 65% of their last 20 away games.
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[box type=”info”]Arsenal: Welbeck (thigh), Wilshere (ankle), Diaby (calf), Arteta (ankle), Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin), Alexis (hamstring – doubt), Debuchy (shoulder).
Aston Villa: Delph (Calf – doubt), Agbonlahor (hamstring – doubt), Cole (hamstring – doubt), Vlaar (knee), Senderos (calf – doubt), Kozak (leg)[/box]
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