Will Mesut Ozil ever start on the left again?
Will Wenger persist with the 4-1-4-1 formation that is clearly not working?
These, amongst others are questions gooners will be looking to find answers to when Aston Villa hosts Arsenal at the Villa Park this afternoon.
Paul Lambert’s side on the other hand have enjoyed almost a perfect start to their Premier League campaign with Liverpool – at Anfield – being the latest victim of an impressive run of three wins and a draw. Consequently they are placed second on the BPL table. And for Arsene, if there were anytime to not face Aston Villa, it’d probably be now.
Formations: Aston Villa
Paul Lambert is expected to deploy the same tactics that have yielded success so far this season. About enough solidity at back, workaholic midfielders, and the uncertainty of Agbonlarhor’s change of pace has been the common theme for the Villain’s this season.
The same team that grabbed a 1-0 win at Anfield is expected to start at Villa Park. The pair of Nathan Baker and ex Gunner Phillipe Senderos are expected to start in the heart of defense, flanked on both wings by the duo of Cissoko and Huton. Paul Lambert’s team won’t be short of energy and running in the midfield as, English men, Tom Cleverly and Fabián Delph are expected to sheld the defense from Arsenal’s marauding attackers. And upfront Agbonlahor will most likely be joined by Weiman and Richardson.
Pretty much standard Aston Villa team bar the injured- close to full fitness- Ron Vlaar. A Group of 11 men, not one stand out name, but all willing to leave their hearts out on the pitch.
With Arsenal really struggling for form, Aston Villa will surely fancy their chances with this one.
Probable line up : Guzan, Senderos, Nathan, Hutton, Cissoko, Delph, Cleverly, Westwood, Weiman, Richardson, Agbolahon.
Key player to Watch: Gabby Agbonlahor
When Christian Benteke injured his Achilles tendon last season, the onus as the team main supplier of goals fell on the Aston Villa local lad. He finally had the chance to play in his favored role- upfront. And since then, Gabby hasn’t looked back. His pace is something Per and Co will to be weary of. As always, he will be the Villians major outlet.
As Wenger hinted during the press conference yesterday, we’re most likely going to see the dreaded 4-1-4-1 team setup. With Chambers fit, he might take the place of Bellerin in the team that lost in Germany. The usual suspects should start. Not much else apart from that; knowing Wenger, I don’t think he finds the option of rotation much compelling. Sad.
Probable line up: Szcesny, Per, Koscienly, Chambers, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Ozil, Sánchez. Welbeck
Player to Watch: Mesut Ozil
All eyes will once again be on the German, with a common goal, to see him prove his doubters wrong. That really is the story of Ozil’s season so far. Basking from the joy of wining the World Cup during the summer, the German Wizard has found it hard to hit his stride. The fact that Arsenal haven’t been playing well haven’t helped either.
To us fans, it’s another opportunity for Ozil to prove he’s worth every penny of that £42.5m paid to get him.
Arsenal will definitely need Ozil et al at their best to dispatch the villains; who certainly will not go down without a fight.
Gooner heart says 3-0 to the Arsenal, head says a scoreless draw. Screw the head anyway. Come On You Gunners!