Premier League: Arsenal v Aston Villa preview
A look ahead to this weekend’s Premier League fixture at the
Friday 22 February 2013
Arsenal return to Premier League action needing a win to
revive their faltering season whilst Aston Villa look to maintain the momentum
from their last fixture against West Ham when they got a crucial win at Villa
Blackburn Rovers’ shock victory in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich’s convincing victory against Arsenal in the Champions League has heaped more pressure on under fire manager Arsene Wenger.
Despite assurances about his future from the Arsenal board, Wenger has been a frustrated figure in recent weeks, most notably at his pre match press conference before the Bayern Munich match.
Currently four points behind neighbours Spurs who sit in the last Champions League position and with the fans becoming increasingly restless, Arsenal will be hoping to replicate the performance from the corresponding fixture last season.
Sitting just one point above the relegation zone, Aston Villa will be confident of causing more problems for a porous Arsenal defence with the in-form Christian Benteke, who has four goals in his last three games.
Paul Lambert’s young side have not won away from Villa Park since their surprise win against Liverpool in last December and have conceded late equalisers in their last three away matches.
Kick-Off: Saturday 15:00
Past three meetings…
November 2012: Premier League – Aston Villa 0 – 0 Arsenal
March 2012: Premier League – Arsenal 3 (Gibbs, Walcott, Arteta) – 0 Aston Villa
January 2012: FA Cup – Arsenal 3 (Van Persie x2, Walcott) – 2 Aston Villa (Dunne, Bent)
Arsenal have won just two of their last six home matches against Aston Villa in the league, after winning their previous eight games.
60% of Arsenal's goals this season have come in the second half compared to 52% for Aston Villa.
Aston Villa have received more yellow cards (54) than any other team in the league.
Arsenal's Lukas Podolski is level at the top of the assists charts with nine alongside Steven Gerrard and Juan Mata.
Arsenal to win - 1.35
Aston Villa to win - 11
Draw - 5.6
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo: Unhappy forward is ready to quit Real Madrid, according to Angel Di Maria
Commonwealth Games 2014: Australia launch Glasgow swimwear - but are criticised for drawing attention to the 'crotch' area
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Jurgen Klopp concerned with Dortmund injuries and praises signings of Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez
Hull City vs West Ham match report: Enner Valencia stars as honours shared at the KC Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Ramon Calderon claims Real Madrid star is 'fed up'
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 4 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'