Date: 27th January 2010 at 5:03am
Written by:

Today Arsenal return to the ground of one of their must infuriating capitulations of last season. However, this time around the team will arrive at Villa Park with the hope of igniting a title challenge. Four games to decide a season and that starts against Aston Villa.

Vital Quotes:

Here’s Arsene on our next 4 games:

“I have never known a run of four league games as significant as these. Never before in all my time here, not four on the trot.’

“If we win them all, we are in a very strong position, so let`s start with the first one and ignore the others.’

“It is a great opportunity to send a message to the rest of the Premier League. We want to take it and I am very confident that we are in a good position and let`s go for it. To win the next game would satisfy me. What is important is our capability to focus on each game 100 per cent and to give 100 per cent.’

Aston Villa Team News:

Left back Stephen Warnock, who has 17 appearances so far this EPL season, will not play due to a shin injury. Nigel Reo-Coker and John Carew will also be out, while Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is a major doubt.

Player to watch: James Milner

He was my player to watch back in December, and he proceeded to be massively underwhelming. I’m hoping lightning can strike twice. Thank me later.

Arsenal Team News:

Knock on wood, but our injury list is shortening. I know, shocking right? Nasri and Bendtner will make a return to the bench, and Diaby, Eboue, and Song could return for the visit of United on Sunday. Sagna and Gallas are struggling with injuries to their shoulder and back, respectively, but both will push through.

Predicted Starting XI: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Denilson, Eastmond, Fabregas, Rosicky, Eduardo, Arshavin

Player to watch: Eduardo

Eduardo’s link up play has been superb, but eventually the goals need to come. Maybe the sight of Bendtner on the bench will give Dudu some added incentive.

Match Facts & Stats

Villa’s only victory against the Gunners in the last 22 league matches was 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium last season

If Villa fail to score today it will be their longest run without a goal under manager Martin O’Neill. They have not failed to score for four games in a row since December and January 2001.

Cesc Fabregas has scored five goals in his last four league matches, including two against Villa in the reverse fixture.

Ref Watch:

Lee Probert will be the head official for today’s match.

Match Prediction:

You know that feeling in your chest before big games? Of course you do, every football supporter does. Well that feeling settled deep in my chest about 3pm on Monday. I better get used to that for the next two weeks.


I’m going 2-1. Cesc with the winner. Really who else could it be?

Next Fixtures:

31/1 (Sun) – Manchester United (h) – Premier League

7/2 (Sun) – Chelsea (a) – Premier League

10/2 (Wed) – Liverpool (h) – Premier League