As Villa embark on the first of their remaining twelve games of the season, there is a sense of optimism circulation around Villa Park ahead of the Emirates clash. Given that the Arsenal team have recently been out-of-sorts, many villa fans feel that we can continue the impressive record we have away at the Gunners, myself included. Whilst many neutral fans would expect us to end up with two defeats from our next two games, the opportunity to take a point, two points or even more remains a possibility.
Villa look set to welcome back Gabby Agbonlahor (bug), Karim El Ahmadi (bug) and Charles N’Zogbia (ankle) who were all injury doubts going into this game nd most Villa fans will be hoping that N’Zogbia can carry on from where he left off – performing well in his last few games. Arsenal on the other hand are without Bacary Sagna, who picked up a knee injury in the midweek defeat to Bayern Munich. Kieran Gibbs remains sidelined by a thigh injury but fellow left-back Nacho Monreal, who recently signed from Malaga, returns after being cup-tied in midweek.
In my opinion, Villa need to survive the opening twenty minutes. In doing this we can begin to stir the Arsenal boo boys and the pressure will once again be placed upon Mr Wenger and the urge to succeed may become too much for him. I also feel that an early Villa goal will have the home faithful on the manager’s back. Judging by how frail Arsenal looked at set pieces against Bayern, even we may have a chance at scoring from one!
Overall, I feel that a draw here will kick us on and give the team that extra bit of confidence going into the clash against the current Barclays Premier League champions a week on Monday. A win here would be quite unbelievable but given our recent history against Arsenal at the Emirates, forgive me if I am daring to believe it could just happen again.
Having said everything, I feel that as long as we do not take a heavy beating then it will not be the end of the world. A draw or a win would be priceless to our relegation battle but whatever happens I’m sure that the claret and blue faithful will be in full voice once again.