Aston Villa vs Arsenal 2014
Wenger on heading to Villa Park
“We have overall a good away record in recent years and that is part of the explanation.
“Playing at Aston Villa has always been very physical, tense games, but we always found the resources to do well (there).
“Why? There is no specific reason, so let us just make sure that it continues.”
Lambert on the pressures of being a manager
“I never stop worrying. I’m not immune from it.
“The relationship between me and Randy is what it is. You are never immune from anything, and I would never view it that way.
“You just keep going – there is no secret formula to it. You just keep going and don’t lose focus on what you are trying to do. I will never waver from that.”
Form is Temporary
13 December 1998 Aston Villa 3 – 2 Arsenal
A game in which we came back from two goals down but it also has another worrying significance – it’s the last time we beat Arsenal at home! Goals from Joachim and Dublin bagged Villa the three points.
Aston Villa: Last five matches at home: W 1 D 2 L 2
Arsenal: Last five matches away: W 4 L 1
One to Watch
Aaron Ramsey – set for return from injury and is currently enjoying his best season in an Arsenal shirt [Not too sure he’ll be fit for Monday night though – Ed]
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
After FA Cup embarrassment Villa owe the fans a good performance, but this might be tricky. We’ve historically struggled against the Gunners at Villa Park and it’s not likely to be any different this time around – they won the most away points in the Premier League in 2013. Although we didn’t struggle for goals in Lambert’s first campaign, we’ve only scored seven at home this season – the lowest of any team in the league, despite the apparent ‘attacking’ football of Villa. With Vlaar possibly out and Villa struggling to find a fully-fit centre-back, it could be very tough to keep Arsenal at bay.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Such is Villa’s unpredictability that we often perform reasonably well against the top of the table teams, and while we struggled against Swansea, we did pick up three points against Manchester City at Villa Park. The squad Lambert picked for the Sheffield United clash was fairly strong, but complacency might have been an issue and Lambert’s seemingly downplaying the cup days before, might not have exactly motivated the players. There’s no room for that against Wenger’s side, so lets hope we see the hunger and desire that has been absent lately over the last few games.
Why Villa have got this game in the bag
While Villa’s FA Cup exit was a shock, we go into this game on the back of a win against a revitalised Sunderland in the league. That’s right, Villa are 100% in the league in 2014! Arsenal’s attacking style might suit Villa’s counter tactics, and while we’re not great at home, we have already unexpectedly beaten them once this season. Even last season we managed to take a point from them at home. A look through the history books will also show that Arsenal are traditionally unstable throughout the month of January. After losing to Sheffield United, Villa players will have a point to prove. The last time we played on a Monday we came back from 2-0 down against West Brom. There’s no reason we can’t show the same spirit against Arsenal. Giving Wenger his ‘very physical’ game, might just rattle them. UTV
Follow Lewis on Twitter – @rymondfootball