After the falling apart on New Year’s day, the Gunners have scored 10 times in 4 games, conceding only twice. A much more telling statistic would be that Arsenal have not failed to win any home game since that defeat to United in November, spanning 6 games.
But Villa are not in poor form, either and while the memory of last season’s opening day defeat may not be as fresh again, it is still worth noting that Paul Lambert’s teams have generally proven a handful to Arsenal at the Emirates, even Norwich. They have had their problems scoring goals this season and at 15th place on the log and only 5 points ahead of bottom team Leicester, but Christian Benteke seems to gain some bout of motivation whenever he sees Arsenal, with four goals in as many games.
With the additions of Carles Gil and Scott Sinclair, Lambert can boast of a team that can threaten more in attack and while you won’t rate them above the Gunners’ forward line, you would be rash not to fancy them against a yet imperfect Arsenal defence. Fabian Delph will want to prove that he has made the right choice by signing an extension till 2019 rather than turn at the Emirates on deadline day to force through his Champions League dream.
Villa will be desperate to get something out of this game despite the odds not being in their favour.
Here is how Lambert is expected to line-up his side against Arsenal:
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