Oh Sit Down

Aston Villa v Arsenal match & betting preview

In Betting preview, Soccerball on January 27, 2010 at 10:34

ASTON VILLA v ARSENAL

Premier League

Wednesday, January 27th.

Villa Park. Kick off 19.45

What a massive couple of weeks this is for Arsenal. The Gunners have five enormous, season-shaping games approaching. After this Villa clash, they entertain Manchester United, followed by a trip to Chelsea before hosting Liverpool. Then, they’ve to travel to Porto in the Second Round of the Champions League. This is definitely a season-defining period for the Gunners. Villa have been enjoying a terrific season so far. They beat Blackburn 7-4 on aggregate to reach the final of the League Cup and are currently just two points away from fourth place in the Premier League. They’re also into the Fifth Round of the FA Cup with an impending and winnable tie against either Wolves or Crystal Palace coming up in just over two weeks time.

However, their cup exploits have detracted from their league form. In their last league match they had a scoreless draw with West Ham. Before that they lost two on the trot to Liverpool and Arsenal (on December 27th). Nevertheless, the did win their four Premier League games prior to that Arsenal defeat.

In contrast, Arsenal haven’t had the distractions of a League Cup run which has been to their advantage. They haven’t lost a league game since the Chelsea defeat in late November and reached the summit of the table last week despite all the pre-season knocking before Manchester United reclaimed top spot on Saturday. Sunday’s FA Cup exit for the Gunners can only enhance their Premier League aspirations, beginning with this tricky tie away to Villa.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Aston Villa haven’t beaten Arsenal at Villa Park since 1998. Dennis Bergkamp put Arsenal 2-0 up before half-time that December day before Julian Joachim got one back. Dion Dublin then banged in two more to give Villa a 3-2 victory. Since then, Villa Park has been a happy hunting ground for the Gunners, winning five and drawing five. However, this is an improved Villa side on previous years.

TEAM NEWS

Villa have niggling doubts surrounding the participation of Emile Heskey, Richard Dunne, Nigel Reo-Coker, John Carew and Wilfred Bouma in this game. Meanwhile, Arsenal’s injury list keeps getting longer. Djourou, Van Persie, Gibbs, Diaby, Merida and Nasri will all miss this match. However, Sagna, Wilshere and Bendtner may have made sufficient recoveries to be considered for selection.

VERDICT

Their home form has been pretty solid this term, only losing to Liverpool and Wigan (on the opening day of the season). The Gunners’ away form has been slightly inconsistent, and with the injuries they have to contend with, perhaps a draw would suit Arsenal, especially with the fixtures they have approaching.

RECOMMENDED

MATCH ODDS Draw 3.5 (BETFAIR)

OVER/UNDER 2.5 GOALS Under 2.5 goals 1.95 (BETFAIR)

***Please bet responsibly. Only bet with money that you can afford to lose — not your food kitty or rent/mortgage***

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