The Villa Appetiser – Arsenal Match Preview & Wenger on Benteke

Arsenal vs Aston Villa Match Preview

And so it begins…another season and this one has a good feeling about it. Tough opening three games – bring it!

Wenger showing Benteke love

“He [Benteke] has qualities that you cannot lose over the summer. I think he can be more dangerous this season as well.”

Lambert on starting out in the 2013/14 season

“We can’t start games the way we did at times last year. We’ve got to be bang at it from that first minute. You don’t have time in this league to bed yourself in 15 minutes or so.We have to be ready and I think that’s the big thing that we’ve learned. We have to be right on it straight away.”

Match Difficulty Grade

 A-   A very tough opening fixture for Villa and one of three difficult matches in the space of a week. However, with a squad hit by injuries and a lack of new signings, the pressure will very much be on the home side. Better to play the supposed big teams right at the start, before they’ve had time to get into their groove.

 Form is Temporary

Current Premier League form table (last six games of last season) – Arsenal – 1st  Aston Villa – 8th

Arsenal: Last five Premier League matches at home: W 3, D 2

Aston Villa: Last five Premier League matches away: W 2, D 2, L 1

In the last five meetings at the Emirates, Villa have won twice and lost three times.

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

Villa have enjoyed some success at the Emirates in seasons gone by, but there is reason for concern ahead of Saturday’s game – Arsenal haven’t lost the first game of a season since 2000. In the last four Villa openers, we’ve only won once. Arsenal will be keen to prove that they are more than capable without the rumoured Suarez deal’s completion, and with growing pressure on Wenger, will be striving for an opening win. At the end of last season, Arsenal were on a ten-match unbeaten run, and will be looking to continue the form that gave them another Champions League place.

What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide

After learning from last season’s mistakes it’s a positive thing that Villa did their transfer business early, and after a mostly encouraging preseason, the team should be used to each other and we will hopefully see a newly-gelled side raring to go. Performances that justify the contract extensions for last season’s standout players will be most welcome, and with Villa rapidly becoming more and more renowned for their counter-attacking football, we shall be hoping that Villa really run the Arsenal defence ragged.

Why Villa have got this game in the bag

After defying pundits by producing the performances and results that kept Villa up, there’s a real sense of experience and toughness about Lambert’s Villans. With the addition of more players that fit into Villa’s style of football, it’s quite possible that we can surprise pundits again this season and push on higher up the table. Arsenal are a top quality side, but if Villa were to get an opening goal the mood at the Emirates could soon sour and add to the frustration felt by many Arsenal fans at present. Villa’s fast attacking football could bring home a point or three, and would be tremendous in terms of setting the tone for the season. As I wrote at the end of last season, expectations for the immediate  future are bright, and Saturday’s game would be a perfect chance to show more of what the not-too-distance future holds. UTV.

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