Aston Villa vs. Arsenal: EPL Betting Preview
Arsene Wenger’s men are arguably the form side in the Premier League at present, winning seven of their last nine matches and remaining unbeaten in that time, but I’d want bigger than the 2.24 on offer about them claiming all three points in the west midlands and will gladly have Villa and the draw on my side.
The pair last met on December 27 and while a 3-0 home win for the Gunners on that occasion hints that they had an easy ride it was anything but until the introduction of their captain. Cesc Fabregas changed the game midway through the second half with a brace before Abou Diaby completed the scoring but Martin O’Neill’s side were more than competitive for the hour and will take heart form their early display.
An injury time defeat to Liverpool followed on home soil for the Villains but they have responded with a number of decent displays in the two domestic cup competitions and will welcome back the likes of James Milner, Stylian Petrov and Gabriel Agbonlahor on Wednesday. All three started the 3-2 FA Cup success over Brighton last time out on the bench but the hosts look set to be virtually at full strength. >
Stephen Warnock misses out through injury in defence for Villa but while Arsenal have plundered the most goals of any top flight side on their travels they face a Villa team generally pretty resolute at the back.
The summer signings of James Collins and Richard Dunne could not have worked out better for O’Neill and the freak 6-4 score line when beating Blackburn Rovers in the Carling Cup last week was the exception rather than the rule. Brad Friedel is among the very best ‘keepers in England too and the home side should prove difficult to break down.
It has been hard not to be impressed with Arsenal of late but they still look vulnerable at the back to me on occasions, there was plenty of encouragement for Villa in Bolton’s first half performance at the Emirates last Saturday, and Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey should enjoy themselves. In fact, if Villa can secure enough possession in midfield then a victory for the hosts would not be a total surprise as they seek to maintain their challenge for fourth place.
Wins at Old Trafford and Anfield plus a defeat of Chelsea at Villa Park already this season has proved just how capable O’Neill is at rallying his troops for the big occasion and they are unlikely to be overawed on Wednesday. A draw looks the most likely outcome, but it should be an entertaining contest regardless and is likely to shape both sides’ end to the season.
1pt Lay Arsenal (vs. Aston Villa) @ 2.24 (Betfair)
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