Arsenal has the chance to take their unbeaten league run to five games over the weekend against Aston Villa. After a horrid week, Arsene Wenger’s troops have the chance to redeem themselves and re-install some faith in their supporters.
The Gunners will play host to Aston Villa as the London teams lock horns at the Emiratis Stadium in one of February 23, post lunch kick-off’s at 1500 GMT.
After being eliminated by Blackburn in the FA Cup and then suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions league, Arsenal will have want to end this week with some sort of redemption.
“I am staying put” are the words of the Gunners chief as he believes that his team needs to show some hunger and desire out on the pitch. He desperately needs to pick up three points in this game if he wants to keep his record of 13 consecutive years of Champions league qualification intact, after all he regards it equivalent to winning a trophy.
Paul Lambert’s team is sitting just one point above the dreaded relegation zone and due to a horrid goal difference will remain in 17th spot even with a win.
Benteke has been a revelation for Aston Villa thus far. He has banged 11 goals, having netted six times in the last five games. He will be a constant threat for Wojciech Szczesny who has a weakened defence for this match.
Lambert has said that the remaining games for his team are like ‘12 cup finals’ as they attempt to avoid relegation.
Arsenal will miss full-backs Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs, but January signing Nacho Monreal is fit and available for selection and could make an appearance.
Aston Villa attacking playmaker Charles N’Zogbia has recovered from a thigh injury that he sustained against West Ham United and will play an integral part in this game.
Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Nacho Monreal, Per Mertesacker, Ignasi Miquel, Nacho Monreal, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla
Aston Villa: Bradley Guzan, Matthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker, Andreas Weimann, Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph, Jordan Bowery, Charles N’Zogbia, Christian Benteke Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa