Arsenal – Aston Villa Preview

vs.

Barclay’s Premier League – Round 28
Emirates Stadium, London 1 March 2008
Kickoff @ 3pm GMT

OUR SQUAD: Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Senderos, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Flamini, Hleb, Bendtner, Adebayor, Lehmann, J Hoyte, Denilson, Gilberto, Traore, Lansbury, G Hoyte.

MISSING: Diaby (possible), Djourou, Rosicky, Eduardo, Song, van Persie, Toure

FORM: Aston Villa have won two consecutive matches after a three game winless streak that included a well-deserved draw at Anfield. They are 2-2-1 in their last 5 away matches. At 13-8-6, they sit in 6th place behind Liverpool on goal differential and three points ahead of Portsmouth and Man City.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Arsenal have not lost to Aston Villa in the league since a 3-2 defeat at Villa Park on December 13th, 1998. Arsenal took a two goal lead into halftime courtesy of Dennis Bergkamp but goals by Julian Joachim and Dion Dublin , four minutes apart, leveled the match. Dublin then won the match for Villa seven minutes from time. Since then, Arsenal’s record against Villa is 13-5-0. Between April 12 and November 30, 1993, Villa won three straight at Highbury (2 league and one league cup). However they haven’t at won at Arsenal since.

STATS: Emmanuel Adebayor sits two goals behind league leader Cristiano Ronaldo with 19 goals. Cesc Fabrega is second in the league in assists with 13, one behind Saturday’s visitor, Ashley Young. Gael Clichy remains tied for the league lead in appearances with eleven other players including Aston Villa’s Wilfred Bouma and Martin Laursen. John Carew leads the Villains’ attack with 9 league goals.

INJURIES: It is possible that Diaby will be inserted into the squad but the rest remain out. Eduardo has been released from the hospital and the club’s medical staff hope that he will be running in six months. Robin van Persie is back to full training and Arsene says, “He looks quite good but I won’t rush him back because I have made that mistake before.” Rosicky has still not fully healed from the hamstring injury he sustained in the FA Cup fixture against Newcastle. Song is still out due to medial knee ligament damage which he sustained at the ACN and Djourou is back in training after the groin injury he got in the Carling Cup semifinal with Tottenham.

FINANCIAL NEWS: Red & White Holdings have issued a statement this past week stating that they have no intention of pursuing any more shares once they finish acquiring 25 percent.

TEAM NEWS: The club has announced that 26,597 e-mails were sent in to wish Eduardo well following his injury last week at St. Andrew’s. The club has posted a selection on their website. Birmingham City paid the £10,000 medical bill for Eduardo’s emergency operation.

By: natsteel @ TGF

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