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Villa v Arsenal stats: Why the hosts should feel confident
Facts and figures before Gunners clash.
12th Jan 2014
Villa v Arsenal stats: Why the hosts should feel confident


Facing the league's top club is an unenviable task for any side in the division but Villa will be hoping to replicate the performance that saw them pick up a shock victory over Arsenal on the opening day of the season. WhoScored.com, who offer the largest online database for detailed football statistics, suggest why the possession-based game of the Gunners shouldn't faze the hosts.

Paul Lambert has not tried to hide the fact that his side's home form has been below-par this season but in a strange way a match against a side of the Gunners ilk may well suit his team.

That certainly proved to be the case back in August as Villa soaked up the pressure from their hosts before finishing them off at the other end.

The home fans will be hoping for a copy and paste performance from that memorable away day and there's reason to believe that it can be done.

WhoScored.com's match forecast suggests that Arsenal are likely to dominate possession, but a look back at the stats from Villa's wins this season suggests that isn't such a bad thing.

In the meeting between the sides at the Emirates, Arsenal held 64% of the possession but had fewer shots on target than Villa (4 to 5).

It's been a theme in the Villa wins since. Indeed, over the course of their six league wins they have averaged just 34.2% of the possession but had more shots on target than their opposition in those matches combined (27 to 25).

It's clear that when Villa are at their counter attacking best, the lion's share of the ball isn't really important to the side.

They are effective on the break and that's in no small part down to the energy and verve of their attacking players when the opportunities present themselves.

Counter

One man that has both in abundance is Marc Albrighton.

The winger will have fond memories of his last league start against the Gunners at Villa Park, despite the game ending in a 1-2 defeat back in 2011.

The 24-year old's last league goal came in that match and it was the 20,000th in Premier League history.

While Albrighton will be keen to get back among the goals sooner rather than later, he's proven his worth to manager Lambert since returning from a brief loan spell with Wigan.

Indeed, of all players with over five league appearances this season, only David Silva has created a chance for a team-mate more often than the Villa graduate (every 24.6 minutes).

If Villa are to provide another upset they'll need industry from all of their players.

Their victories thus far have all come from resolute defensive displays and clinical finishing on the counter.

A repeat performance on Monday night would leave Villa in a very strong position.

Find yet more statistics on Villa and the rest of the Premier League, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings at WhoScored.com. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @martinlaurence7 on Twitter.

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