Image alt text here

Match Pack: Arsenal v Villa

Vote Now Preview: Festive Feast
Match Pack: Arsenal v Villa

Stoke

Match: Arsenal v Villa
Venue: Emirates Stadium
Date: Sunday December 27 - ko 1.30pm
Referee: Phil Dowd


COMMENTARY

Jack Woodward is joined by Andy Blair on AVTV. Click below to subscribe.

AVTV



Stoke

FORM GUIDE

Villa go into the game high on confidence, after winning all of their five fixtures so far this month.

After seeing off Sunderland, with goals coming from Emile Heskey and James Milner, and Stoke at home, courtesy of John Carew, Villa are in fine form.

Arsenal, however, are a strong, disciplined team and will have their sights firmly set on winning the Premier League title this season.

Currently sitting third in the table, level on points with Villa, Arsene Wenger's men will be focused on gaining ground on Manchester United and Chelsea.

Their last two games have seen them draw 1-1 at Burnley and defeat Hull City 3-0.


Cesc Fabregas

KEY MEN

It's hard to believe Cesc Fabregas has already established himself as a great leader at such a young age.

The 22- year-old was voted the PFA Fans' Player of the Month for November and he is looking to continue his fine form after scoring seven league goals so far this season.

Arsenal's team is full of skilful players, another being midfielder Abou Diaby, who scored in Arsenal's 3-0 victory at home to Hull, as well as popping up against Villa in last season's 2-2 draw.

The likes of Eduardo and Theo Walcott are also major attacking threats and will no doubt be looking to impress with Robin Van Persie and Nicklas Bendtner both currently injured.


Arsene Wenger

THE GAFFER

No other Arsenal manager has achieved the same amount of success as Arsene Wenger - or been at the helm for so long.

Three league titles, four FA Cups, and four Charity/Community Shields leave the need for no introduction for the Frenchman, who was the first manager in English league history to complete an entire 38-game season unbeaten, back in 2003-04.

One of Wenger's targets for this season will be to bring some silverware to the Emirates for the first time since 2005 when they beat rivals Manchester Utd for the FA Cup.


John Carew


VITAL VILLANS

John Carew was the super-sub in Villa's last outing against Stoke City, coming off the bench to net the winner.

Defensively, the team continue to be rock solid, with consecutive clean sheets against Hull City, Manchester United, Sunderland and Stoke City.

There was a particularly impressive display from Luke Young in the Stoke victory, with the defender making a number of crucial tackles.


BIG MATCH FACTS

Villa are unbeaten on their last three visits to Arsenal.

Arsenal have won seven of their last nine post-Christmas games and not lost since 1999.

Arsenal are the division's leading scorers with 44 goals.

Villa are unbeaten in the last seven league matches. If we win this game it will equal our Premier League club record of five successive victories, set in 1996 and again in 1998.

Villa have the best defensive record in the top flight, conceding 14 goals.

Nigel Reo-Coker could make his 250th league appearance. 


Arsenal

FLASHBACK

The Emirates was the scene of Villa's most impressive victory last season. A Gabby Agbonlahor strike and a Gael Clichy own goal ensured a memorable 2-0 victory for Martin O'Neill's side.

The two teams played out a thriller last Boxing Day, when the game ended 2-2 at Villa Park. Denilson and Abou Diaby gave Arsenal a two-goal advantage but Gareth Barry and Zat Knight earned Villa a point.


Twitter

AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 26th December 2009