Arsenal v Aston Villa Preview: Team News, Preferred XI & Prediction

By on August 16, 2013

After a hugely frustrating summer of transfer in-activity, football is finally back as we welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.

We clinched fourth place on the final day last season and with all the noises coming out of the club in early June about big budgets and ambitious plans, we all thought this summer and the forthcoming season were going to be different. Sadly, it’s once again been a case of broken promises as the club have failed to do anything of note in the transfer market and we face another season of chasing fourth spot.

We now head into the opening weekend with a thread-bare squad and it looks like we’ll barely be able to name a bench of senior first team players. Quite shambolic for a supposed ‘ambitious’ club that has over £100m cash sitting in the bank, but that’s the situation we find ourselves in on the eve of the big kick-off.

Pre-season was been largely positive with the exception of the Emirates Cup. Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud have been the stand-out players for me. Let’s hope all three continue that form into the new campaign.

Team News

Unfortunately, injuries have reared their ugly head already. Thomas Vermaelen is out for another few weeks with a back injury leaving us with just two fit centre-backs. Nacho Monreal is also unavailable due to his own back complaint while Mikel Arteta has picked up a thigh injury and could be out for up to six weeks.

There were also doubts over the fitness of Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna, but it looks as though all three will be available tomorrow.

Santi Cazorla’s fitness will also be assessed after he returned home from a long-haul trip to Ecuador late on Thursday night but I’d expect he will start due to the lack of options. Abou Diaby and Ryo Miyaichi are the other players out injured.

Preferred XI

I’d go with Jenkinson at right back for this game if there are any doubts over Sagna being 100% fit. We will desperately need the Frenchman for the midweek clash away at Fenerbache so lets not take any risks with him. Jenks can handle Villa at home but I’d worry if he had to play away in Turkey.

Otherwise, the only other change could see Tomas Rosicky or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain possibly come in for Lukas Podolski or Santi Cazorla if the Spaniard is fatigued from his exploits in midweek.


Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa: We may have a thin squad but this eleven should be too strong for the Villains. Lets pray for three points and no injuries!

What would your team be and what’s your score prediction?


  1. Neil Clarke

    August 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    They (Villa) looked a decent side when they visited us last season, a much better team than their league position suggested, so I’m taking nothing for granted tomorrow.

    We’re at home though, so we cant afford any slip-up’s. 3-2 to the Gunners.

  2. Gazgooner

    August 16, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Shambolic is the word. That we reach this stage of the year, hours only before the start of a new season, in this state, is down to sheer incompetence and pig headedness. It’s beyond a joke. It’s beyond embarrassment. Lets hope the few who are fit and available do us proud against Aston Villa.

    • huffs & bluffs

      August 16, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      Well said mate…

    • davidrusa

      August 17, 2013 at 7:03 am

      Which state are you talking about? Has our first team resigned? Is the whole first team injured? Do we need 25 players to play against Aston Villa? I think you need to get real. We need a big squad for the long haul not for individual games. Just last week we beat Man city in a preseason or you didn’t know it? It is this kind of half-digested assumptions that make our fans behave like jokers! How can you moan about signings instead of analysing today’s game which we haven’t played yet!

  3. Gabriel Oriokot

    August 16, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I wonder why Wenger prefers to buy at the deadline day. Lets hope we qualify for champions league

  4. gary rushton

    August 16, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    could not help myself as a villa fan im looking forward to this trip we have a far better striker in benteke vs giroud with arteta injured aswell as well as monreal injured i think the midfield is where arsenal are stronger but i am quitely confident we can outscore or draw at least at the emirtates tomoz just dont think the defence will be able to deal with the beast of b6 benteke , weimann, and agbonlahor.

  5. Viktor

    August 16, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Looking 4ward,God will spares us.

  6. Badru Arisekola

    August 16, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Our defence cn b weak against villa, bt our midfield were too strong for them. So i go for Arsenal 2 Villa 0

  7. joe

    August 16, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    I wish villa will beat us, so that this man call wenger will act in transfer market, were not ok in every department, we need striker, defensive mifider, defender, keeper,

    • davidrusa

      August 17, 2013 at 7:11 am

      What is the transfer market about? I thought it is to get players to make the team better. Is it just a fashion to go to the transfer market? If you are truly a gooner why would wish that our team loses? Simply because Wenger has not yet bought players is no excuse for you to hate the club! What if he doesn’t buy at all will you shift to another club? It is fans of your type that make our club a laughing stock! That Wenger you are cursing could leave any time but the club will remain. May I also advise you that Arsenal could be worse off without Wenger than with him! This fourth place which you have taken for granted could even disappear. What would you do then? Commit suicide? Let’s be careful what we wish for.

  8. joe

    August 16, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    I don’t know why you guy are praying 4 win. Why arsenal boad and the cochi did not need it,

  9. afla abdul

    August 16, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    We don’t need to pray for 3 point. am even praying for villa to beat us so that this storbon wenger & his entire board wil knon what to do

  10. albert

    August 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    well said Joe..Wenger has got 2 do some quality signings before it’s too late..go gunners..!!

  11. Chima Justin

    August 16, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Wenger has gone completely gaga! Does he think clubs that are spending money on players are fools? Wenger and the board are sets of foolish fools. Rubbish!!

  12. T2T

    August 16, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    How can any TRUE fan of The Arsenal hope we lose ANY game? Sure, we can look at the negatives or look at the positives. For the first time in several years, we’ve not sold any of our strongest players!

  13. davidrusa

    August 17, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I am very disappointed at the trend taken by some of our irrational fans? Why should any true Gooner wish for our club to lose games simply because they want signings? Are signings just a fashion or a necessity depending on the team’s real requirements. I would expect a true fan to say something like ” let’s see how our team will fare without any new signings. If we lose this will be an indictment on Wenger and the board. However over the long haul our squad is thin and may not last the race. Hence we need new players.” This is really what a true supporter would say not to wish we lose a game. It is simply unreasonable to do that! Does it mean that all that clubs which have bought players will win trophies? What of us? We bought players last season or we buy every season for that matter, have we been winning? Even season am sure we shall buy some players because a lot of players left and there are vacancies to fill. Hence a true Gooner should be patient. Such comments would be justified at the end of the window; not now. Even then you would not wish that your team loses games. True you would be annoyed but not unreasonable.

  14. davidrusa

    August 17, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Some corrections in previous submission. It should read ” Does it mean that all “those” not “that” clubs. Next one should read “Even this season” not ‘even season.”

  15. Prince Chuddy N.N

    August 17, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    l want to comment and thank all our faithful energetic players,you guyz real tried.kudos to you all..loosing our first game with A-villa should not brings double-minds in our hearts.let us be a true.unique goonner fanz indeed.l sincerely believed our players is gonna make us proud again..blame no-one,rather letz pray for our success in this new session..God bless ARSENALFC,It’s crewz and de Fanz….

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