After a fairly disappointing defeat to Wolves last weekend, Dean Smith and the Villa players will look to move on and grab all 3 points on Friday against Arsenal...
Arsenal play Crystal Palace on Monday (i'm writing this before the game), should they win, they would be 5 games undefeated in the Premier League, despite a poor start to the season. A win against Villa, could potentially put Arsenal in the top 4, as long as results elsewhere go their way. Arteta's side have really improved since the first international break. starting with a 1-0 victory over Norwich. With their new no.10 and youngster, Emile Smith-Rowe in unreal form, and Bukayo Saka finally back on the scoresheet, will help him kick on.
During the international break, Arsenal players really enjoyed themselves. Players like Partey, Aubameyang, Saka and Smith-Rowe all on the scoresheet for their countries. Dean Smith will have to brief and train his squad on how to stop the form of all these players.
The fact that Arsenal have to play two Premier League games in 4 days, may affect them fitness wise, forcing Arteta into changes.
Arsenal set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Partey and Lokonga in the defensive pivot. The return of Brazilian defender Gabriel has really solidified things at the back, with his partnership with Ben White growing better and better. Oh and of course, let's not forget about new Keeper Aaron Ramsdale, who since coming into the side has kept three clean sheets in 4 games. That is the same amount that Villa have kept all season!
With no European competition to focus on aswell, Arsenal will be going all out on the league this season.
Seeing Aston Villa in the poor inconsistent form that we are in right now, will give Arteta alot to focus on, to see where our main weakness is at, and how to exploit them.
Well, where do we start with Villa? A devastating a poor loss to Wolves last time out as we crumble in the last 10 minutes of the game, while 2-0 up... Saiss started the Wolves comeback, with a goal from just inside the 6-yard box, Coady then levelled the game, with 5 minutes to go, with once again a goal inside the 6-yard box. Then to absolutely finish Villa off, Neves scores a 95' minute winner from a free-kick, after the ball deflected off Targett and in.
The 5 at the back system Dean Smith is using, seeing the results with it, isn't working. 8 goals conceded in 3 defeats. The switch around defensively with Tuanzebe., and Hause could possibly be affect this...
Overall, the lack of intensity and focus from the Villa players is what cost us the game. Some fans aren't happy with Dean Smith, and his changes, but some of the subs was enforced due to injury or request.
Here's what the gaffer had to say to VillaTV after the game:
“For 80 minutes we were good, the first half was a bit of a chess game.
“We probably should have gone on and got the third goal, but unfortunately we didn’t defend set pieces very well.
“We want to do well when we have set pieces, but we have to make sure that we are good enough to defend.
“We won a lot of first contacts but in the second phase we got done twice, which enabled Wolves to get back into the game, which they should have been out of."
Looking ahead to Arsenal, i'm sure Dean Smith will be looking to get back on track with 3 points (well i would sure hope so anyway). A change in formation could help this with the likes of: Bailey, Sanson, Traore, all coming back from injury. A return to the classic 4-3-3 would be best to suit the squad.
A tired Arsenal will help us be able to use some of these fresher players to tire Arsenal out quicker and easier. Leon Bailey on the left hand side (if fit) and Emi Buendia on the right, who is still looking to find his feet in this developing Aston Villa side.
We do hope that we can find some momentum this season, and getting a win on a Friday night at the Emirates will surely help us do that... I mean, last time we played Arsenal we won slightly, 1-0 at Villa Park... Sorry, i'll rephrase that, the last 3 times we have played Arsenal, it has ended up 3 points to Villa. With the last time we played them at the Emirates, we ran riot with 0-3 victory... Ollie Watkins with a brace.
We will speak on the Villa attacking problems now, it is clear to see that the two up top (Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings) is not working as of yet. The two players just cant seem to get a connection going with one another, Watkins only scoring the one-goal this season... Ings, fair play to him has scored quite a few goals this season, but seeing the chances we have created, that goal stat should be alot higher. I believe dropping one of the strikers and using two wingers could help us have that little bit more attacking freedom.
No Graphic as main man is at the game.
ktd_avfc - 1-2.