Surprise package Aston Villa have made a storming start to their Premier League campaign and are unbeaten after four matches ahead of today’s clash against Arsenal at Villa Park.
Villa have 10 of a possible 12 points and go into next this weekedn’s round of fixtures second in the table, only two adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Manager Paul Lambert has been rewarded for Villa’s excellent early form with a contract extension until June 2018 after steering his side to victories against Stoke City, Hull City and Liverpool, as well as a draw against Newcastle United.
Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor’s early goal secured Villa a well-earned 1-0 win at Liverpool last Saturday as the Midlanders now try to match their best start since 1998-99, when they opened with four victories and a draw.
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan is looking forward to facing Arsenal and insists support from the Villa home fans will be a major factor during the match on Saturday.
“It’s always fantastic playing at Villa Park but I think the atmosphere should be even better than normal because the fans have enjoyed seeing our start to the season,” United States international Guzan told his club’s official website. “They will be buzzing, no question. They will be up for it – 100% – as will the players and the staff.
“We know it’s going to be a difficult game. We know Arsenal will be looking to get three points. So for us it’s another difficult challenge. But with the way we have played over the last few weeks, there’s no reason why we can’t go into the game with confidence and look to get a result. The Villa Park faithful will give us that extra boost and will definitely lift us higher.”
Arsenal beat Crystal Palace 2-1 in their first match of the season but have drawn their last three league games and are down in seventh place in the table.
Arsene Wenger’s side also lost 2-0 at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in their opening Champions League group stage match. The Germans were by far the better team and could have scored more goals, as Arsenal’s frailties at the back were continually exposed.
Gunners captain Arsenal Mikel Arteta conceded after the match at the Signal Iduna Park that Dortmund deserved their victory.
“We played against one of the top sides in one of the most difficult stadiums in Europe – we knew that from the start,” Arteta told his club’s official website. “They’ve got a lot of pace and put us under a lot of pressure up front. We gave the ball away too many times in our own half. They took the game where they wanted to take it and that’s disappointing for us.
“We have a big game coming up away to Aston Villa in four days. We’ve got to be ready because it’s going to be a tough one.”
Aston Villa have won just three of their last 32 games against Arsenal in all competitions, losing 20 times and drawing nine. All three of those victories came in north London.
These two sides beat each other away from home last season, with Villa pulling off a shock 3-1 win at the Emirates on the opening day of the season, while the Gunners returned the favor 2-1 at Villa Park in January.
Source: ScoreMobile FC