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Aston Villa vs. Arsenal: Match Preview

Arsenal travel to Birmingham, specifically to the Aston Villa side of Birmingham, to face Paul Lambert's claret and blue in the English Premier League tomorrow.

Paul Gilham

Aston Villa vs. Arsenal
Saturday, November 24, 12:30 PM EST
Villa Park, Birmingham, West Midlands, England
TV: Fox Soccer Channel
SBN Aston Villa blog: 7500 to Holte

Aston Villa welcome Arsenal to Villa Park tomorrow, having lost heavily last weekend in a poorly officiated away match at Manchester City. They will be without manager Paul Lambert, after the league banned him from the touchline following some choice remarks about said officials in the wake of Villa's loss. The Villans will probably also not start striker and perpetual thorn in the side of Arsenal Darren Bent, although he will probably be available on the bench. Belgian large person Christian Benteke will lead the line (Per Mertesacker will need to be on his game), flanked by Marc Albrighton and Gabriel Agbonlahor, supported by Stephen Ireland and Andreas Weimann, who are both in pretty solid form right now.

Arsenal, for their part, have rediscovered their form in their past two matches against Tottenham and Montpellier. If they can keep their attack fluid and track back well against Villa's counter, there is no reason that they shouldn't have a chance to come away with all three points. Theo Walcott will not be ready, so Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will most likely start on the right, or possibly Gervinho, who's returned to health. The latter, though, may be necessary up front if Wenger wants to rest Olivier Giroud. Given that this is a tricky away fixture, though, Giroud may be preferred.

Kieran Gibbs is available again, and he may start on the left, although Thomas Vermaelen has looked pretty good there in the past couple of matches while Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker marshal the center of defense.

Possible lineup:






Match prediction: Arsenal line up eleven cannons. Villa line up eleven lions wearing crowns. You do the math. MATTTTTTHHHHHHHH