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Premiership MD 9: Arsenal v. Aston Villa

Will3172010-04-29 06:28:12 +0000 #1
Can Arsenal make it 49 unbeaten matches at home today to Villa? I think so, and I've got a bet on it. My predicted result is 2-0, like last season.

BBC Sport - 15.10.04

Arsenal v. Aston Villa



Highbury

Saturday, 16 October

Kick-off: 1500 BST

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Arsenal's Fredrik Ljungberg (hamstring) is out as are Gilberto Silva, Gael Clichy, Manuel Almunia and Edu.

Jermaine Pennant (knee) is doubtful, while Robin van Persie has recovered from the after-effects of a car crash.

Aston Villa keeper Stefan Postma will make his first appearance of the season, replacing Thomas Sorensen who has a back problem.

Juan Pablo Angel and Nolberto Solano are out after international trips but Thomas Hitzlsperger returns.

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Arsenal (from): Lehmann, Taylor, Lauren, Cole, Campbell, Toure, Cygan, Senderos, Vieira, Fabregas, Flamini, Pires, Reyes, Pennant, van Persie, Henry, Bergkamp.

Aston Villa (from): Postma, De la Cruz, Mellberg, Delaney, Samuel, Hendrie, McCann, Hitzlsperger, Barry, Vassell, Cole, Angel, Solano, Whittingham, Henderson, L. Moore, Davis.

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BIG-MATCH FACTS

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger will no doubt tell his players to take one game at a time, as they prepare to face Aston Villa and aim to increase their unparalleled unbeaten League run to 49, just one match away from a visit to Manchester United on the Sunday of next weekend when the half century could be achieved, should there be no slip ups here.

The Gunners, with plans advancing for the move to Ashburton Grove, are one of two clubs yet to be beaten in the Premiership this term. Victory would ensure the two point lead at the top of the table is maintained, or even increased to five should Chelsea lose at Manchester City in the Saturday teatime game. The champions have won more top flight games than any other club (seven), dropped fewer points (two), scored more goals (26), at an average of 3.25 per game, and should they avoid defeat would take their streak of home League games without loss to a quarter of a century - boosting confidence ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match at Panathinaikos.

Sol Campbell inspired Arsenal to victory in last season's corresponding fixture. The celebration that followed his headed goal released weeks of pent-up frustration in the wake of a torrent time of disciplinary problems. The Gunners 'doubled' Villa last season with two 2-0 victories - Thierry Henry scoring three of the goals.

ASTON VILLA are the draw specialists at the top League level. Five of their eight games have finished all square, including the last four. Villa have never strung together five successive Premiership draws.

The last three of those four inconclusive games were against clubs in the bottom four. David O'Leary, who still holds the record for Arsenal appearances, is also yet to see his Villa side take maximum points on the road this season.

Villa have lost each of the last six Premiership visits to Highbury and have not taken maximum points away from the North London club for 11 years, since a 1-2 success on 6 November 1993, when Guy Whittingham and Andy Townsend were on target.

Referee: Graham Poll (Tring)

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SEQUENCES/RECENT FORM

ARSENAL

Club stats

Fixtures

1st 22 points

Highest achievable after Saturday's games:

TOP (5 points clear)

Lowest could fall: 2nd

The current tally of 22 points is Arsenal's highest ever after the first eight games of a Premiership season.

Their previous best after the first nine games in 23, achieved in each of the last two seasons.

Victory would give the champions 25 points - passing Newcastle's best first nine match total of 24 in 1995/96.

11 undefeated in all competitions this season (nine wins, two draws).

Won 35 and drawn 13 Premiership games since losing 2-3 to Leeds on 4 May 2003.

Last five Premiership goal tallies have been four, three, two, one, four.

Won 19 and drawn five Premiership games at Highbury since losing 2-3 to Leeds on 4 May 2003.

Only club to have scored in every Premiership match this season.

Most prolific scorers in the top tier. Their 26 goals is 10 more than the total of the second highest, Newcastle.

Scored first in all eight League outings - therefore yet to concede the opening goal in a League contest.

Built the Premiership's longest winning sequence so far this season - five games.

At their most dangerous in the middle 15 minutes of the second half of Premiership games, when eight of the 26 goals have been netted.

Gone 54 Premiership games since losing by more than a single goal (2-0, at Blackburn, March 2003).

Conceded 199 goals all-time in home Premier League matches.

ASTON VILLA

Club stats

Fixtures

8th 11 points

Highest achievable after Saturday's games: 4th

Lowest could fall: 11th

Undefeated in six matches in all competitions (two wins, four draws).

Unbeaten in five Premiership games (one win, four draws).

Not lost since the 3-0 League reverse at Charlton on 25 August.

Drawn the last four League engagements against Chelsea (0-0 h). Norwich (0-0 a), Crystal Palace (1-1 h) and Blackburn (2-2 a).

Last experienced four successive stalemates in the Premiership between 5 October and 1 November 2003.

Villa's club record of successive League draws is six, between 12 September and 10 October 1981.

One of two clubs to have drawn five Premiership matches so far this term. The other is bottom placed Norwich.

Drawn more Premiership matches than any other club all-time (140).

Lost only one of eight Premiership games this season.

Lost only two of the last 17 Premiership matches.

Yet to register an away maximum this season.

Drawn three and lost one on their Premiership travels this term.

Drawn four and lost one League games on the road since defeating Middlesbrough 1-2 at the Riverside on 24 April.

Yet to concede in the last quarter hour of a top League encounter.

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KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES

ARSENAL

Squad profiles

Jose Antonio REYES and Thierry HENRY are top scorers among Premiership players of club League and Cup goals this season. The pair have each netted seven goals.

HENRY is the top scorer in the Premiership. All his seven strikes have been League goals.

The Frenchman has scored five times in four meetings with Aston Villa, and has netted eight goals against the Midlanders since the 2000/01 season.

Fredrik LJUNGBERG is a double short of totalling 50 goals across the European leagues. The Swedish International has scored 38 Premiership goals for Arsenal, in addition to 10 top flight strikes for Halmstads BK in Sweden.

If on the field at kick off, Sol CAMPBELL will be making his 100th Premiership start for the Gunners.

If selected in the 11, Pascal CYGAN will be making his 50th start for the North London giants.

ASTON VILLA

Squad profiles

If he plays, Darius VASSELL will be making his 150th Premiership appearance for Villa.

Should he figure, Peter WHITTINGHAM will be making his 50th appearance for Villa.

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LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME:

Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa

27 August 2003 - Ref: Mike Dean

Arsenal scorers: Campbell 57, Henry 90

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HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS

League: Arsenal 58 wins, A Villa 59, Draws 33

Prem: Arsenal 10 wins, A Villa 6, Draws 8

HEAD TO HEAD at Arsenal

League: Arsenal 40 wins, A Villa 20, Draws 15

Prem: Arsenal 7 wins, A Villa 2, Draws 3


theman2010-04-29 06:37:29 +0000 #2
Yeah I think 2-0 aswell.I'm going ,jealous?Jealous?Nah I'm joking I'm sure you'll have a great time listening to it on the radio.

Will3172010-04-29 06:38:33 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by themanisme

Yeah I think 2-0 aswell.I'm going ,jealous?Jealous?Nah I'm joking I'm sure you'll have a great time listening to it on the radio.



Not jealous in the slightest, mate. Already told you why I can't make it.

theman2010-04-29 07:08:17 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Will317

Not jealous in the slightest, mate. Already told you why I can't make it.



Aw,what a game.That was end to end stuff,brilliant.
Will3172010-04-29 06:43:36 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by themanisme

Aw,what a game.That was end to end stuff,brilliant.

Don't tease me, it's not my fault I get £50 a month and live in Reading... otherwise I'd be there every week...
Will3172010-04-29 08:41:24 +0000 #6
Great entertaining win, and a bit of cash in my pocket on Monday!

Can't wait for MOTD later...



Not only that, but both Man United (who drew 0-0 to Birmingham) and Chelsea (who lost 1-0 to Man City, their first loss of the Prem season ) dropped points! Yay! What a run of form this is...

BBC Sport - 16.10.04



Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa

Arsenal are just one game from extending their remarkable unbeaten run in the Premiership to a half century of matches after beating Aston Villa.

But they had to come from behind after Lee Hendrie's stunning drive from outside the area opened the scoring.

Robert Pires levelled from the penalty spot after Thierry Henry was fouled.

Superb goalkeeping from Stefan Postma kept the score level but Henry struck before the break and Pires sealed the win with a smart, low shot.

Arsenal's finishing needed to be sublime to beat Postma, whose excellent performance as stand-in for the injured Thomas Sorensen, had repelled wave after wave of Arsenal attacks.

Postma had been beaten in the opening minutes, but Sol Campbell's thunderous header crashed against the bar.

The visitors' relief at their reprieve turned to delight just seconds later as Hendrie supplied the perfect finish to Villa's first attack.

Following determined work by Carlton Cole, Hendrie nonchalantly dispatched the loose ball on the edge of the area, leaving Jens Lehmann no chance.

Arsenal's unbeaten run could have been further threatened but substitute Peter Whittingham, who replaced an injured Gareth Barry after six minutes, curled his shot narrowly wide.

However, Villa were soon rudely awoken from their dream start as Arsenal launched an unrelenting assault on their goal.

But a combination of the Gunners' profligate finishing and magnificent goalkeeping kept David O'Leary's side ahead.

Postma proved equal to the task as he denied Reyes, repeatedly throughout the match, Dennis Bergkamp, Cesc Fabregas and Patrick Vieira.

Inevitably, the pressure led to a Arsenal equaliser when Mark Delaney became the latest player to find Henry too pacy and was forced into the foul.

After Pires had scored from the resultant spot-kick, Arsenal continued to carve through the Villa defence but it took until the stroke of half-time before they scored again.

Once Henry had put the Premiership leaders ahead with a right-footed effort after he had been put through by Reyes' defence-splitting pass, the win never looked in doubt.

With Villa completely over-run after the interval, it was left to Postma to provide almost single-handed resistance and he performed miracles.

But even he ran out of heroics when left exposed and facing Pires, who had collected the ball unmarked in the box following a neat flick from Henry.

The midfielder curled a right-footed shot low into the corner to give the scoreline a fairer reflection of Arsenal's superiority.

One could feel sympathy for Postma, who surely could have done no more to earn his side something from a contest in which they were outclassed.

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Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Pires (Van Persie 84), Vieira (Flamini 66), Fabregas, Reyes (Pennant 76), Bergkamp, Henry.

Subs Not Used: Taylor, Cygan.

Booked: Cole, Fabregas.

Goals: Pires 19 pen, Henry 45, Pires 72.

Aston Villa: Postma, Delaney, Mellberg, De la Cruz, Samuel, McCann, Hendrie, Hitzlsperger (Davis 45), Barry (Whittingham 8), Cole (Angel 58), Vassell.

Subs Not Used: Solano, Henderson.

Booked: Cole, Mellberg, Samuel, Hendrie.

Goals: Hendrie 3.

Att: 38,137

Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).
lsgworldl2010-04-29 09:03:29 +0000 #7
will come to an end when Spurs play you
theman2010-04-29 07:57:15 +0000 #8
What I find strange is that the big 50 has to come against Man U,not 49 against Man U but 50.It's starnge all so that we won the league against Tottenham last season and against Man U 01-02.Or even Anfield at 89,aswell as spurs in the early 70s again.

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