Arsenal vs Aston Villa 08/13/2013 Free Pick and Preview
Aston Villa Vs Arsenal
Saturday 17th August 2013 12:45(GMT)
The Line: Arsenal 2/5 Draw 7/2 Aston Villa 15/2 See the Latest Odds
TV: Setanta Sports
My second preview of the week showcases Arsenal hosting Aston Villa. Its an interesting match up on paper as Arsenal look to be much the stronger team and given the disparity between the two teams last year one could be forgiven for thinking that Saturday's game will be one way traffic at the Emirates. But and there is nearly always a but ... I just dont think it will be that simple for Arsenal. Aston Villa have had a good pre season and they held onto their star man in Christain Benteke, that was Paul Lambert's number one priorty and he achieved it. Villa have some talent in their ranks and with Weimann, Benteke and Delph they have some genuine top class players who may develop into World Class players, with Benteke already on the cusps of that distiction right now. Paul Lambert eventually settled down in the job as Villa Manager and overall he got through a very tough season last year with the team flirting with relegation for most of the season. I think Lambert will be looking to push the claret and blue up the table this year and I personally think they could be a dark horse for a good early season, my only worry would be strenghth in depth and how they deal with any injuries.
Arsenal have been linked with everyone in this off season, an offical bid was made for Luis Suarez and rejected and the latest news is that Arsene Wenger is chasing Gustavo from Bayern Munich. Until such time as Wenger actually spends some cash though Arsenal fans have to worry that the team may stagnate a little from last year and were barely good enough to qualify for the Champions League last year. There is lots of exciting talent though in this Arsenal squad with Santi Cazorla, Oxlade Chamberlain, Walcott, Ramsey and Wilshire and I think Wenger is probably happy enough with his squad with the exception of Strikers where I think he wants to purchase a world class finisher to make use of the chances his midfield creates. Arsenal had a good pre season and finished it off in style beating Manchester City 3-1 last weekend.
First weekend's in the Premier League generally throw up the odd the shock and while I dont think this one will be a shock result I think Aston Villa will give Arsenal a game. Looking through the markets I fancy the goals market and am going to take both teams to score at 4/6. Benteke proved himself a handful for most team's last year and with the off season rest and expected improvements the young Belgian should again finish in the top 10 scoring forwards in the league. There are plenty of talented midfielders in Aston Villa's ranks and Weimann, Nzogbia, Ireland and Bannan will all be looking to lay down an early season marker. I think Arsenal will come through this one but I fancy Aston Villa to notch one and at least give Arsenal a game.