Aston Villa look to get their season back on track but it's a tough ask on Monday night when they face an Arsenal team fighting to go back to the top of the Premier League table. Paul Lambert has been linked with a number of moves in teh January transfer window as he needs to strengthen to ensure Villa dont get dragged back into a relegation battle. Christian Benteke is without doubt Villa's star man but the big Belgian center forward has not been playing as a star recently and is struggling to score in fact he hasnt found the net since September's goal against Newcastle. Gabby Agbonlahor has been Villa's go to guy recently scoring twice in the last three games and I'm certain that Paul Lambert will be hoping agbonlahor can continue that form.
Arsenal will be eager to get back to the top of the Premier League with a win at Villa Park. Arsene Wenger will also be anxious to get some sort of revenge for the opening day 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa in the Emirates stadium. A defeat that heaped alot of pressure on Wenger but one which the Gunners have really bounced back from. As with all games for Arsenal this term Mezut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla will be key for the Arsenal, even more so now that Walcott(done for the season) and Ramsey are out injured.
Although this game looks on paper like a stone wall away win I'm not so sure its going to be as comfortable as that. Aston Villa beat Arsenal on the opening day because Villa played really well and Christian Benteke in particular was immense, the Belgian has shown signs of life of late and I think he is due a goal. I want to take Villa on the handicap and the unders in this one but I'm reluctant to back a Villa team that have been so anaemic at home with only one win in their last eight home games. But i'm not going to. I think Villa keep this one close until the 60th minute or so and therefore i am taking Villa +.5 on the first half market. Follow me on twitter@antonpippo