Festival Of Football

By Tom Vickers
Last updated : 14 November 2008

A feast of flowing football is on the cards at Emirates Stadium this weekend as Villa take on Arsenal.

Both sides have a reputation for playing an out and out attacking style and with players like Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Barry taking to the field it could be fever pitch in London.

The two sides couldn't be going into the game on a more different footing with Villa having lost their last two league matches and the Gunners toppling Manchester United in their previous outing.

Samir Nasri was instrumental for Arsene Wenger's men in that vital victory and Nigel Reo-Coker will have to be on his guard against the flamboyant Frenchman.

It is assumed that the Villa dynamo will start on the right as James Milner again partners Gabby Agbonlahor in an advanced position.

The reason for Milner's recent elevation into a free role is the injury which is still troubling John Carew.

The Norwegian target man has travelled with the squad but a decision on his fitness will be left until just before kick off.

There is better news for Martin O'Neill, though, in the midfield and defensive departments as Stiliyan Petrov and Luke Young look set to return.

Villa have a good record at the Emirates after two consecutive 1-1 draws.

And as O'Neill returns to the ground where he began his reign at the club it is noticeable just how far the Claret and Blue have come.

The style of football has improved markedly, as has the playing squad.

Unfortunately, recent performances have not been good but every side has a blip and what better way to react than with a win against one of the Big Four.

Even if the scoreline isn't satisfactory, the football almost certainly will be.

Aston Villa Match Reports


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