Sunday’s game against Aston Villa in the Premier League is almost upon us.
In addition to our extensive pre-match coverage of the game, we’ve gotten our writers together for a short prediction on how they think the game will pan out.
And if you think we’re just going to throw these predictions out there and then forget about them, fear not. On Monday we’ll be back taking a look at how we did and laughing at the person who got it wrong more than anyone else.
Lee Hurley Win 3-0
I don’t really have much time for Aston Villa. I’ve seen Arsenal play them at the Emirates twice and both times we didn’t win. You’ll be glad to know, therefore, that I won’t be at the game on Sunday so can confidently predict a win and a cleansheet.
Even without Alexis, Arsenal will still have far too much fire power for Villa and at the back, even our defence should be able to handle what Villa have to offer up top.
My only concern for this game would be the referee, Anthony Taylor. If he acts like he has even a tiny clue what he’s doing, things should go smoothly. I wouldn’t count on that, though as that piece linked above shows.
Prediction: A 3-0 as long as Taylor behaves himself.
Helen Trantum Win 3-0
Aston Villa are in horrible form, but it would be so terribly Arsenal to be the ones to turn that around.
All the signs point to Alexis missing out, but as long as we can maintain the high tempo that he inspires, the likely returns of Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil should ensure we have enough quality in the side to get the required result.
It’s not clear which of the many Villa forwards our defence will have the face, but the challenge will be to keep Benteke quiet while retaining a watchful eye on his various pacy wingmen. With this in mind, Gibbs and Bellerin are the likely full-backs and they will need to be on their toes.
Goals are of such short supply for Villa and Arsenal have been pretty consistent in front of the home crowd this season, so I can’t see past a win and a clean sheet in this fixture.
Prediction: a comfortable 3-0 to match the away result, with Walcott to terrorise Cissokho throughout.
Stephen Bradley Win 2-1
Sigh. As soon as it looks like Özil is ready to start in a premier league game for the first time in 3 months, Alexis’ hamstring flares up.
I’ve got Cazorla lined up on the left, but as of late, our three attacking midfielders have rotated amongst themselves, so expect plenty of switching in front of Ramsey.
As for Villa, a front three of Benteke, Agbonlahor and new signing Scott Sinclair will be a credible threat on the counter, so it’ll be vital that we maintain our shape and not let them find any space behind Coquelin.
This has all the makings of a typical Arsenal 2-1 win: lots of chances for us but their keeper has a stormer, and they score from their one good chance of the game.
Prediction: A win, but a tight one. 2-1.
Paul Williams Win 3-1
Arsenal have a formidable home record against most teams. There are a couple of obvious exceptions to this and then there is Aston Villa.
In the past, we have had to rely on a couple of late equalisers against them while Villa have also won three games at the Emirates, most famously taking the opening game of last season.
So, I’m not going to predict any huge wins this weekend. However, bearing in mind the respective shape both sides are in (Villa are rubbish, we’re not), it’s difficult to see beyond a win for our boys.
Prediction: I’m saying 3-1.
Sylvain Jamet Win 3-0
I expect Ospina to be back in goal and stabilise the defence.
With Aston Villa firing blanks for most of the season, a clean sheet is a must.
The Arsenal goals are spread between so many players at the moment and it should carry on the same way.
Prediction: I expect an easy 3-0 win.
Lewis Ambrose Win 3-0
Villa really have been dire going forward this season and I’d be surprised to see that change against our the defence that kept Manchester City so quiet.
Obviously we will be more expansive than in that game – the last few weeks (aside form City) we have really started games at great pace, and I hope to see the same again.
Against a team scoring just once every two games, an early lead should be good enough to see us home
They are good at the back but have an obvious weakness in Cissokho, I hope Walcott gets a real run at him.
With Bellerín backing him up we could terrorise them down that side.
Prediction: I’m really confident going into Sunday’s game and can see us scoring early before cruising to a 3-0 win.
Nia Griffiths Win 2-0
Even though our record against Villa is pretty good, I never feel as if they’re easy matches by any means.
Saying that, we’ve got momentum on our side and Villa haven’t exactly been ground-breaking so far this season with their last Premier League game ending in a 2-0 loss at home to Liverpool (who also haven’t exactly been fantastic this season, but that’s another conversation).
Therefore, I’m guessing – and hoping – that a win will be on the cards for the Arsenal. I don’t think it’ll be a huge one but I’m reasonably confident we’ll keep a clean sheet.
Prediction: a 2-0 win.
Andi Foster Win 3-1
‘A win for Aston Villa at the Emirates is not without precedent, however Villa are off form and struggling for goals meaning that in theory the Arsenal defence should manage to cope with them.
Arsenal, though, have built a habit of complacency this season for games that have followed a couple of good results, so it is definitely Arsenals game to mess up.
Prediction: I think this one is in the bag’. and we’ll win 3 – 1.
Sean Ferguson Win 4-0
This is a poor Villa team we’re facing, they’ve only won two of their last ten league games and have only managed 11 goals all season.
I’d expect them to have everyone behind the ball and try and catch us on the counter.
If we don’t score in the first half I imagine it’ll be a very frustrating game but if we can get an early goal I could see it being a very comfortable win.
Prediction: Going to go all out here but think we’ll win 4-0!
Mark Fine Win 1-0
Aston Villa will most likely want to keep us from starting fast, so they will start well with Agbonlahor, Benteke and Weimann.
I’m not sure about them using Sinclair just yet and, quite frankly, he doesn’t bother me.
The key to Arsenal attacking on the counter is to keep a tightly controlled midfield and win it there, so it doesn’t end up being too open, nor too defensive.
This match has a lot of potential to be wide-wide open.
As mentioned elsewhere, would love to see Agbonlahor(or even Benteke) matched against Gabriel as the bruiser-vs-bruiser matchup, but it’s unlikely that the new boy will get a start.
Prediction: See us winning by a goal, possibly 1-0 or 2-1, 1-0 more likely the way Ospina’s been keeping clean sheets.
Alan Knowles-Best Win 4-0
Villa are awful and we have one of the best attacks in the country, dare I say Europe?
They can’t score and as we have more individual goalscorers in the team than any other in the Premier League, even without Alexis I fancy that we will put Villa away with some ease.
Prediction: A walk in the park with four goals along the way.
Winnie O’Blindt Draw 1-1
If any of the others on here had been paying attention to Arsenal over the last few season’s they’d know full-well that we run a care-in-the-community scheme and love helping others down on their luck.
Sure, Villa might be struggling for goals but most teams just need one effort on target against us and it’s pulled into the goal as if it was a black hole. If ever a side is capable of providing the opposition with a way to kick-start their season, it’s Arsenal.
Our home form is, of course, beneficial, but then you factor in Anthony Taylor and that’s cancelled out
Prediction: It’s not going to be as easy as the rest of this lost think. 1-1.