With a mixed draw against West Ham United last Monday evening, Aston Villa have a tough trip to the Emirates Stadium this coming Sunday as we face Arsenal.
It’s not the Arsenal we used to know on an attacking front, albeit maybe it’s definitely the Arsenal we used to know defensively, but it’s going to be a tough game and there’s no hiding from that.
Speaking to the Official Site as he met with the media this week, head coach Dean Smith knew we’d have another battle on our hands, but he was seeking the positives and keeping his no ‘fear’ approach to life back in the top flight.
We’ll simply give it what we can and see where it takes us.
“Any team is beatable, we saw that with Norwich City last week. When you go head-to-head with anyone, you have to believe that. We don’t fear teams, just always respect them. The Emirates is a great stadium and it’s a club with a great history and quality players. But we also know what we’re about. We showed in the Spurs game last month we can go toe-to-toe with these teams.”
I think most would agree, the biggest flaw in our performances so far is simply the question of being clinical when we get into the final third. Chances are coming our way but we aren’t taking them. Improvement on that front would give games a completely different perspective as we mull things over at the full time whistle.
Let’s hope this weekend that’s the part of our play that clicks.
On an injury front, Matt Targett is back in contention now but Smith explained he wanted to get some game time into James Chester before bringing him back into the first team fold. The only player ruled out is Jonathan Kodjia who continues his recovery from his cheekbone fracture – but although he’s still a few weeks away, he is back in light training and non-contact work, so he’ll be fit when he returns.