Date: 30th December 2005 at 4:28pm
Written by:

On Sky

Funny one to predict this. Arsenal, by their standards, have had a poor season and have dropped far too many points. However, they rallied against Pompey and thrashed Arry’s boys 4-0. Villa have also been on a mini revival, albeit spoilt by a very lacklustre display against Man Utd. Arsenal are a quality side, but then, we aren’t short of quality either, it is just we are stretched in defence! A win would certainly set up the rest of the season very nicely and a draw wouldn’t exactly be a bad result. Lets just hope O’Leary doesn’t put the white flag up and have five in midfield again. Mind you, with the injuries the squad have, he may just have to put out what is available, I’m certainly taking my boots down – and no, I don’t mean my kinky boots, not that I have kinky boots you understand (mental note, when you have dug a hole, stop digging)!

Vital Quotes:

DOL says: ‘Oh bugger, I’ve got no players left’

Doug says: ‘HA, you’ve not got rid of me yet’

Aston Villa Team News:

The defender curse has struck again, this time Wilfred Bouma joins the injury list after limping out of the game v Fulham on Wednesday. Olof Mellberg is still out, as is Kevin Phillips with his ankle problem, Berger with his difficult to cure knee injury, Hendrie with an Achilles and De La Cruz with a calf problem. Apart from that, and the fact Laursen is a long term absentee, O’Leary has a full squad to pick from!! (from): Sorensen, Taylor, Hughes, Delaney, Ridgewell, Samuel, McCann, Milner, Davis, Barry, Baros, Angel, Moore, Gardner, Whittingham, Jumper Jumper.

Player to watch: James Milner

Looked back to his best v Fulham and supplied the telling crosses.

Arsenal Team News:

Gilberto is out with a knee problem and both left backs Ashley Cole and Clichy are still out. Robin van Persie could return. (from): Lehmann, Almunia, Lauren, Eboue, Cygan, Campbell, Toure, Senderos, Flamini, Fabregas, Song, Pires, Ljungberg, Hleb, Reyes, van Persie, Henry, Bergkamp.

Player to watch: Bergkamp

On his day he is worth the entry free alone.

Match Facts & Stats

Villa are 13th with 21 points.
Best case: 11th, Worst Case: 16th

Arsenal are 6th with 32 points.
Best case: 4th. Worst case: 7th

Ref Watch:

Oh no, please no. Uriah ‘can I be the star of the show’ Rennie. 11 matches, 0 reds, 22 yellows.

Match Prediction:

Mystic mug is refusing to bet against us with a new year coming along, so he says a draw. However, with our defence so badly stretched………gulp. Best form of defence is attack, as long as we don’t play five across midfield, we have a chance!

Next Fixtures:

02/01/2006 (WBA)
14/01/2006 WEST HAM