I'm not sure what happened, but it it feels like I've slept for a really long time and someone decided to put an audiobook narrated by Gabby Agbonlahor. It was like I'd heard the story before, many times, but I couldn't quite remember where.

I'm just joking. Gabby is a little like his career; one good showing a season. We're all used to it now and we know what it means. I just wish he didn't wind up Arsenal fans before this match.

And before we get to the match at Arsenal, news from the manager; Benteke is going nowhere.

"As far as I'm concerned, the guy is here and he isn't going anywhere until I say so or not really. That's the bottom line."

Really sorry, I've just read that again. It doesn't actually mean he isn't going anywhere. It means actually nothing. The manager might as well be telling us the time.

A look to Arsenal

So, to the point of today and a match at Arsenal and this is either going to get messy or we're going to be very happy. I think there is definitely three points for one of the sides today and the smart money will be on Arsenal, but where there is a game, there is hope.

But Arsenal are on a different level to us and I'm convinced they'll finish in the top four this season. But I was also fairly convinced they could have won the league the season before last, but Wenger didn't do what he had to do in the summer. Maybe he doesn't do what he has to do today.

Which is why there is a chance. It used to be that Arsenal was a tough place to go, but if teams like Blackburn can go there and turn them over, why not us?

And that is why there is hope. It could be that we are watching Arsene Wenger crack up. I'm not sure that is happening, but it could be, it has all the markings of a manager losing the plot.

Updates, team news and links

And we could get something if you believe all the PR that we're hearing from the club. And I wrote something the other day about believing if we did. What I meant by that was I'd believe we would stay up if we beat Arsenal, but defeat today could see us go back into the bottom three and that is the reality of our situation.

So, the real world is back and on that note, I'm going to go read the papers and not leave a prediction. I might leave one later, when the optimism arrives and serves me my cold beer, but this is a hard match to predict this early in the morning.

So, leave your links, your predictions and anything else below and don't forget the #avfc hashtag on Instagram.

Author: Damian
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Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.