It's starting to look a lot like Arsenal will finish in the top four this season and truth be told, I didn't have Arsenal down to finish the season with the same manager they started with. I guess there is something there about sticking with a young manager that wants to be at the Club.
And I think it's fair to say that they are doing better than most would have thought, apart from a few Arsenal fans that think they should be doing better. But they're not a side you see winning the League any time soon but they are one of those sides that could, if one or two things happen for them. But those one or two things are not at the Club at the moment.
And today is one of those games we have to win. And I'm writing that because in the last six, we've won three and lost three and we're going to lose a loss from that form table because of today. Replacing it with a win and having four from the last six is very big step in the right direction. And yes, a draw would also be a step in the right direction. Having more wins than anything else is where it starts.
So today is an important match because the form table shows us we're close and it's all about finding that consistency. And it's only Arsenal. Back in a few hours.
Match facts from the BBC
- Aston Villa have won their last two top-flight home games against Arsenal 1-0. It is their longest winning run against the Gunners at Villa Park since a four-match sequence between 1975 and 1979.
- Arsenal have won 12 Premier League away matches versus Villa - the only side they have a better record against is West Ham (13 victories).
- The Villans have won just 11 of their 53 Premier League fixtures against the Gunners.
- Aston Villa have lost 14 times in the current league campaign, just one short of their tally for the whole of 2020-21.
- They have lost nine of their 11 top-flight fixtures this season against teams currently above them in the table.
- Villa have failed to score in only one of their 13 home league games in 2021-22, a 1-0 defeat by Watford on 19 February.
- They are aiming to win consecutive league matches at Villa Park within the same season for the first time since January 2021.
- Each of their last five league victories has seen them keep a clean sheet.
- Philippe Coutinho has scored four Premier League goals against Arsenal, more than he has against any other side.
- Arsenal have won their last four Premier League away games, having claimed just two victories in their first eight on the road this season.
- The Gunners have not won five consecutive away league fixtures since May 2015.
- Bukayo Saka has been involved in five goals in his last four away league matches (four goals and one assist).
- Saka has eight Premier League goals this season, and is the only player aged under 21 to have netted more often than Villa's Jacob Ramsey (six goals).
- Arsenal are one short of becoming the third club to score 2,000 Premier League goals after Manchester United (2,176) and Liverpool (2,002).
- Mikel Arteta has lost three Premier League matches as a manager versus Aston Villa - the only teams he has a worse record against are Liverpool (four defeats) and Manchester City (five).