Arsenal opportunity, match facts and video of the day

When not nice things happen, you don't have to write or talk about it, especially when you don't think it's going to happen again or if it was a little unexpected. What I mean is, West Ham were looking good ahead of the match and we just didn't look at the races. It was the first time this season and every side will have a performance like that.

But I don't think we'll have another performance like that today. It's not that it's not possible, it's that it's not something I expect to happen. I do think we will see changes to the starting eleven though.


By that I mean we looked a little lethargic and the easiest way to fix that is to refresh the starting eleven. I think we might even see our new signing start and I'm fairly confident we'll see El Ghazi swapped out.

And it wont be lost on the manager or the players that since the start of the year we've only won two matches. While our position in the table is still very good, that is mostly because of sides around us not doing well. The sides higher up the table, West Ham a good example, have done better this year and that is why they are where they are and why we are where we are.

If that is going to change and we're going to have a chance of finishing in a decent position this season, we have to start winning and sides like Arsenal, are sides we should be putting in decent performances against, so we give ourselves a proper chance.

That said, I've got to go out and clear some snow from the driveway, get some breakfast and get ready for the day. I like early starts, it means the weekend is free to enjoy. And while I don't have a feeling about today, I'm really hoping for three points. It will mean much more for more reasons. And losing two in a row against sides we have a real chance of beating isn't good form.

Video of the day

Match facts from the BBC

Head-to-head

  • Aston Villa, who won the reverse fixture 3-0, could complete a first league double over Arsenal since the 1992-93 season.
  • Arsenal haven't lost three league matches in a row against Villa since 1993.

Aston Villa

  • It's four defeats in six league games for Villa, as many as they had lost in their previous 18.
  • They have lost 16 of their past 18 Premier League matches in the month of February, only beating Norwich in 2016 and drawing at Cardiff in 2014.
  • Dean Smith's side need just three more points to equal last season's final total of 35.
  • An 11th Premier League victory would be the most by Aston Villa in a season for a decade.
  • Jack Grealish has been directly involved in 16 league goals in 20 appearances, scoring six times and providing 10 assists. It's already his highest tally in a season.
  • Ollie Watkins can become the first Villa player to score in three consecutive Premier League home matches since Darren Bent in 2011.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal's seven-match unbeaten league run was ended by Wolves on Tuesday (W5, D2).
  • They conceded as many goals in that 2-1 defeat as in their previous seven top-flight fixtures.
  • The Gunners have scored nine goals in their past four league away matches.
  • Mikel Arteta's side have the division's joint-second best defensive record this season, behind Manchester City and level with Spurs.
  • Nine Arsenal players have been sent off since Arteta's first game in charge on Boxing Day 2019, five more than any other side.
  • Nicolas Pepe is vying to become the first Arsenal player to score in four straight away league games since Olivier Giroud between September and November 2015.