Arsenal is in big crisis at the moment.
The Gunners were eliminated from FA Cup by the Championship’s Blackburn, before Bayern Munich almost eliminated them from UEFA Champions League after won 3:1 at Emirats on Tuesday. The manager Arsene Wenger is under enormous pressure, like never before in his career. There are lot of speculations about his future.
One thing is sure, this match is like turning point for Arsenal. A victory here will make things easier, a defeat here will be a catastrophe. The players are well aware of the situation. Some of them even publicly declared that. For example, the captain Vermaelen was shocked by calls for Wenger’s head. He said:
– Of course we’re behind him. He’s done a lot for this club. He still does a lot of hard work with us. He is the right man for the job. We have to show it on the pitch as well. At the moment the results are not good. But we will work hard with him to get the results back.
I have no doubt the players will “die” on the pitch. Almost all players are available, only Kieran Gibbs remains doubtful.
Aston Villa is close to the relegation zone, just one place and just one point above the line. In the last round they won the first match since mid-December, beating West Ham with 2:1. It is a positive moment, no doubt about that. However, Aston Villa showed big weakness against the top teams. They lost 4:0 from Tottenham , 8:0 from Chelsea, 5:0 from Manchester City etc. The narrow 3:2 defeat from Manchester United look like a good result.
About the team news, Karim El Ahmadi could return along with Gabriel Agbonlahor, but Marc Albrighton is still missing.
I think Arsenal will win this match. It is true they lost from Bayern on Tuesday, but Aston Villa is not Bayern. I have no doubts that Wenger players will give the maximum on this match. With Villa looking vulnerable at the defense, I expect goals at Emirats.