Aston Villa vs. Arsenal: Gunners That Will Keep Momentum Going with Big Win

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 21:  Jack Wilshere of Arsenal chips goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren of Montpellier to score the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Arsenal FC and Montpellier Herault SC at Emirates Stadium on November 21, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

November has brought a mixed bag of results for Arsenal. A win over Aston Villa would ensure that the Gunners get out of the month with a respectable record.

Arsenal started the month by dropping a key fixture against Manchester United and playing Fulham and Schalke 04 to draws. While things may have looked bleak to some, Arsenal came charging back with a key 5-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur and a 2-0 win against Montpellier.

After the early month struggles, it appears that the club has finally found its rhythm. Heading into a key Champions League fixture, they will need to keep that momentum going as they hit the road to take on Aston Villa.

As long as the Gunners get solid performances from these key players, they should get the crucial win in the not-so-friendly confines of Villa Park.


Jack Wilshere

The 20-year-old midfielder missed the entirety of last season and didn't make his debut this season until Manchester United, but he's back now, and Arsenal couldn't be happier.

The dynamic Wilshere has been a shot in the arm for the club the last few matches. Before injuring his ankle last season, Wilshere was an explosive offensive force. In his comeback efforts, he's brought the same things to the table.

Whether he's passing or dribbling, Wilshere has improved the flow and pacing of Arsenal's game. He'll need to control possession once again for the Gunners for them to keep up their winning ways.

After scoring his first goal of the season against Montpellier, Wilshere may even find the net again.



According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners will be without Theo Walcott for the match. He's still nursing a shoulder injury that also forced him to miss the match against Montpellier.

Stepping into Walcott's spot in the lineup will be Gervinho. The Gunners will need a big performance from him if they want to beat Aston Villa.

Walcott is the club's most prolific goal-scorer, but the club will be in good hands with Gervinho on the attack. He has three goals this season in eight appearances on 17 shots. Gervinho's speed and dribbling make him an effective threat in the box.

Expect Gervinho to step up in the wake Walcott's injury and put pressure on the Aston Villa defense.


Wojciech Szczesny

Szczesny has only made four appearances this year due to injuries. When he's on the pitch, the entire defense looks different.

When Szczesny is in goal, defenders know that they can be a bit more aggressive. Szczesny's ability to sell out for saves is impressive, and it's something they've missed when he's been out.

After going nearly a month without a clean sheet from any goalkeepers on the team, Szczesny notched one against Montpellier, although he only had to record one save to get it. With Szczesny expected to make the start once again, the Arsenal defenders should be a confident bunch.

That will make all the difference as the Gunners should roll to another shutout victory.