Picking the Right Arsenal Team to Obliterate Aston Villa at the Emirates

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2013

Picking the Right Arsenal Team to Obliterate Aston Villa at the Emirates

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    Arsenal urgently need to bounce back.

    Defeats to Blackburn Rovers and Bayern Munich mean their season is in danger of becoming a fight on one front: to climb back into the Champions League qualification places.

    If they are to rise above rivals Tottenham, Arsenal's Premier League form will need to improve. A match against lowly Aston Villa seems ideal to restore some confidence and start the ascent up the table.

    Go to the next slide to see the changes Arsenal need to make if they are to really put Villa to the sword.

Restore Nacho Monreal

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    Nacho Monreal has made a quiet but effective start to life in the Premier League. He has made two Premier League appearances, both of which have resulted in clean sheets for Arsenal.

    Monreal was cup-tied for the tie with Bayern Munich, and it was telling that all three of Bayern Munich's goals were the consequence of attacking moves down the flank he usually patrols. Thomas Vermaelen is a fine footballer but looks out of sorts at left-back.

    Restoring Monreal to the starting lineup will bring a modicum of balance back to the Arsenal defence and allow Vermaelen to return to his favoured position in the centre.

    The Spanish defender will need to be at his best to cope with the threat of Charles N'Zogbia, who is often Villa's most dangerous attacking player cutting in from that flank.

Give Tomas Rosicky a Chance

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    Although Robin van Persie was hailed as the man who dragged Arsenal in to the Champions League last season, those who watched the side regularly knew that Tomas Rosicky was also incredibly influential.

    Perhaps because the Czech midfielder has lost great chunks of his career to injury, whenever he is fit he looks like a man on a mission. His passion, verve and energy belie his age, and he adds much-needed dynamism to the Arsenal midfield.

    Arsene Wenger should give Rosicky a chance to make an impact in the Premier League. History suggests he will not let Arsenal down.

Keep Faith in Olivier Giroud

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    Olivier Giroud will have been disappointed to have been left on the bench for the highest profile game of Arsenal's season against Bayern Munich. However, after Theo Walcott's ineffectual display as a central striker, Giroud looks set for an immediate reprieve.

    His form this season has been patchy, but he remains the best option Arsenal have to fill the centre-forward berth. It is important for his confidence and form that Arsene Wenger retains faith in him; the player seems to improve exponentially when given a run in the side.

    He also adds something defensively. It was telling that Bayern Munich scored from a corner delivered to the near post. Ordinarily, Giroud would be there to nod the ball away.

    Against a Villa side with the aerial threat of Christian Benteke and others, that defensive assistance could be invaluable.

The Final XI

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    Here's the team I believe is best-suited to doing Aston Villa some real damage.

    Including all three of Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla gives Arsenal real creativity in midfield. Fielding both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott gives the side the finishers required to convert any chances the midfield conjure up.

    It's an XI that should be far too strong for Aston Villa. However, we saw against Blackburn that quality is no guarantee of victory. Arsenal will need to apply themselves too if they are to emerge from the game with the three points they desperately need.

    What do you think? Who would you select to face Villa at the Emirates? Let us know below.