Aston Villa (h): preview, news and predicted starting XI

Aaron Ramsey was sick of people yelling “freeze!!”.

Morning, folks.

Can you smell that? That’s the sweet smell of football returning. Take a moment to inhale and savour… It feels like an eternity since it was last here.

The summer may not have gone exactly as we’d hoped (understatement) and it’s a great pity I am unable to discuss the merits of a few new signings, and the impact they might have had on the team. We’ve got Yaya Sanogo, and through no fault of the young Frenchman’s, he already been very unfairly dismissed as “not enough” or “another injury-prine bargain buy”.

Today, it’s the time to put all that to one side – at least for 90 minutes. Some will feel the need to vent their frustrations at Arsene Wenger, and there has been the odd claim from fans that abusive songs will be directed towards the Boss. Personally, I can’t see how any of that is worth the effort. Yes – I agree with anyone who is disappointed and frustrated, but let’s support the team today. It’s the first day of the season, there’s a clean slate. Save the booing and discontent for later…

Injury wise, we have quite a few key figures on the sidelines. Mikel Arteta will miss 4-6 weeks having very recently sustained a thigh injury. Captain Vermaelen and Nacho Monreal both are unfit and Abou Diaby has defied the odds to make an incredible recovery from fitness to take his starting place in the treatment room.

Santi Cazorla returned from Ecuador on Thursday having played a significant chunk of Spain’s friendly, and it’s uncertain wether he will play from the start. At the back, the four players that served us so well and the end of last season will start, with Per Mertesacker taking the captaincy.

My predictions is:

It’s imperative we get off to a good start today. On paper, that’s a team that should comfortable dispatch Villa on our own turf. If we can retain the solid defensive performances of last season, and Ramsey can slot in to Arteta’s place with the same positional discipline, I see no reason why we won’t create chances and score goals today.

Giroud has had a good pre-season, and I’ll be looking for him to press on and have an excellent sophomore season. Our one new signing, Sanogo, will have a place on the bench today and could make his debut at some point. He might even come on to score a late double…. *ducks for cover*

That’s all for today, folks. Wherever you may be, enjoy the game, and embrace the return of football. Let’s be having a delicious 3 points today and a fine performance from the boys. We could use something positive to discuss. Leave me a comment below with your thoughts on the team for today, and what you think the final score will be.

As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

12 Comments

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12 Responses to Aston Villa (h): preview, news and predicted starting XI

  1. Veer

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  2. Veer, leave the shameless plugging to me… :)

  3. john fabulus

    big season for ramsey hope he steps up as hes starting to show glimses of wot he could do pre injury coyg

  4. the lineup suggested looks solid to me. i dont know how fit Tomas Rosicky is but he could be a thorn in the flesh some 20 or so minures before the end of the game, so could OX, our defence is good barring injuries. giroud is my main concern, he should shake off the near misses of last season, perfect his first touch and improve on close ball control and i dont see the reason why he cant take his tally to 30 plus this season. prediction for the day 4-0, 1 from Giruod, 1 from walcott and 2 from PODO!

  5. Our team went unbeaten for the last ten matches of the season then thats Prem winning form, I just hope that the mentality is right; get the 3 points. Oh and Yes get Rooney.

  6. dean0002

    You say “leave the booing and discontent for later” but won’t that be a bit too late? I have sympathy for those on the pitch but absolutely none for those off it! The management needs to know that Wenger really is drinking at the last chance saloon. Unbelievable!

  7. Savage

    I’m excited.

    Our two-prong goal machine in Giroud and Walcott will fire us to a good start to the season.

  8. “and Abou Diaby has defied the odds to make an incredible recovery from fitness to take his starting place in the treatment room.”

    rofl!!!

  9. Arsenal Forever

    G’day all,

    I don’t think Cazorla will start, Wilshire to move forward and Oxlade-Chamberlain to come in alongside Ramsey.

    If we carry on with the form from the end of last season we will be OK.

    Let’s all forget about slagging off the manager, he’s not going to leave of his own accord nor is he going to be sacked. New signings will be announced soon and everybody will be happy.

  10. BT62 Gooner

    Good to see you back Raul,maybe you’ve been back a while.With you all the way, put all the shit to oneside and get behind the team for ninety minutes.It’s not their fault what’s going on at the club,hope everything’s going as well as possible with you and your family. O 2 O 2B O 2B A GOOONER!!!! 3 PTS IS ALL THAT MATTERS!!!!

  11. Pitch

    Agree with Digvijay, this is brilliant – “Abou Diaby has defied the odds to make an incredible recovery from fitness to take his starting place in the treatment room” COYG!

  12. Pitch

    …almost forgot, 1-0 will be fine by me, Giroud (24)

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