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Arsenal defensive crisis gives Aston Villa hope of an upset

| 21.12.2011

Injuries at Arsenal are as common as Robin van Persie goals these days and once again they head into their Premier League game with Aston Villa this evening with a host of absentees.

The Gunners are missing defenders Bacary Sagna, Carl Jenkinson, and Andre Santos with long-term injuries while Johan Djourou and Kieran Gibbs are also sidelined with problems.

It leaves Arsene Wenger without a recognised full-back and he may be forced to start with teenager Ignasi Miquel at left-back.

There are also problems for Arsenal further up the pitch with midfielder Alex Song suspended for the clash after picking up five bookings so far this term.

It leaves the Gunners looking rather vulnerable at the back and gives Aston Villa some hope of upsetting the odds and overcoming the north London side for the second consecutive game following their 2-1 win at the Emirates last May.

Despite not winning in 12 games at Villa Park against Arsenal they have a very decent recent record against the Gunners and have lost just twice in their previous seven.

Arsenal are the current 8/11 favourites to win the clash, while Aston Villa are out at 4/1 to pick up only their fourth win of the season so far.

However, with Arsenal heading into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to table-toppers Manchester City and Villa fresh off a 2-0 loss to Liverpool, this could be a tight and tense game.

Villa also have their share of injuries with Darren Bent, Emile Heskey and Chris Herd all out so backing the game to finish level – as seven Villa league games this season have – looks tempting at 5/2.



Richard Anderson