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Monday, 13 January 2014

Aston Villa v Arsenal: Will the Gunners reclaim top spot?

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Chelsea pinched top spot from Arsenal on Saturday, only to be replaced 24 hours later by title-chasing Manchester City, but can the Gunners reclaim their place at the peak of the mountain tonight with victory at Villa Park?

Paul Lambert's men stunned the Gunners on the opening day of the season. Not only did they leave the Emirates with a 3-1 win under their belts, they also left with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger facing calls to be axed. Six months on and it's a totally different picture for both clubs. Arsenal have put that defeat behind them to march to the top of the table, while Villa have endured another tough season.

Confidence is high among the travelling support. Arsenal have the best away record in the country and fully expect to get revenge on the Villains tonight, even without the injured Theo Walcott. Arsenal haven't lost to Villa at Villa Park since December 1998 when they blew a two-goal lead to lose 3-2. And Villa haven't achieved a Premier League double over the Gunners since the competiton's inaugural season. Add in to the mix Villa's awful home record - they have only scored seven times in 10 league outings - and you can see why Arsenal fans believe they will be back on top tonight.

But the Gunners cannot afford to be complacent. They have been stung by Villa before and they themselves will be looking to bounce back from their shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Sheffield United. 

Arsenal have a lot to thank Villa for. If it wasn't for that opening day defeat Wenger would not have splashed the cash on Mesut Ozil. That defeat gave everyone at Arsenal the kick up the backside they needed to push on this season. But Arsene Wenger knows how important it is tonight to leave with all three points and there should be no shocks on the card here.

SQF Prediction: 0-3

Calling all Villa and Arsenal fans: What do you think the score will be tonight? We'd love to hear from you.

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