Arsenal look to extend their Premier League winning streak to seven games when they host Aston Villa on Saturday at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have not lost a Premier League match since Jan. 22, when they fell at home in a tight match against Manchester United. Arsenal have a new found confidence that was missing in the beginning of the season, when the club was decimated by injuries and weren't able to find replacements for some key players that had moved on.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa have gone three-straight matches without a loss. Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor will be relied upon score goals in the absence of Darren Bent, who is sidelined for the rest of the season with ankle ligament damage.
Not only is Bent out, but so is defender Richard Dunne, midfielder Fabian Delph, and Ciaran Clark. Winger Charles N'Zogbia is questionable for the match.
Arsenal continue to rely on the stellar play of Robin van Persie. The Dutch striker has emerged as one of the best goal-scorers in the world, and has 26 goals on the season.
The Gunners will be without Abou Diaby, who is still not ready to crack the 18-man squad. Jack Wilshere, Per Mertesacker, Sebastian Squillaci, and Francis Coquelin continue to be sidelined, as well.
The two clubs met at Villa Park on Dec. 21, with van Persie scoring off a penalty kick, and Yossi Benayoun adding a strike in the 87th minutes strike to give the Gunners the 2-1 win.
D: Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs
M: Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Gervinho, Chamberlain
F: Van Persie
D: Collins, Cuellar, Herd, Warnock
M: Hutton, Petrov, Albrighton, Ireland, N'Zogbia
PREDICTION: The Gunners are playing the way their supporters have expected them to play for quite sometime. At home, Arsenal should control the flow of the match, and the wings should provide van Persie with plenty of chances. Also, the Gunners have received good production from their defenders lately, and they could provide problems for Aston Villa on set pieces. Shay Given could be in for a long evening, unless players like Alan Hutton and Marc Albrighton step up.
PREDICTED SCORE: Arsenal over Aston Villa, 2-0