Villa preview: Home improvement required

Good morning all, I hope you’re doing well today.

Last weekend’s win over Man Utd was obviously a fantastic result, and something we should all be very pleased about. It was reminder that in the ‘big games’ Mikel Arteta has made us more competitive, and there’s no taking away from that.

However, it came after a home defeat to Leicester, and today we face a team that we struggled against at end of last season. We lost 1-0 to Villa away from home, found it difficult to break down a side set up in what the manager refers to as a ‘low block’, and failed to have a shot on target despite dominating the game in terms of possession. It’s fixtures like these in which we’ve failed to convince, and today is a chance to show there’s another area we can improve.

I suspect Villa will set up in a similar way today. I don’t think they’re going to come and play expansive, attacking football which will leave space in behind for us to exploit. That said, they did make some good signings in the summer, they’re not coming into this game with the explicit threat of relegation hanging over them, and after a decent start to the season they will be confident enough to have a…