This might be a pivotal week in the Premier League title race. I say this because I can’t help but believe the following fixtures will have a significant impact on the title race:
Aston Villa vs. Man City, Wednesday, 6th
Aston Villa vs. Arsenal, Saturday, 9th
There’s no doubt about it: Aston Villa is on the rise. They are playing fantastic attacking football with no fear and are ready to compete with other Premier League teams. This competitive nature may see them pick points versus either Manchester City or Arsenal, so whoever drops points will be disadvantaged in the title race.
Villa are now more steady and aggressive in possession, as they play short passes to drag opponents out and immediately exploit the space behind them with four attackers, a trait that has seen them score the second most goals (33) in the league thus far (only Manchester City with 36 have scored more league goals).
They are a team that should be regarded as a threat, and this week they may be the beast slayer, with 29 points already picked up (after 14 games, coming from 9 wins, 2 draws, and 3 defeats) and a winning record at home (they have won all of their home games).
Douglas Luiz, who has been instrumental in Villa’s resurgence under Unai Emery this season, has explained why Manchester City and Arsenal are due for a rude shock this week. The Brazilian observes that in their match against the Citizens and the Gunners, they will continue to do what they do at home, which is win, implying that they will zealously defend their unblemished home record as they want to remain at the top.
“It’s the most difficult game you can play in the league.” Luiz admitted as per Birmingham Mail. “We need to train hard and try to keep what we are doing at home. We can win.
“We are so confident at home, and we believe we can win. We need to keep this at home, where we are so strong. We need to train hard because the week is so difficult. But we can win.
“We are so excited for these two games. They are important for us. We are near the top of the table and need to focus this week and try to win both games.”
Luiz added, “I believe so much in the group. We have a good coach. We’re doing a good job at the moment. At home, we are so strong.
“Away, we need to improve a little bit, and then I believe we can stay at the top of the league. We need to play all the games. We know it is so difficult, and we need to keep going.”
It will be fantastic for Arsenal if Villa prevents City from winning four games in a row; a draw or a loss would be beneficial to the Gunners title ambitions. However, they must devise a strategy to contain Unai Emery in their game this weekend. As excellent as Arsenal has been this season, I believe they are more difficult to beat than City. If Chelsea (who are not at their best) and Tottenham (which is in an injury crisis) can all draw with them, what prevents Villa from beating them Wednesday night?
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