Mikel Arteta makes six changes to the side that started the FA Cup humbling of Manchester City. Dean Smith sticks with the same side that should have beaten Everton last time out, but didn’t. In other words, here are the teams:

Aston Villa: Reina; Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Hourihane; Trezeguet, Samatta, Grealish

Hello. Manchester City have done Aston Villa a favour by dispatching Javi Gracia’s Quique Sanchez Flores’ Nigel Pearson’s Hayden Mullins’ Watford but at some point Aston Villa are going to have to start helping themselves. Now would be ideal. A win would lift them out of the relegation zone on goal difference. So Villa need a Gay Cavalier. Can Ali Samatta, Keinan Davis or someone else summon the spirit of Pongo Waring and fire Villa to safety? That’s what we’re here to find out. Dean Smith’s men have been more solid defensively since the restart so an escape from the bottom three is not unthinkable. But they need to starting taking more chances. The problem for them today is they’re up against the Premier League’s most in-form team, an Arsenal side who have suddenly pulled themselves together and toppled Liverpool and Manchester City, no less. Without further ado, let’s get it on.

Continue reading...