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O'Neill On Villa v Arsenal

Martin O'Neill says Villa are moving forward but warns there is a long way to go.

The Villa boss said ahead of tomorrows game v Arsenal:

'Obviously I feel I know the players better than before. Everyone was going in blindly to the opening game, because after only knowing me for a fortnight, they would not have known much about me. Now we're further down the line with that type of experience and knowledge. That first day (1-1 v Arsenal at the Emirates with Mellberg scoring the 1st goal at their new stadium) sometimes feels like a week or two ago, and other times it feels like a season or two ago.'

'We face a big test tomorrow. Despite being without Thierry Henry and a couple of others who are suspended, Arsenal have shown in their Carling Cup run that they have top quality young players around. At the beginning of the season from a distance, I felt they may not have had the strength in depth of the other big three. But they have completely changed my mind with their quality, because of the boys coming through, who I didn't know about.'

He added on the official site: 'Getting a Champions League spot is vitally important to them and their aim now is to finish as high as possible in the sense that they feel they are capable of catching Liverpool. Liverpool themselves may feel they are capable of catching Chelsea, who feel they are in the championship race. With only two teams definitely going through to the Champions' League - the other two have to qualify - they have plenty to play for.'

And admits 'We have our own thing to chase - to gather a few more points together to stay out of trouble.'

Villa (from): Sorensen, Taylor, Bardsley, Hughes, Mellberg, Cahill, Ridgewell, Bouma, Samuel, Agbonlahor, Petrov, McCann, Barry, Davis, Osbourne, Gardner, Maloney, Young, Carew, Angel, Moore.

Arsenal (from): Lehmann, Hoyte, Gilberto, Djourou, Gallas, Ljungberg, Fabregas, Denilson, Flamini, Baptista, Aliadiere, Almunia, Diaby, Senderos, Walcott, Traore, Connolly, Randall.

Mystic Mug is being a miserable git and says following a lack lustre performance v Fulham, that Villa will lose 2-1

What is your prediction?




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday March 13 2007

Time: 9:11PM

Your Comments

1-0 the Villa. Goal from the hulk, slayer of all things Gooner!
The Fear
It would be nice to see Villa win, I would honestly settle for a draw but a win would be brilliant.
col8
Always had a soft spot for u lot (used to wind up some of my unfortunate albion supporting relatives...), looking forward to decent match but i sincerely hope we win by a couple to put the last few miserable defeats behind us....
KaoTeK
Come on me babbies!!!!!!
jonah
got to be a Villa win, need to shut my arse supporting boy up (I console myself that he hasn't turned to the blue side) come on the Villa.
steff_the_villan
I'm going to stick with my 3-1 prediction with Luke putting 2 into the net :)
Etouffee
2-1 to the Villa. Carew & Young. We're due a win against Arsenal
Geordie_Villa
I'm a realist, there's no point predicting a win every game. We may be due a win against Arsenal, but we due a win are against all of the top four teams (and some of the bottom four I might add). The performance is key, if we put in a good performance and take our chances, I'll be happy. We need Maccan, Barry, Young and Carew all to play well together for 90 minutes, rather than in patches. The unfortunate thing is that Arsenal have just the league left now and need to cement a champions league place.
tarzan
Baptista and Walcott look quite handy, come on you lions!
tarzan
good match lads. u lot played some good stuff unlucky not to get i draw (thank fek) good luck 4 the rest of the season...ps 10s all round 4 carews olympic efforts...
KaoTeK
We could have got something, but just as easily could have been more heavily beaten. Still a long, long road to travel until we can say we are truly competitive.
glensider
 

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