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How will Aston Villa beat Arsenal?

What will manager Paul Lambert do tactically in Saturday's match against Arsenal? Find out his options here.

Jealous, Rodgers?
Jealous, Rodgers?
Alex Livesey

Aston Villa's defence this season has been nothing short of a masterclass so far. One goal conceded through four matches. That's better than Capello's 93/94 Milan, who conceded just 13 goals in a 34 game season. Of course they only scored 36 goals the entire season. That's a slightly higher goals per match figure than Villa are currently on, which remains at exactly 1.0.

As hilarious as it would be if this were to happen, it won't. Frankly, Villa have been good, great even so far, vastly exceeding expectations. I still believe that Chelsea will beat us 6-0 or something ridiculous, but that doesn't mean there isn't anything that manager Paul Lambert (on the heels of a shiny new four-year contract extension) can't do to try to prevent it. Last week's resolute display against a good Liverpool side shows that the improved backline is what will drive this team to success this season, at least until Christian Benteke gets back.

We saw Paul Lambert go back to the 4-3-3 last week, and the addition of Tom Cleverley really helped in the midfield. Alongside Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood, we can expect to see solid passing and discipline with regards to keeping a shape. The front three of Kieran Richardson, Andi Weimann, and Gabby Agbonlahor worked hard tracking back. Since Arsenal will be going with one striker and pack the midfield, it makes sense to use the 4-3-3 again.

Only Arsene Wenger knows how the Gunners will line up Saturday until the lineups are announced, but here is a projection of their lineup along with an unchanged Villa save for captain Ron Vlaar back in for Nathan Baker, who was outstanding last week.

football formations

What would you do if you were Lambert? Let us know in the comments!

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