Arsenal face Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium attempting to reverse a recent trend of poor form.
Arsenal attempt to get back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League, having recently suffered costly defeats to Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup and Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League.
The Premier League is now the only competition of note to the Gunners, who now must qualify for the Champions League again if they are to salvage their season from unmitigated disaster.
As for Aston Villa, they have traits in common with Arsene Wenger’s side this campaign.
The first is that they were also knocked out the Capital One Cup by Bradford City, and the second is that their manager is under considerable pressure.
Paul Lambert has not been able to implement the same impressive results as his Norwich did under his command, and his efforts to introduce a young British core to his side have had mixed success.
A certain red and white team in north London might be able to relate to that.
Arsenal have mixed news in their back line – they can welcome back Nacho Monreal to the left back position, but Bacary Sagna has a knee complaint.
After a difficult game for Theo Walcott up front in midweek, Olivier Giroud is likely to return as a focal point for the Gunners attack.
Gabriel Agbonlahor and Karim El Ahmadi return from illness and are available for Paul Lambert to select.
Charles N’Zogbia has shaken off the thigh injury he suffered against West Ham United.