Arsenal are known for their narrow possession-based football under manager Arsene Wenger, with their wide players coming inside to link up attacks with the advanced central midfielders, but it‘s something that could play into the hands of Aston Villa ahead of this weekend‘s FA Cup final.
The Gunners’ style of play that has been synonymous with the club in the last few years in particular, but does often see them coming unstuck against a team defending deep and compact. Arsenal like to thread balls through the middle to create chances, as they don’t possess much of an aerial threat to make crosses from wide effective.
Aston Villa are set to flood their midfield, with the likes of Tom Cleverley, Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood and Jack Grealish likely to form a diamond in the central areas to try and stifle Arsenal’s creative playmakers Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil. They may have some luck as they will outnumber the Gunners in the middle of the park, so manager Arsene Wenger may have to counteract the Midlands outfit.
The fullbacks provide the width, so the Londoners should be instructed to utilise the wide men as much as possible to drag out Villa’s players, before shifting the ball quickly back into the middle. It’s a tactic that could pay dividends this weekend, and Arsenal are 3/10 to win the FA Cup by any means, be it normal time, extra time or penalties.