The pressure is on for Arsenal to re-claim top spot in the Premier League on Monday, January 13 as they take on Aston Villa at Villa Park two days after witnessing Chelsea usurp their command of the summit of the division and one day after Manchester City leapfrogged them both due to their 2-0 triumph over Newcastle United at St James' Park.
After City clipped the wings of the Magpies and Liverpool engaged Stoke City in a 5-3 goal-fest, Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere reflected on the day's proceedings, enjoyed the performances but provided a level-headed assessment of their situation tomorrow: it is in their hands - Arsenal can rise two places, from third back to first, as long as they do what they failed to do on the first day of the season; beat Villa.
There are many reasons for Arsenal to feel optimistic over their chances at Villa Park: they have, after all, a formidable record against the Villans on their own patch and have not been beaten since December, 1998.
Arsenal also enjoyed a productive final training session earlier today, were joined by club legend Thierry Henry and Wilshere, in particular, was in buoyant mood having scored.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald