Mikel Arteta's Arsenal blueprint shows Aston Villa surefire way to beat Chelsea

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal
Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal, applauds the fans after the team's victory in the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on April 23, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) -Credit:David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

When Aston Villa play Chelsea this Saturday, a place in the Premier League top four is on the line. They will need to exploit every single weakness, and now have the evidence they need to pull off a cunning victory.

Mauricio Pochettino's men are a mixed bag as of late. One week they demolish Everton 6-0, the next they look to do the same against Man City in an FA Cup semi-final, only to spurn all their of chances and concede a late winner, and then last night they were battered 5-0 by London rivals Arsenal.

With a place in next year's Champions League up for grabs, Villa must hope it is the wasteful, defensively weak Blues that arrive to Villa Park on Saturday evening. Though to maximise any chances, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has hinted at one key way from which his side were able to achieve such a comfortable result that Villa can easily copy.

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Reviewing the result on TNT Sports, Arteta was asked if in the build-up he had pinpointed Chelsea's defence from corners as a weakness. Ben White's first goal of the night came from a short corner worked into the box and eventually finished off from close range.

"Absolutely," replied the Spaniard. "When teams defend with more men now or they change their shape especially to defend the box or the outside is more open. It is credited to the players for identifying and to execute it perfectly."

This is a good sign for Unai Emery's men, as in line with the league table they have won the fourth-most corners of any side in the top-flight this campaign. Their total of 217 in 34 matches averages out at 6.38 per game, whilst their next opponents concede roughly 4.97 corners per game.

Implementing this though will not be as simple as it is said. Three times Villa have met Chelsea this season - once in the Premier League and twice in the FA Cup - and not all have been fruitful.

Last September's Stamford Bridge league bout was settled by a lone Ollie Watkins strike, before a cup fourth round 0-0 draw lead to a 3-1 defeat in the replay.

Another key facet to keep an eye on will be the availability of Cole Palmer. The 21-year-old and joint-top scorer of the league was missing from action at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday due to illness.

Can Aston Villa beat Chelsea this weekend? Let us know in the comment section below