Arsenal v Aston Villa: Match Preview

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Football News

Arsenal v Aston Villa; Emirates Stadium; FA Cup Fourth Round; Sunday 29 January 2012, 16:00 KO.

Team News

Arsenal striker Thierry Henry faces a late fitness test to see if he is well enough to take part in this all Barclays Premier League fourth round clash.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is also sweating on Mikel Arteta and long-term absentee Bacary Sagna who could make his comeback against Aston Villa.

Meanwhile, Alex McLeish is expected to start on-loan striker Robbie Keane for the Emirates Stadium encounter, and will be boosted by the return of Gabby Agbonlahor, Emile Heskey and Stephen Ireland who are al fit and available for selection.

Koscielny up for the Cup

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny admits that the domestic cup carries far more weight in England than it does in his native France.

Ahead of the Gunners' FA Cup fourth round clash at home to Aston Villa, the 26-year-old is fully aware of how important the competition remains to the club's fans, and insists the players will be doing everything they can to ensure progression to the next round.

"In France we have the French cup," Koscielny told "But I don't think we have the same atmosphere as the FA Cup.

"Here it is an important trophy but in France it is less so. I know in England that winning the FA Cup is a very big trophy for the team."

Koscielny is expecting a tough test when Villa arrive at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, after coming through a tight encounter in the reverse fixture in the Barclays Premier League at Villa Park.

"You know that the FA Cup is difficult because it is a hard game for 90 minutes," he added. "We know Aston Villa, we won away but it was a difficult game.

"Now it is at home we want to go as far as possible in this competition and so we have to win this game.

"It is important for the team because we have lost our last three games, and for the supporters because they were not happy after those defeats."

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Laurent Koscielny
FA Cup

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