Bad memories instantly come flooding back when you think of Aston Villa at The Emirates Stadium.
It was just eight weeks ago that Arsenal knocked Alex McLeish’s men out of the FA Cup which meant that yet again Villa would end the season without a trophy.
That particular day still haunts those associated with the club.
Villa cruised into a 2-0 lead and many thought the passage into the fifth round was signed, sealed and delivered.
However a seven-minute second half burst from the Gunners turned the tie completely on its head as the hosts fought back to win 3-2.
And that was during Arsenal’s so called bad spell.
Since then Arsene Wenger’s side have been knocked out of the prestigious competition and also the Champions League.
But their league form is impressive.
Five wins out of six has seen their assault on the top four firmly back on track and they’ll fancy their chances against a Villa side that have won just once away from home in the league this year.
Goals have been hard to come by, especially since the loss of Darren Bent but at the back Villa have become a lot tighter.
Carlos Cuellar has impressed in Richard Dunne’s absence and the Irishman has recently revealed his plans to help speed up his recovery.
The Republic of Ireland centre-back has turned to American football to aid his rehabilitation from an operation on a fractured collarbone.
It was felt by Villa doctor Ian McGuinness, that Dunne would benefit from some of the techniques utilised by the Cleveland Browns medics to treat injuries of this nature which are more commonplace in NFL. “I’m hoping that when I come back I’ll be sorted and I can push on with things and start training again,” said Dunne.
“It’ll take a few weeks after that, but hopefully I can be back before the end of April.
“That’s the aim at the moment but I’ll just have to listen to the doctor here and see what’s actually possible.
“Because of the nature of American football, the Browns have a lot of experience in dealing with the kind of injury I suffered, so any help that I can get will be much appreciated.”
Meanwhile, Dunne’s domestic and international team-mate Ciaran Clark will find out next week if he is fit to resume training after slight complications with his recovery from knee trouble.
The versatile Villa star has been sidelined with a ligament injury since the early February defeat at Newcastle with a lay-off expected to last a month now into its sixth week.
But the 22-year-old utility player has returned to light running and kicking drills and could be back in action next month.
“He suffered a wee setback,” said manager Alex McLeish.
“I think next week it will be six weeks since he was injured. We felt it might be about four, but the setback stretched it out a wee bit.
“But he is now running and kicking the ball.
“He is not doing any blocking work yet as he has still got a bit of tenderness in the knee.
“But I would say in about a week’s time we should be able to evaluate whether he comes back with the group.”
Villa are currently short of central defensive cover and have tried to protect Cuellar and James Collins after slight knocks.