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Arsenal vs Aston Villa LIVE – Dean Smith in valiant mood as Villa look to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quiet at Emirates


Engels better than me! – Mings

Tyrone Mings of Aston Villa in action during a training session at Bodymoor Heath

Villa’s centre-back pairing of Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels continues to blossom. The defensive duo have been rock-solid of late and were brilliant last week against £45million Sebastien Haller.

Mings and Engels – or Mingels – seem to be the perfect blend at the back: left and right-footed, brave, dogged while both possessing nous and a coolness under pressure. They make the right decisions time and time again and have been immense on and off the ball.

“The partnership is seamless,” said Mings previously. “I’m really enjoying playing with him and, if anything, his performances have been better than mine!

“He’s a real enjoyment to play with. He quietly goes about his business. I’m the vocal one out of the two and he’s very good at what he does. I’ve been pleasantly surprised as I didn’t know too much about him when he came in. He probably didn’t know too much about me when I came in.”

On Monday, West Ham – dangerous, attacking side – were reduced to just one shot on target throughout the 90 minutes, a stat that was largely down to Mings and Engels.

The pair both drew plaudits from pundits and fans alike after the game while their performances have been consistent in all five showings to date. It’d be fair to say Villa’s defence is in better shape than Arsenal’s right now, that’s for sure. Engels, too, was a one-time Gunners target while Mings is now an England international. I’m sure Unai Emery would swap his pairing for Smith’s in a heartbeat – but not on our watch.

READ MORE: ‘In a heartbeat’ Why Aston Villa should be in buoyant mood ahead of Arsenal



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