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Aston Villa vs Arsenal betting tips: Premier League preview, predictions, team news and odds

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Match preview

Having been top of the Premier League for 180 consecutive days, can Arsenal get back on track after their recent struggles?

On Wednesday night, the Gunners suffered their first home defeat of the season, beaten 3-1 by title-rivals Manchester City.

This means Mikel Arteta’s team have taken just one point from their last three matches, having been beaten at Goodison and then only managed a draw with Brentford.

Thus, Arsenal kick off in second place, below Man City on goal difference, desperately needing to avoid dropping more points here.

One of the obvious sub-plots is that this fixture is that it’s Unai Emery coming up against the team who dispensed with his services in November 2019.

18 months later, Emery’s Villarreal beat Arsenal in the Europa League semi-finals, en route to the club’s first-ever major silverware.

Well, the Claret and Blue Army made were really enjoying life under the Spaniard, winning five of Emery’s first seven matches in charge.

However, in recent weeks, Aston Villa have been wide open at the back, beaten 4-2 by Leicester and then 3-1 at Man City.

Despite these back-to-back defeats, they remain 11th, ten points clear of the drop zone.

Arsenal lost twice at Villa Park during lockdown, but haven’t lost there with fans present since 1998, winning 11 of their last 16 visits (excluding behind-closed-doors matches).

Will the Gunners return to the top of the table, for a couple of hours at least?

Aston Villa team news

Tyrone Mings missed last Sunday’s trip to Man City with a ‘small injury’ so should be back for this one, displacing former Arsenal defender Calum Chambers.

One man who will be coming up against his former employers is Emi Martínez, who’s lost his last three meetings against the Gunners.

Unai Emery has settled on a solid 4-4-2 formation, with Ollie Watkins, who’s scored three times in this fixture, leading the attack.

Teenager Jhon Durán has come off the bench in both of their last two games, and will remain amongst the substitutes again here.

Predicted XI (4-4-2): Martínez; Young, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Douglas Luiz, Kamara, Buendía, Ramsey; Bailey, Watkins.

Arsenal team news

Mikel Arteta named the exact same starting XI for Arsenal’s first six league matches after the World Cup, but was forced into two changes on Wednesday.

First, Thomas Partey is out with a knock, so Jorginho, who scored a brace at Villa Park for Chelsea last season, will continue at the base of midfield.

At right-back, Takehiro Tomiyasu was given a rare start against Man City, but Benjamin White could be back in here.

Other potential changes to the XI can both be found on the left-hand-side, with Kieran Tierney and Leandro Trossard both set to start.

Up front, Eddie Nketiah will be looking to end his mini-goal draught by bagging a first against Villa.

Reiss Nelson was back on the bench in mid-week, and there is hope that Emile Smith Rowe could be back in the matchday squad too.

Predicted XI (4-1-4-1): Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Jorginho, Xhaka, Ødegaard; Saka, Trossard, Nketiah.

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Aston Villa vs Arsenal: Head to head statistics

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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