This weekend, the Premier League returns with another round of fixtures as Arsenal lock horns with Steven Gerrard’s impressive Aston Villa side in a crucial clash at Villa Park on Saturday.
Aston Villa are currently in ninth place in the Premier League standings and have improved after a poor start to their campaign. The hosts slumped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Ham United last week and will need to bounce back in this fixture.
On the other hand, Arsenal are in fourth place in the league table at the moment and have exceeded expectations so far this season. In their previous game, the Gunners suffered a comprehensive 2-0 defeat against Liverpool and will need to work hard to keep their top-four spot this year.
Arsenal will be looking to bounce back to winning ways on Saturday lunchtime when they travel to the West Midlands to take on Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa side. Goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino helped Liverpool inflict a 2-0 defeat on Arsenal on Wednesday night, their first defeat after a five-match winning run.
Arsenal have a good record against Aston Villa and have won 84 out of 198 matches played between the two teams, as opposed to Aston Villa’s 69 victories.
Aston Villa have won two home games on the trot against Arsenal in the Premier League and last bettered this streak nearly 43 years ago.
In the Premier League, Arsenal have won 12 away games against Aston Villa – only one short of West Ham United’s impressive record at Villa Park.
Aston Villa have kept a clean sheet in each of their last five Premier League victories and have not won any of the previous eight games in which they have conceded a goal.
Aston Villa FC: Villa left-back Lucas Digne lasted a mere 10 minutes against West Ham before being taken off with a muscle issue, and while he has not been ruled out of this contest just yet, it is difficult to see the Frenchman making himself available.
Douglas Luiz and ex-Gunner Calum Chambers left the pitch with facial injuries after the win over West Ham – with the former needing surgery, and Gerrard may not be prepared to risk either man from the off here.
Arsenal FC: Arteta will certainly ponder changes given the quick turnaround, with Gabriel Martinelli, who ran himself into the ground on Wednesday night, possibly making way for Emile Smith Rowe.
Nicolas Pepe, Eddie Nketiah and Albert Sambi Lokonga are waiting patiently for their opportunities, but Arteta may demand another 90 minutes from most of his big-hitters before the international break.
Possible Starting Line-ups:
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young; McGinn, Sanson, Ramsey; Coutinho; Ings, Watkins
Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; Cedric, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Lacazette
Date: Saturday, March 19, 2022
Time: 12.30pm GMT
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham