Aston Villa vs Arsenal

09/12/2023 – 19:30

The Villains could be on to something here. And why not, almost every other team that goes on an impressive run, get talked up as potential title challengers. Aston Villa should be spoken about in that manner as the former Arsenal boss welcomes the Gunners to Villa Park.

Recent wins against Fulham and Tottenham have contributed to Villa’s impressive climb up the table. The huge victory over Manchester City was also a personal triumph for manager, Unai Emery. He captured his first head-to-head win against Pep Guardiola, after 15 failed attempts. The bigger picture now shows, Villa have lost just once in their last 11 matches overall in the top-flight. They’ve also picked up no fewer than eight wins which has thrust them into the mix for a potential financially lucrative Champions League spot for next season.

Despite that valiant effort from Luton, they fell victim to yet another late winner by Arsenal, in that 4-3 classic. Declan Rice rose to the occasion to ensure Arsenal kept their good run and position at the top. Unfortunately for the Gunners, they will be without Mikel Arteta in the dugout. The Spaniard picked up a suspension following his celebrations at Luton and will be watching from the stands. Arteta’s side have suffered just the one defeat so far this season and they are once again amongst the front-runners to claim this season’s topflight title and having won five of their seven away games to date. The Gunners look in good shape to get something from Saturday’s trip to the West Midlands.

The jury is still out on the Raya/Ramsdale goalkeeping dispute, but you’d expect David Raya to start at Villa Park. Declan Rice became only their third player to score two PL winners on or beyond the 90th minute in a single campaign, but there’s enough quality in that Arsenal team to find the back of net. Villa’s leading PL scorer, Ollie Watkins (G8), enjoys playing against Arsenal with a healthy return of four goals across his last six PL H2Hs.

Three out of the last four meetings between Villa and the Gunners have resulted in both teams scoring and this trend looks likely to continue Saturday with both teams vying for all three points.

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CORRECT SCORE 2-2 @ 11.5

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