Arsene Wenger will have been relieved watching Arsenal pull one out of the hat against Olympiakos in the mid week Champions League fixture. They needed a 2 goal victory to qualify for the next round. They did it handsomely with a 3-0 victory over the Greek outfit and will be high on confidence going into their Premier League fixture against Aston Villa this weekend.
Aston Villa have not been able to settle down in the season and are playing with a new manager who is still trying to impose himself on the squad. They held the Saints to a 1-1 draw last weekend and will be more than happy with a similar result when they face the Gunners. Here is the Preview of the match along with the Team News, Predictions, Expected Line-ups and Betting Odds.
The Aston Villa vs Arsenal match will be played on Sunday the 13th of December at the Villa Park in Birmingham. The kick-off is scheduled at 1:30 pm BST (7:00 pm IST)
Remi Garde who left out Jack Grealish for the last two games due to disciplinary issues is expected to bring the young mid-fielder back into the team. Gestede and Bacuna who missed their last game are now available for the home side while club captain Micah Richards is on his way back to full fitness and might find himself on the bench for this game. Amavi remains as the only long term injury for Villa.
Wenger will be happy to see some of his players return to full fitness and can play a relatively strong team to the ones he has been playing over the last couple of weeks. He has had no injuries in the last two games but Alexis Sanchez, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla and Thomas Rosicky are all on the sidelines for this game. Aaron Ramsey will get his place in the mid-field while Walcott, Campbell and Oxlade Chamberlain will fight for two places on the wing.
Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bacuna, Sinclair, Gueye, Sanchez, Veretout, Ayew, Gestede.
Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Flamini, Walcott, Ozil, Campbell, Giroud.
Giroud vs Okore
Jores Okore has done well in the absence of Micah Richard and will mostly start the game against the Gunners. He is at times vulnerable at the back and will have to be careful on Sunday when he will be up against French International Olivier Giroud. Giroud scored a hat-trick against Olympiakos and will be raring to score against when the two sides meet this weekend.
Gestede vs Koscielny
Rudy Gestede has already shown his strength and ability in the air in the previous games he has played before his injury. He will cause loads of problems for the Arsenal back four with his height and Laurent Koscielny will have to pull out his best game to deal with the tall striker. This battle can prove to be the difference for Aston Villa on the night.
Aston Villa: 5/1
Arsenal are on a high off their victory in the mid-week and are a side growing stronger by the day. They have their own weaknesses which may be spotted by the home side but they have loads of quality in their side to see this match off and strengthen their command at the top of the table.
Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal