Arsenal vs Aston Villa: Team news, match facts and prediction

KEY POINTS

  • Arsenal's tally of 12 points matches their total after seven Premier League matches last season.

  • Arsenal have won their last three home league games against Aston Villa by an aggregate score of 12-2.

  • Villa's 1-0 home win against Arsenal in July ended a run of seven straight head-to-head defeats, and 23 goals conceded, in all competitions.

  • Aston Villa could win three consecutive Premier League away fixtures for the first time since April 2010.

Arsenal return to Premier League action with a home clash against Aston Villa Sunday evening.

The Gunners – who will face a reunion with former goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez this weekend – continue to cruise in the Europa League after Thursday’s 4-1 thumping of Norwegian side Molde, which followed hot on the heels of a first win at Old Trafford for 14 years.

That 1-0 triumph over Manchester United was most welcome after back-to-back League defeats against Manchester City and Leicester and moved them into the top half of the table, where they will hope to quickly get back into the top six.

Villa are above Arsenal on goal difference only as it stands but have suffered successive losses against Leeds and Southampton since that stunning 7-2 demolition of Liverpool and a narrow defeat of Leicester.

Villa have gone off the boil somewhat since those wins over Liverpool and Leicester, though it is worth noting that they have won both of their away League games so far this term.

Arsenal should be full of optimism after that morale-boosting win at Old Trafford and will be confident of avoiding back-to-back home losses in the top-flight.

TEAM NEWS

Arsenal have no new injury concerns for the visit of Aston Villa, with squad rotation expected following the Euoropa League win against Molde.

Gabriel, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thomas Partey are all set to return.

Aston Villa winger Bertrand Traore will be sidelined until after the international break with a groin injury sustained in the defeat at Southampton.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton has returned to full training after 10 months out with a knee ligament injury.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Arsenal have won their last three home league games against Aston Villa by an aggregate score of 12-2.
  • Villa’s 1-0 home win against Arsenal in July ended a run of seven straight head-to-head defeats, and 23 goals conceded, in all competitions.
  • Aston Villa can win consecutive league games against Arsenal for the first time since 1998.

Arsenal

  • Arsenal’s tally of 12 points matches their total after seven Premier League matches last season.
  • The 1-0 defeat against Leicester City last time out was their first home league loss of 2020.
  • Arsenal have conceded a league-low seven goals this season. However, they have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six home league games.
  • They can fail to score in successive Premier League home fixtures for the first time since February 2016.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could fail to score in four successive league home appearances for the first time since December 2014 for Borussia Dortmund in Bundesliga.

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Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa could win three consecutive Premier League away fixtures for the first time since April 2010.
  • Villa can become only the third club in top-flight history to win their opening four matches and lose the next three. Villa did so themselves in 1891-92, followed by Stoke City in 1895-96.
  • They did not record their fifth league win in 2019-20 until their 19th match, on Boxing Day against Norwich City.
  • Villa have lost 12 of their last 13 Premier League away matches versus established top-six opposition (D1).
  • They are the only side yet to concede away from home in the Premier League this season, having been the only club not to keep an away clean sheet last season.
  • Jack Grealish has four goals and four assists in 2019-20. Only Harry Kane (14) and Son Heung-min (10) have been directly involved in more goals prior to the weekend.

PREDICTION: 2-0

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