Arsenal will have to grind it out against Aston Villa if they are to register successive Premier League wins. The match is scheduled for Sunday at the Emirates.
The Gunners put forth a real statement of intent after their 1-0 win against Manchester United. Mikel Arteta's side had already surrendered points to Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester, but a gritty display against the Red Devils exhibited the progressive nature of the team.
Now, Aston Villa stand in their way as the North Londoners aim to build on their winning momentum. After a wave of relatively tougher fixtures, they have a chance to strengthen their position in the table.
Arsenal have won each of their previous three home matches in the league against Villa by an aggregate of 12-2.
Aston Villa, who have surprised many with some remarkable performances, are in fact the only side yet to concede away from home this term. They'll be preparing to return to winning ways after having lost their last two outings.
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Head-to-head
In total, Arsenal have won 83 matches against Aston Villa. The two clubs possess a rich history of matches against each other, with 45 of those ending in draws.
Sunday's visitors have claimed the three points on 67 occasions. Aston Villa will be eyeing a second consecutive win against Arsenal for the first time since December 1998.
Arsenal form guide: W-W-W-L-W
Aston Villa form guide: L-L-W-W-L
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Team News
Arsenal are still without long-term absentees Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli, while Reiss Nelson and Calum Chambers continue to work their way back to full fitness.
Arteta will have the luxury of recalling his best players in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Thomas Partey after they were rested in the 4-1 triumph over Molde.
Injured: Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli
Doubtful: Calum Chambers, Reiss Nelson
Dean Smith earlier confirmed that striker Bertrand Traore has picked up an injury and is ruled out. He said:
“Bertrand came off and he’ll be struggling for Sunday, he won’t make it. He’ll definitely be back after the international break."
Tom Heaton is nearing complete match fitness, implying that he could feature for Villa after the international break following a few games with the under-23s. Wesley is still sidelined with a knee injury.
Injured: Wesley, Bertrand Traore
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Probable XI
Arsenal predicted XI (3-4-3): Bernd Leno; Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, Kieran Tierney; Hector Bellerin, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Bukayo Saka; Willian, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aston Villa predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett; Douglas Luiz, John McGinn; Trezeguet, Ross Barkley, Jack Grealish; Ollie Watkins
Arsenal vs Aston Villa Match Prediction
With Arsenal poised to field a strong line-up comprising of players who have had time to recharge, it looks like Aston Villa might be heading for another defeat.
Arsenal will surely be tested, but Villa's fragility at the back could backfire on them.
Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa