Two consecutive draws against Brighton and Crystal Palace in the past two league matches that are winnable considering the opponents, has seen Arsenal's momentum drop slightly in the race to catch up with the big Six. Without European Football, the Gunners resume their league battle when they play host to Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Friday Night.
Ahead of the match at Emirates Stadium on 22nd October, 08:00pm (GM +1), let's look at Arsenal Team News, Previous Fixtures Against Aston Villa, Their Recent Forms, And How Mikel Arteta Should Set Up His Team.
Arsenal Team News
Swiss International, Granit Xhaka remains Arsenal's long term absentee, while Bukoya Saka and Kieran Tierney are doubts after the former was substituted in the match against Crystal Palace last Monday. Kieran Tierney had a minor problem after finishing same match, and will need to be assessed ahead of tomorrow's game.
Goalkeepers: Aaron Ramsdale, Bernd Leno, Arthur Okonkwo.
Defenders: Gabriel Magalhaes, Ben White, Pablo Mari, Rob Holding, Cedric, Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinic, Nuno Tavares, Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Midfielders: Mohamed Elney, Emile Smith Rowe, Maitland Niles, Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Martin Odegaard.
Forwards: Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli, Aubemyang, Falorin Balogun, Eddie Nketiah.
Doubts: Bukoya Saka, Kieran Tierney.
Arsenal's Previous Fixtures Against Aston Villa
Arsenal and Aston Villa first met in the league Division One of the 1904/1905 season, precisely on the 8th October 1904 at the 7,500 Capacity Manor Ground, Plumstead, when Arsenal was called Woolwich Arsenal. Arsenal defeated the Villians by 1-0, but lost 3-1 away to Aston Villa in the return leg.
Since then, they have met 197-times in all competitions that includes 188 League matches (league Division One and Premier league), 14 FA Cup matches and 5 league Cup matches. In the last two seasons, Arsenal have been defeated by Aston Villa three(3) times, while recording just one win which came after goals from Chambers and Aubemeyang secured a late 3-2 win at the Emirates Stadium on the 22nd of September 2019.
In summary, the gunners have triumphed 83-times, drawn 45-times and lost 69-times against the Villians in all competitions.
Arsenal and Aston Villa are 12th and 13th respectively on the premier League log. Aston Villa have lost their last two premier League matches after their surprise 1-0 win at Old Trafford on 25th September, and now have 10 points after 8 league matches. Arsenal have 11 points after three consecutive wins and two draws in their past 5 leagues matches.
How Mikel Arteta Should Set Up His Team
Two draws means Arsenal cannot afford to lose more points against teams they are expected to win and maintain momentum in the league standing. Mikel Arteta's 4-2-3-1 formation has been ideal but his team selection poses more issues. Against Aston Villa, the Spainard should start with the following players as analysed below.
Bernd Leno should start in goal, while at the back four, Rob Holding should partner Pablo Mari or Gabriel Magalhaes, with Nuno Tavares or Kieran Tierney, if fit to start, sloting into the left side defence and Cedric in the right side.
Thomas Partey and Mohammad Elney or Lokonga, should start in the deep Midfield, with Martin Odegaard or Emile Smith Rowe in the No.10 role, flanked by Gabriel Martinelli in the left side forward and Nicolas Pepe in the right side forward, while Lacazette should start upfront. Aubemeyang should start from the bench.
Preferred Starting Lineup 4-2-3-1 Line Up
Predicted Match Outcome
The late 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium against Patrick Viera's men means Arsenal is in a must win situation to revive their form ahead of next week's meeting with Leicester City. While Dean Smith will hope to muster another magical moments against the gunners as he has done in the past three league matches, It is Arsenal who are likely to win on Friday Night against the Villains.
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