2020-21 Premier League: Week Eight – Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Arsenal welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium in the concluding match of Super Sunday’s quadruple header. 

Both teams enter this match locked on 12 points with victory sending the winners as high as fifth depending on results earlier in the day.

 

Team News

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Reiss Nelson is ruled out for Arsenal after suffering a knee injury in build-up to Thursday’s 4-1 Europa League win over Molde.

Pablo Mari (ankle), Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli (both knee) are still sidelined with Mari and Chambers looking to return to the first-team after the international break.

Villa could welcome Tom Heaton back into the squad after 11 months out with a knee injury whilst Kortney Hause could also be available if he recovers from a groin issue.

Bertrand Traore (groin) and Wesley (knee) remain absent but Traore should return after the international break, whilst there is no set return date for Wesley.

 

Stat Attack

  • Arsenal have lost just one of their last seven Premier League matches against Aston Villa (W6, L1).
  • Villa have won just one of their last six league trips to the Emirates Stadium (W1, L5).
  • Both teams have won four penalties in 50 Premier League meetings but Arsenal have scored all four spot-kicks unlike Villa, who have failed to convert two of their four penalties.
  • Coming into this round of fixtures, Villa’s Jack Grealish and John McGinn have produced a joint league-high four assists by any Premier League midfielder this season.
  • Arsenal’s Gabriel is the only Brazilian player to have made a last man tackle in the Premier League so far this season.

 

Prediction

Arsenal have definitely found a sharp attacking tempo because they have been superb in their last two matches, yet are vulnerable defensively when pushing forward as Molde spectacularly demonstrated on Thursday with a super long-range goal.

Villa meanwhile were simply outplayed by Southampton last weekend in the opening hour before producing an admirable fightback to lose 4-3, although they will need to improve defensively because if they thought the Saints were difficult then Arsenal will inflict a whole different world of danger on them here.

Throw in Villa’s Emirates Stadium hoodoo then this surely has to be an Arsenal win but if Villa can rediscover their early season spark up front, this could be a case of de ja vu for Arsenal after losing their last Sunday evening home match against Leicester a few weeks ago but I am going for a home win given the Gunners’ attacking quality.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Aston Villa

Result: Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa

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