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  • Date: Saturday December 9  – 17.30 GMT
  • Location: Villa Park, Birmingham, England
  • Teams: Aston Villa vs Arsenal

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Arsenal face tough trip to Villa Park

Arsenal, who are aiming to make a serious tilt at the title, travel to Villa Park where they will meet a familiar face in their former manager. Aston Villa themselves are right in the mix at the top of the table and under Emery they have turned Villa Park into a fortress.

Aston Villa

Villa have started the season extremely well, especially at home. The Villains will be looking to underline their credentials as serious contenders for a Champions League spot and boss Emery will be keen to get one over on his old club. Villa come into the game on the back of a superb win over Manchester City which sent them to third in the table.

Bertrand Traore (muscle), Emiliano Buendia (knee) and Tyrone Mings (knee) are all sidelined. Leon Bailey, outstanding against City, looked fatigued by his superb efforts as he was substituted on Wednesday. Should he be in need of rotating Moussa Diaby is ready to come in.


Arsenal have made progress in the first half of the season. Some observers feel that their style is less open than last season, however, they have suffered injuries in attacking positions. Declan Rice has added steel among other qualities to their midfield and Mikel Arteta’s side have looked solid defensively. Arsenal will feel that, on their day, they are capable of winning away at any side, however, Aston Villa will be viewed as a stern test and will not be taken lightly by Arteta.

Arsenal keep grinding out the wins, even when they do not hit the heights. The last minute win at Luton in midweek is testament to that. They go into this clash top of the league, but they face a side who keep churning out the home wins and sit third in the table on merit.

Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf) is set for an extended spell out and will miss the trip to Villa Park. Also unavailable are Emile Smith Rowe (knee), Fabio Vieira (groin), Thomas Partey (thigh) and Jurrien Timber (knee).

Arteta, meanwhile, will serv e a touchline ban after picking up his third yellow card of the season in the win over Luton. Albert Stuivenberg will lead the team from the dugout with Arteta in the stand.


Aston Villa are extremely strong at home but they come up against an Arsenal side who are becoming more adept at grinding results out. Villa had too much for Manchester City last time out, so a home win would not be a surprise. However, Arsenal are top for a reason and I have a feeling that the Gunners will end Villa’s winning run at home. But I also feel that they are unlikely to leave with all three points. I feel that a score draw is the most likely outcome.

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Chris is a former athlete and a qualified PE teacher. He is a keen football fan, watching many matches at different levels throughout the season, and enjoys following many different sports. With betting and sports sites, he has a keen eye for detail and can to highlight positives and negatives for users. His experience in sport as a performer, teacher, writer and fan allows him to see things from many different perspectives. Editorial Promise