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After seeing their burgeoning winning streak come to an end on Sunday, Aston Villa will look to bounce back at the weekend and if they are to do so, then they will need to get the better of Arsenal.
Then again, Arsenal find themselves looking for a similar reversal of fortune and after being beaten by Liverpool in midweek, manager Mikel Arteta knows that his players must return to winning ways.
After offering a weak performance against Liverpool on Wednesday, Arsenal will have a point to prove and if they manage to prove that point at Villa Park, they will likely leave the ground with all three.
Therefore, I am going to plump for Mikel Arteta’s men to be both winning at the interval and the final whistle and if you also think that will be the case, you can join me in backing this at odds of 3/1 (SportNation).
Although Aston Villa were edged out by West Ham last Sunday, other results managed to go their way and with Steven Gerrrard’s men still currently in the top-ten of the Premier League, that is where they will look to stay at the end of the season.
Something that could well be a possibility and even though they lost last weekend, they did also manage to record three successive league wins before and it is that run, which has reignited their league campaign.
There is no doubt that the building blocks are now starting to be put in place at Villa Park and although the decision to sack former manager Dean Smith was rather harsh at the time, it is a choice that is now looking rather justified.
Especially as Dean Smith does not have the same contacts as the current Villa managerial incumbent and with Philippe Coutinho linking up with a former teammate turned leader, the Brazilian’s arrival has been warmly welcomed in the West Midlands.
While it is not only Coutinho who has been a significant part of Villa’s climb up the table and with Jacob Ramsey also finding his feet in the starting eleven, he will look to add to the six league goals that he already has to his name in 2021/22.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the visit of Arsenal, manager Steven Gerrard has recently welcomed back Marvelous Nakamba and this means that he has now a fully fit squad to work with before the weekend.
Although Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool does not change anything in the grand scheme of the top-four race, the result and the performance on show will have given fans of the club a reason to be fearful.
A reason that surfaced after a rather abject showing against Jurgen Klopp’s men and for all the talk of Arsenal being able to hold their own against the Merseyside outfit, that was clearly not the case.
Now though, Arsenal must simply put that midweek reverse behind them. Because if they feel too sorry for themselves before the international break, then the chasing pack of teams behind them will be ready to take advantage in April.
Especially as the Gunners still have to play the trio of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham before the end of the season and all of a sudden, their fourth-place standing may currently be something of a false position.
There have been accusations that Milkel Arteta’s men are flat track bullies and the counterpoint to that, is that you can only beat what is put in front of you. While bullying Aston Villa on Saturday, is exactly what the North London outfit will set out to do.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the trip to Aston Villa, the same clean bill of health can also be afforded to Mikel Arteta and this means the Gunners are firing on all cylinders before Saturday.
When it comes to the rivalry between these two clubs, both Aston Villa and Arsenal are two of the more established clubs within English football and any clash between these sides is always keenly anticipated.
In terms of their overall head-to-head record, Aston Villa have won on 69 occasions, Arsenal 84 and there have been 45 draws
The home of Aston Villa has previously staged important fixtures such as England internationals and FA Cup Semi-finals and although Villa Park is not quite as prestigious these days, it is still a venue that is revered.
With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in England, it means there is no longer the need to show a Vaccine Passport before attending the ground. Which means, match tickets are the only item that is required to be produced at the time of writing.
When looking at the Premier League odds for a top-ten finish, Aston Villa could be considered a decent bet. Although should they suffer a second successive league defeat, that stance could likely change.
While when looking at the top-four finish odds, Arsenal’s price would have lengthened after their loss to Liverpool on Wednesday and if they fail to get the better of Villa this weekend, it will likely move further in the wrong direction.