Steven Gerrard‘s Aston Villa host Arsenal at the weekend in Premier League match-day 30. The Gunners are on the back of a defeat at the hands of the Villa manager’s former club Liverpool. The loss at home may have halted Arsenal’s run of five consecutive wins, but they still sit fourth in the table. On the other hand, Villa are 9th in the table and also on the back of a defeat against West Ham.
Aston Villa have endured a mixed run of results since Steven Gerrard’s takeover. However, the former England midfielder has steadied Villa’s ship which was sinking towards relegation. Moreover, the additions of Philippe Coutinho, Lucas Digne, and Calum Chambers in January further boosted Villa’s form. Aston Villa will be looking for a 9th league win under Gerrard on Saturday when they welcome Arsenal. Gerrard will be again hoping that the in-form Coutinho produces his best game against Arsenal.
Aston Villa Premier League Form: L W W W L
Arsenal are simply in fine form. They lost against Liverpool which were playing for the title. However, Arsenal’s solid first-half display against the Reds has to be appreciated. The Gunners are in the driving seat for Champions League qualification and a win against Villa will further cement their place in the top four. Arteta almost has all his players in their top-form, helping the club win 9 out of the last 11 league games. Villa will have to be on their toes all the time if they are to restrict an attack of Martinelli, Odegaard, and Saka.
Arsenal Premier League Form: W W W W L
Aston Villa vs Arsenal: Team News
The Villans’ team news
Aston Villa suffered a fresh injury blow in their last game against West Ham. Lucas Digne came off inside the 10 minutes of kick-off with a hamstring injury. Steven Gerrard confirmed that the left-back will be only available after the international break. Defensive mid-Nakamba will also miss the Arsenal clash since he is nursing a knee injury.
Calum Chambers and Douglas Luiz should be available despite both suffering facial injuries against West Ham. Emiliano Buendia impressed after coming off the bench in the last game, he should be starting for Aston Villa against Arsenal. Ashley Young could cover for the injured Digne at the left-back as he did against the Hammers.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup
Emi Martinez; Matthew Cash, Calum Chambers, Tyrone Mings, Ashley Young; John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Ramsey; Coutinho; Buendia, Ollie Watkins
The Gunners’ team news
Arsenal’s first-choice right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu has upped his recovery after suffering recurring calf injuries. He should be in contention for Saturday’s game but could come off the bench. The rest of the squad is fully fit and Arteta has everybody at his disposal.
Emile Smith Rowe is slowly gaining full match fitness after he recovered from covid. The youngster played a good amount of minutes against Leicester and Liverpool and should be pushing to start against Villa. Odegaard could be rested to manage his workload, handing Smith Rowe a first start since the Burnley game in January.
Arsenal possible starting lineup
Ramsdale; Cedric Soares, Ben White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Smith Rowe, Martinelli; Lacazette
Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal
Arsenal should get back to winning here against Aston Villa. The Gunners will have to earn a hard-fought victory as Villa have been playing some excellent football since the last few games. However, Gerrard’s men would look for counter-attacks as his usual style of high-flying fullbacks could be punished by Arsenal’s Saka and Martinelli. The game holds exciting individual battles in Saka vs Young, Coutinho vs Partey, and Lacazette vs Mings, but Arsenal are clear favorites to bag all three points.
Follow us on Twitter for regular football updates.