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Aston Villa vs Arsenal – Preview, Stats & Tips 18/02/2023

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Aston Villa vs Arsenal: Saturday, 12:30pm

Arsenal will be desperate to revitalise their Premier League title ambitions when they travel to Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners, who sat at the top of the table since late August, were knocked off their perch by Manchester City on Wednesday following a 3-1 defeat at The Emirates.

The margin for error at the top of the Premier League is razor thin and Arsenal certainly crossed the threshold with their three-match winless run in the competition.

Mikel Arteta’s men, who slipped up against Everton and Brentford prior to Wednesday’s defeat, will now set their sights on a must-win encounter with Aston Villa.

One area which Arsenal will look to address ahead of kick-off is their leaky defence. The Gunners have failed to keep a single clean sheet in their last five games across all competitions, conceding eight goals in the process.

There are also issues on the other side of the field. Arteta’s men have scored just two goals in their last four games – including one from the penalty spot.

Aston Villa are also struggling for form having lost back-to-back games in the Premier League.

The Villans were emphatically beaten by Leicester City at the start of the month before losing 3-1 to Man City at The Etihad.

Unai Emery’s men have kept just two clean sheets since returning to action from the World Cup break – not an ideal stat when you’re preparing to take on the second-best attacking side in the competition.

Despite this, Emery will be determined for his side to put on a good showing against his old employers.

The Spaniard was sacked by Arsenal in late 2019 after winning 43 of his 78 matches in charge of the club.

Emery could now plot the perfect revenge, considering victory over the Gunners this weekend could have serious implications for their title bid.

When it comes to the head-to-head record, Arsenal and Villa have both picked up three victories from the last six meetings.

Arteta’s men are on a three-match winning run when it comes to this particular fixture, though considering the pressure cooker at the top of the table is beginning to ramp up, our tip is to back the draw.

Villa have scored 17 league goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League fixtures this season, and a fast start against a nervy Arsenal side could see that run continue.

With that in mind, we’re backing Aston Villa to score first at Villa Park.

Key stats

  • Arsenal are winless in February
  • Arsenal are without a clean sheet in five games (all comps)
  • Arsenal have scored one goal from open play in four games
  • Arsenal have won their last three games against Aston Villa
  • Aston Villa scored 17 goals in the opening 15 minutes of Premier League games this season

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