Aston Villa faces a tough match on Saturday Nov. 24 as they take on Arsenal in an English Premier League encounter at Villa Park. Arsenal has been in pretty good form lately with a 5-2 win against 10-man Tottenham last weekend at home at Emirates Stadium and then following it up with another home win by beating French club Montpellier 2-0 in a Champions League showdown.
However, Arsenal still sits in sixth place in the league with five wins, four draws and three losses for 19 points. They have 23 goals for and 13 against. Villa hasn’t been faring too well this season and they sit in the relegation zone in 18th place. Villa has totaled just nine points in 12 games so far with two wins, three draws and seven losses. They’ve managed just 10 goals for and have allowed 22 against. Arsenal has two wins, a draw and two losses in their last five league games while Villa has one win, one draw and three losses.
The clean sheet against Montpellier on Wednesday was Arsenal’s first in about a month. This shows the club is struggling defensively even though it can still score its fair share of goals. The Gunners’ attack is spearheaded by Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, and Lukas Podolski this season and it’s a pretty formidable one. Arsenal often struggles against some of the Premier League’s lesser lights though and they need to make sure they’re properly motivated for this match against Villa.
Villa needs as many points as they can get or they face the possibility of being relegated at the end of the season. They might find Arsenal has tightened up defensively though since it looks like defender Kieran Gibbs could be back in the lineup for the London team and Polish international Wojciech Szczesny will likely get his second straight start in goal, sending Italian keeper Vito Mannone back to the bench.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be hoping that Walcott is healthy enough to play, but the team will likely be missing midfielder Tomas Rosicky as well as Abou Diaby and Andre Santos. Villa will be without Richard Dunne, Chris Herd, Charles N’Zogbia, and Joe Bennett. On the bright side, English international striker Darren Bent is expected to return to the squad after being sidelined with an injury.
Villa has had a tough time against Arsenal at home and they haven’t’ been able to beat them in the last 14 years at Villa Park. Ironically, they play better in London and managed to take all three points home with them last season from Emirates Stadium, but their last home win over them came way back in 1998 with a 3-2 score line. Villa manager Paul Lambert won’t be on the sidelines for this game since he received a game suspension after Villa’s 5-0 loss to Man City last weekend for improper conduct.
While Arsenal often makes it hard on themselves against weaker opponents, they should still be able to leave Villa Park with all three points on Saturday.
Sportsbook William Hill shows the latest odds on the match to be 4/1 for an Aston Villa win with an Arsenal victory at 4/6 and a draw at 5/2.