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Premier League

  • 13 January 2014
  • • 20:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: N. Swarbrick
  • • Attendance: 36097
1
FT
2

Ladbrokes PaddyPower WilliamHill Tipico
Aston Villa 7.00 6.50 6.50 6.50
Draw 4.50 4.33 4.20 4.40
Arsenal 1.44 1.50 1.50 1.50
Aston Villa - Arsenal Preview: Gunners can return to the top with victory

Aston Villa - Arsenal Preview: Gunners can return to the top with victory

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The hosts beat Arsene Wenger's men at the Emirates on the opening day but have managed just five more wins since and face a visiting side hoping to leapfrog Chelsea

Few would have predicted Arsenal emerging as serious title contenders when they lost 3-1 to Aston Villa on the opening day of the season.

However, as the sides prepare to meet in the reverse fixture at Villa Park on Monday, Arsene Wenger's men have the opportunity to end another round of fixtures as leaders of the Premier League.

The Gunners were knocked off top spot by Chelsea on Saturday, but know three points against Villa will secure a return to the summit.

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12/1 Arsenal are 12/1 with Bet365 to beat Aston Villa 3-1
Villa's shock victory back in August will have provided optimism for the club's fans, but Paul Lambert's men have picked up just five wins in 19 subsequent Premier League fixtures.

However, they halted a five-game winless run by triumphing 1-0 at Sunderland in their last league game.

Villa will be especially keen to pick up a morale-boosting victory on Monday having been dumped out of the FA Cup by League One Sheffield United last weekend.

Arsenal's cup campaign got off to the best possible start as they beat local rivals Tottenham 2-0 last Saturday.

Wenger's side have also won their last three on the bounce in the league, beating West Ham, Newcastle United and Cardiff City.

Arsenal are troubled by a lengthy injury list, though, and go into the Villa game without Theo Walcott, who has been ruled out for the season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, Nicklas Bendtner (ankle) and Abou Diaby (knee).

Kieran Gibbs (calf) and Aaron Ramsey (thigh) remain doubtful, but Wenger is more hopeful over the potential availability of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), who has not featured since Arsenal last faced Villa.

"I wouldn't have any hesitation on playing Oxlade-Chamberlain against Aston Villa," the Frenchman said ahead of the clash.

Ron Vlaar (calf) and Nathan Baker (hamstring) face late fitness tests for Villa, while Gabriel Agbonlahor and Brad Guzan should be fit after shrugging off niggles.

Chris Herd (hamstring) and Joe Bennett (back), who resumed full training on Friday, are likely to remain sidelined.

Libor Kozak (broken leg), Jores Okore (knee) and Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles) are long-term absentees.

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Odds
Returns: Aston Villa £65.00 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Draw £43.30 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Returns: Arsenal £15.00 PaddyPower Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets
Team News
Available Squads
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
2Nathan BakerDefender
4Ron VlaarDefender
6Ciaran ClarkDefender
14LunaDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
8Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
20C. BentekeStriker
13Jed SteerGoalkeeper
7Leandro BacunaMidfielder
12Marc AlbrightonMidfielder
18Yacouba SyllaMidfielder
24Alexandar TonevMidfielder
-Nicklas HeleniusStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
4Per MertesackerDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
17MonrealDefender
10Jack WilshereMidfielder
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
19Santi CazorlaMidfielder
20Mathieu FlaminiMidfielder
12Olivier GiroudStriker
44Serge GnabryStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
9Lukas PodolskiStriker
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
10Chu-Young ParkStriker

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