thumbnail Hello,
Live

Premier League

  • August 17, 2013
  • • 17:00
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 60003
1
FT
3

Arsenal - Aston Villa Preview: Gunners hope for winning start to ease frustrating transfer window

Arsenal - Aston Villa Preview: Gunners hope for winning start to ease frustrating transfer window

API

Arsene Wenger's men host the Villans having added just one player, French youngster Yaya Sanogo, to their ranks, while the visitors have managed to hold on to Christian Benteke

Arsenal will look to put their transfer troubles behind them with an opening day Premier League victory against Aston Villa on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger's side have been continually frustrated in the transfer market, missing out on several of their targets, including Gonzalo Higuain and Clement Grenier.

The Gunners continue to be frustrated in their pursuit of Liverpool's Luis Suarez, and they have made just one signing since last season ended - French forward Yaya Sanogo.

The 20-year-old - who joined on a free transfer from Ligue 2 outfit Auxerre - did impress during the club's pre-season campaign, although he is suffering from a hamstring injury currently.

Headlining the departure list at the Emirates Stadium in the close-season was Russian attacker Andrey Arshavin, while Gervinho, Andre Santos, Denilson and Marouane Chamakh have also left the club.

ARSENAL LATEST
8/1 Christian Benteke is 8/1 with bet365 to open the scoring against Arsenal
Arsenal - who finished fourth last term and will be involved in the Uefa Champions League for a 16th consecutive season - have enjoyed a good lead up to the campaign, winning five of their seven friendlies.

France international striker Olivier Giroud has scored eight goals in pre-season, while Theo Walcott added four.

Walcott - who was the club's top Premier League scorer in 2012-13 with 14 goals - enjoyed more of a regular role as striker following the departure of Robin van Persie and is in good pre-season form.

The 24-year-old scored in England's 3-2 friendly win over Scotland on Wednesday but is a doubt for his club's opener after leaving the field with a knee problem in the latter stages.

"I had to come off with a little bit of a swollen knee so fingers crossed I can rest up and I'll be alright for Saturday. This is a big year for Arsenal and myself," Walcott said.

One Arsenal player who will miss out is midfielder Mikel Arteta, who suffered a thigh injury in training this week and will be on the sidelines for around a month.

Arteta's compatriot, Santi Cazorla, scored one and set up another in Spain's 2-0 friendly win against Ecuador on Wednesday and could be in Wenger's starting XI, though he has had to fly back from South America.

After being sucked into a relegation fight last season, Paul Lambert's Aston Villa will welcome the beginning of the new campaign.

Villa's best piece of business during the summer saw them keep hold of in-demand Belgian forward Christian Benteke.

The 22-year-old - who scored 19 goals in his debut Premier League season - handed in a transfer request but later revoked it and signed a new deal to the delight of the Villa Park faithful.

Lambert has been active in the transfer window, bringing in Jores Okore, Aleksandar Tonev, Antonio Luna, Nicklas Helenius and Leandro Bacuna to bolster the depth of his squad.

Meanwhile, Jean Makoun returned to France, and Richard Dunne and Brett Holman left the club on free transfers.

Villa - who finished 15th last term - saw their pre-season start poorly, with four draws and one loss, but they have won their last four, including a 3-2 win against Malaga last Saturday.

Arsenal have a good recent record against Villa, winning three of the last four Premier League meetings, but they will hope to avoid a repeat of their 2-1 home defeat to the Midlands side in May 2011.

Thomas Vermaelen, Nacho Monreal (both back) and Abou Diaby (knee) will definitely miss the game, while Bacary Sagna and Aaron Ramsey (both ankle) are also in doubt for Arsenal.

Villa's bill of health is cleaner, although Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles) will not feature.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Sep 20, 2014 Aston Villa 0 - Arsenal FC 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Jan 13, 2014 Aston Villa 1 - Arsenal FC 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Aug 17, 2013 Arsenal FC 1 - Aston Villa 3
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Feb 23, 2013 Arsenal FC 2 - Aston Villa 1
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
England - Premier League ‎(EPL)‎ Nov 24, 2012 Aston Villa 0 - Arsenal FC 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Wojciech SzczesnyGoalkeeper
3Bacary SagnaDefender
4Per MertesackerDefender
6Laurent KoscielnyDefender
28Kieran GibbsDefender
7Tomas RosickyMidfielder
10Jack WilshereMidfielder
16Aaron RamseyMidfielder
12Olivier GiroudStriker
14Theo WalcottStriker
15Alex Oxlade-ChamberlainStriker
21Lukasz FabianskiGoalkeeper
25Carl Jenkinson Defender
19Santi CazorlaMidfielder
35Emmanuel FrimpongMidfielder
9Lukas PodolskiStriker
22Yaya SanogoStriker
44Serge GnabryStriker
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
4Ron VlaarDefender
27LunaDefender
2Nathan BakerDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
6Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
20C. BentekeStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
31Jed SteerGoalkeeper
5Jores OkoreDefender
6Ciaran ClarkDefender
7Leandro BacunaMidfielder
24Alexandar TonevMidfielder
-Nicklas HeleniusStriker
21Jordan Nathaniel BoweryStriker

From the web