Arsenal - Aston Villa Preview: Gunners have lost just once to the visitors in their last six meetings
Alex McLeish's side head to the Emirates off the back of only one win in seven matches to face Arsene Wenger's team, but the the Villains are unbeaten in the past three games
By Alex Young
Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs
Gervinho, Arteta, Song, Oxlade-Chamberlain
Hutton, Collins, Cuellar, Warnock
Albrighton, Petrov, Bannan, N'Zogbia
Arsenal have no new injury worries to contend with for the clash against Aston Villa, so expect Arsene Wenger to rotate slightly after facing a tough Everton side just three days previously.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho may come in with Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky relegated to the bench.
Jack Wilshere (ankle), Abou Diaby (hamstring), Sebastian Squillaci (groin) and Francis Coquelin (hamstring) are nearing a return to fitness, but are not expected to make a comeback before the end of March.
For Alex McLeish, along with Darren Bent being sidelined for the remainder of the season, defenders Richard Dunne (collar) and Ciaran Clarke (knee) will occupy the treatment table until early April.
Unfortunately, McLeish does not have the same squad depth that Wenger enjoys, so the more-or-less the same side who beat Fulham 1-0 last time out could feature. Barry Bannan replacing the inexperienced Chris Herd in the centre of midfield could be the only change.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The two sides met in the FA Cup in January (pictured right) when Arsenal came from two goals down to win 3-2.
- Mikel Arteta has the most attempted passes in the Premier League with 1892.
- Arsenal’s last defeat at the Emirates was the 2-1 loss against Manchester United in January.
- Aston Villa’s last away victory was in the same weekend, against strugglers Wolves.
- In their last 6 meetings, Aston Villa have won just once against the Gunners.
- Aston Villa have managed just one win from their last seven outings in all competitions, but are unbeaten in their last three.
- The two sides have faced each other 183 times, with Arsenal victorious 74 times, compared to Aston Villa's 65, and 44 meetings ending all square.
- Robin van Persie is the league's leading scorer, notching 26 goals so far this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa
- 21.74 %
Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa
- 18.65 %
Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa
- 14.98 %
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Jan 13, 2014||Aston Villa 1 - Arsenal 2|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Aug 17, 2013||Arsenal 1 - Aston Villa 3|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Feb 23, 2013||Arsenal 2 - Aston Villa 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 24, 2012||Aston Villa 0 - Arsenal 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Mar 24, 2012||Arsenal 3 - Aston Villa 0|
|Apr 15, 2014||Arsenal 3 - West Ham 1||EPL|
|Apr 12, 2014||Wigan Athletic 1 - Arsenal 1||FA|
|Apr 6, 2014||Everton 3 - Arsenal 0||EPL|
|Mar 29, 2014||Arsenal 1 - Manchester City FC 1||EPL|
|Mar 25, 2014||Arsenal 2 - Swansea 2||EPL|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|
|24||Carlos Javier Cuéllar||Defender|
McLeish's men are desperate for points after the relegation-threatened Blackburn and QPR recently picked up points, but they won't be gaining any of their own at the Emirates this weekend.