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Premier League

  • March 24, 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Emirates Stadium, London
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 60108

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



Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs
Gervinho, Arteta, Song, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Van Persie

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.

  • 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.

Players to watch

A. Ramsey

Position: Midfielder

Games: 5

  • 0
  • 1
  • 0
The Welshman has struggled to fill the Jack Wilshere void in the midfield this season and had another poor game against Everton with slack passing and poor finishing in front of goal. So, as the cliche goes, he is due a good game. Keep an eye on him against Aston Villa.

C. N'Zogbia

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Like with Ramsey, N'Zogbia has struggled for from this season. After, more-or-less, singlehandily keeping Wigan up last season the winger has failed to reproduce the same form under McLeish. However, the Frenchman will no doubt be keen to impress against his one-time admirers after performing well against them in recent seasons.

Editor's Prediction

Despite having a rely on a poor refereeing decision to beat Everton on Wednesday, you cannot argue with Arsenal's recent form.

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.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Aston Villa


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
Arsenal FC Arsenal
Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa

Top 3 Predictions

Arsenal FC ARS
3 - 0
Aston Villa FC AST
Arsenal FC ARS
3 - 1
Aston Villa FC AST
Arsenal FC ARS
2 - 0
Aston Villa FC AST