Aston Villa vs Arsenal
Ironically for Arsenal, their hosts will have the best keeper on the pitch, ex-Arsenal man Emi Martinez. However, Smith’s defence has shown signs of frailty over the last month or so, conceding in six of their eight matches across all competitions since their final game of 2020.
Moreover, only six teams have picked up fewer points on home turf than the Villians this term, and although they’ve played at least one game fewer than the rest of the league at home due to their Covid outbreak earlier this year, this Arsenal game is hardly going to see them jump up the table.
They have gone a poor W2-D1-L4 across their most recent seven at Villa Park dating back to mid-October, with both of those victories coming against bottom eight sides, while they’ve had more than two goals in six of their last eight here, at an average just shy of four goals per game.
Only Man City (24) have earned more than Arsenal’s 17 points over the last eight matches in the Premier League, and with Villa down in the bottom half of the table on that metric, it could present an angle.
Arteta will know that his team should have capitalised on their chances before letting Wolves back into the game last time out, and with their only setback at goalkeeper, while the attacking prowess of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is added back to the side, they should have what it takes to bounce back this weekend.
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