Arsenal v Aston Villa Predictions, Betting Tips and Previews
September 18, 2019
Emirates Stadium - Premier League
Arsenal host Aston Villa Sunday afternoon, desperate for a win after a poor showing in the Premier League so far this season. The Villains have held their own so far this campaign, but have failed to win their last two matches, and are underdogs again this weekend.
Arsenal haven't lost against Aston Villa since 2013, with their most recent game finishing 4-0 thanks to an Oliver Giroud hattrick and a late own goal from Mark Bunn.
Unai Emery is likely to make changes following Arsenal's poor performance against Watford. Mesut Ozil is expected to drop out of the starting line-up, with Joe Willock potentially stepping in to add enthusiasm in midfield. Hector Bellerin and Keiron Tierney may both be fit to make an appearance from the bench, with both full-backs in full-training.
Dean Smith is not expected to make too many chances from the side that drew at West Ham, although may be concerned with the poor goal-scoring record of striker, Wesley. Jonathan Kodja is waiting in the wings, but at this early stage of the season, is unlikely to get his chance from the first whistle.
Arsenal v Aston Villa Predictions and Previews
Arsenal are heavy favourites going into Sunday's game against Aston Villa, although may not be as confident as expected. A tough mid-week fixture, and a run of winless games in the League could well play a psychological toll on the Gunners.
Villa, on the other hand, will be pumped up following a hard-fought draw against West Ham in the week. Many expected the Hammers side, much stronger on paper, to dominate the game, but the valiant efforts of Dean Smith's side prevailed, before the game was turned on its head with Arthur Masuaku's red card.
In fact, the Villains boss may have been disappointed that his side failed to win themselves, up against ten men. This difficulty to score has proved a common theme in the early-season's games, with the Birmingham-based side also failing to hit the back on the net in the previous game against Crystal Palace. Whilst defending a narrow lead, or hoping for a goalless draw may work against the League's lower sides, defending against the likes of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang is a very different proposal.
Even with Arsenal's recent struggles, Emery will be confident that the quality of his offensive players will see the Gunners score a few goals on Sunday. The problem for Arsenal is in the other phase of the game, with the back-line looking utterly devoid of confidence, and the midfield failing to provide adequate cover. Granit Xhake, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi are all more than happy to play as deep lying midfielders, but none are traditional defensive-midfielders, as happy off the ball as they are on it.
Villa's midfield is undoubtedly their strongest position on the pitch, and, if they can win the battle there, they could manage to negate Arsenal's powerful front line. Fortunately for Emery, Dean's own strike force looks like it will struggle to cause too many problems even for Arsenal's shaky defence.
With neither side looking their best, a single flash of quality could open the game up, and Arsenal are undoubtedly the side with more natural ability.
Aubameyang to score anytime at 4/6
The Gabon striker is playing in his preferred central attacking role, and is in top form.
Under 2.5 goals scored at 7/4
Arsenal's attacking threats are limited at the moment, and Villa may be able to keep them quiet, if offering little themselves.