Aston Villa will look to extend their run of 14 straight home Premier League victories by seeing off leaders Arsenal on Saturday.
On the back of a 1-0 victory over champions Manchester City at Villa Park, Unai Emery has his sights now set on former club Arsenal, who are riding a six-game winning streak in all competitions, although they did need a 97th-minute winner from Declan Rice to get the better of Luton on Tuesday.
There is a real buzz around Aston Villa after a string of great home results in the Premier League have taken Unai Emery’s side to third in the table.
Champions Manchester City became the 14 straight league opponents to get nothing from a trip to Villa Park on Wednesday and there is a decent chance that Villa will be able to claim another notable scalp when Arsenal head to the Second City on Saturday night.
The Gunners have a two-point lead at the top and while they look to have learned from last season when they provided City with their strongest challenge and led for much of the campaign, there have been a few wobbles on the road lately.
Mikel Arteta’s side needed a 97th-minute goal from England midfielder Declan Rice to rescue a win in a pulsating clash at struggling Luton on Tuesday, and it was a similar story at Brentford before that when Kai Havertz struck to claim the points with the only goal of the game in the closing stages.
Before then, they lost at Newcastle, admittedly to a disputed goal, and drew at Chelsea when they recovered from a two-goal deficit to gain a share of the spoils.
So it could be argued that they could have easily taken only a couple of points from those four matches, and this looks a tough trip against a team riding high after seeing off the champions.
Villa had scored 23 goals in their previous six home matches before their 1-0 win over the champions and Arteta has a big decision to make between the posts as on-loan David Raya has not shone since he took over from England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
There are just too many questions for the Gunners to answer and even if they were the last team to get something from their Villa Park visit in February, there are no guarantees they will repeat that feat on Saturday.
This looks like a game that could live up to the billing, and after they played out a six-goal thriller in February, it would not be a shock if there were plenty of goals in this one.
While Villa’s home form has been exemplary, their opponents have tended to find the net as City were only the second league visitors not to score in the last nine league matches at Villa Park.
Emery’s team had been full of goals before they welcomed the champions, scoring 23 goals in their previous six games on their own patch, so we can expect them to be positive.
And the same is probably applicable to Arsenal too. As leaders they will expect to win every game and they have failed to score in just three of their last 26 Premier League away matches, so they will be confident of at least finding the net.
All this means that there is a strong chance there will be goals, and while the 7/10 about there being at least three will be an attractive bet for many, it is worth going that bit further and taking the 7/4 that there will be at least four.
Unai Emery has the option to keep faith with the team that beat Manchester City. Long-term absentees Bertrand Traore, Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings remain sidelined.
Takehiro Tomiyasu joins Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira, Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber on the sidelines.
Aston Villa have won their last 14 league matches at Villa Park.
Arsenal have failed to score in only three of their last 26 Premier League away matches.
|Aston Villa wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.