On May 15th, Aston Villa travel to the Emirates Stadium for their last Premier League match for at least a year. Villa have already been relegated from the Premier League for the first time in their history. With only three wins and 17 points from their first 37 games, Villa are in serious danger of being the first team not to reach 20 points since Portsmouth in 2009/2010.
In terms of league position, Arsenal are playing for whether they’ll finish second, third, or fourth. In terms of pride, they have everything to play for as they need a win against Villa to keep their hopes of finishing above Tottenham for the 21st season in a row. Check out the latest football accumulators to bet on whether Arsenal can finish above Spurs!
After having a fully fit squad for the first time in a long time, Arsenal have already picked up a few injuries. Danny Welbeck is out for at least nine months after having knee surgery last week. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had a set back that will keep him out until the middle of the summer and Per Mertesakcer will miss out with a hamstring injury.
Jordan Amavi is the only player that will certainly miss out for Villa as he continues to rehab his torn ACL. Rudy Gestede, Jordan Veretout, Alan Hutton, Ciaran Clark, and Rudy Gestede are all injury doubts as well.
If Aston Villa fail to win they’ll have the lowest points tally by a Premier League team since the infamous Derby County team of 2007/2008. Only Manchester United have conceded fewer goals at home this season than Arsenal. Villa have scored fewer goals than any other team in the league this season, and have conceded more than any other team.
In the last four meetings between the two sides, Arsenal have won by a combined score of 14-0. The last time Villa beat Arsenal was the opening day of 2013/2014 with a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez
After a poor start to the season, Alexis Sanchez has picked up his form in the last few weeks and has looked like his old self. The Chilean has scored six goals in his last seven games and has helped Arsenal keep themselves in the top three. Since moving back to the right wing against Everton, Sanchez has contributed to a goal in six of the eight games and contributed to more than one in two of the eight games. Arsenal have struggled to score goals at times this season, but Sanchez has pulled them out of a few tough games recently with his moments of brilliance.
Aston Villa: Jordan Ayew
Villa have scored fewer goals than any other team in the Premier League. They have been unable to replace Christian Benteke’s goals from last season. Jordan Ayew has done the best job of attempting to replace Benteke leading the team with seven goals. His goals have helped Villa get the few points they have. It won’t be enough to get them anywhere near safety, but a win against Arsenal would put a nice end on a terrible season.
Arsenal should win this game. Villa are one of the worst Premier League teams in recent memory, and, while Arsenal have had a disappointing season, they should still be able to beat Villa.
Prediction: 2-0 Arsenal