Aston Villa is coming off of a disappointing loss to West Ham. Villa’s games in hand are starting to disappear. They need to start racking up points to climb the table. This is a great chance to get on a roll. Arsenal is struggling with injuries in defense and in goal. That gives Villa’s dynamic attack an opportunity to blitz the Gunners and secure three points.
Arsenal’s good run of results came to an end in a chaotic 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers. However, their performances have improved significantly, which continued against Wolves prior to the red card on David Luiz. Though Villa will be a tough test for this new Arsenal, especially with the absence of goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
Arsenal will likely be without Kieran Tierney, Pablo Mari, and Mathew Ryan through various injuries, according to PremierInjuries.com. On top of that Leno and Luiz are suspended after their red cards, leaving third-choice goalkeeper Rúnar Rúnarsson in line to start.
Villa will be missing the services of Wesley and Kortney Hause through long term injuries, according to PremierInjuries.com. Aside from that, Villa is going into the match with a healthy squad.
Aston Villa: Jack Grealish
Grealish is a phenom. He’s having one of the best Premier League seasons in recent memory. He’s second in the league in assists and has carried Villa to the fourth in expected goals per 90 minutes. He’s the biggest reason for Villa’s jump from the relegation fight to the Europa League one.
Arsenal: Bukayo Saka
Saka’s meteoric rise is nearly as incredible as Grealish’s. He’s the Gunners most influential player at just 19-years-old. Since moving him into the front four, Arsenal has been on their best run of form in nearly two years. His creativity is vital to Arsenal’s success, as is the goalscoring he has added since being moved to right-wing.
Aston Villa should be favorites for this match. Arsenal’s suspensions, specifically Leno’s, really damage their chances. On top of that, Villa is a very good team that can take advantage of those absences.
Prediction: 2-1 Aston Villa