Arsenal need to rebound after an awful result against Watford last week. They blew a 2-0 lead and conceded a record number of shots to the team at the bottom of the table. They’ll be back at the Emirates this week against newly promoted Aston Villa. If they can’t bounce back in this fixture, the season could go south very quickly.
Aston Villa have struggled in their return to the Premier League with only four points in five matches. They were unable to beat 10-man West Ham on Monday after losing to Crystal Palace prior to the international break. They’ll need to get some points against the top sides after dropping some winnable ones. There’s no better time to start doing that than now.
Arsenal will continue to miss star striker Alexandre Lacazette through an ankle injury. Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney will both miss out after playing for the under-23s on Friday. Sead Kolasinac is a doubt after picking up a knock against Frankfurt.
Villa will be without striker Jonathan Kodjia and centerback James Chester. They could see the return of Matt Targett from his thigh injury.
Arsenal: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Arsenal’s only bright spot in the Watford match was Aubameyang. He scored twice to give them their two goal lead, his fourth and fifth goals of the season. He has scored five of Arsenal’s eight league goals this season and 10 in his last 10 league matches. Hes one of the best strikers in the league and Arsenal need his goals. They’ve shown they cannot defend, so they’ll need to just outscore teams. Aubameyang is the only way they do that with Lacazette out.
Aston Villa: John McGinn
Arsenal were torn apart in midfield last week. With that in mind, a busy midfielder such as McGinn could thrive against the Gunners. He leads Villa in shots taken and is their only player with both a goal and an assist. If Villa are going to win it will be because they won the midfield battle. McGinn will need to be at the top of his game for that to happen.
Arsenal are a much better team at home than on the road, so they should be able to win here. They haven’t been convincing this season, but they should have enough to beat Villa.
Prediction: 3-1 Arsenal