Aston Villa threw away a two-goal lead last weekend against Wolves but they will be hoping to bounce back on Friday when they face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Villa are just one point behind the Gunners on the Premier League table and since they are sitting on the 13th spot, a win on Friday could take them to the top half of the table. Dean Smith’s side will also go into this game with a lot of confidence since they have won their previous three meetings with Arsenal.
Having said that though, the home side are in pretty fine nick right now, not losing in their previous five league matches so Aston Villa will have to sweat it out if they wish to pick up all three points.
Dean Smith has a few injury concerns to deal with so he will be reluctant to make too many changes to his line up which started the game against Wolves.
Aston Villa team news vs Arsenal:
Emi Martinez started for Villa on the weekend less than 24 hours after landing in the UK from South America. This means he’s totally injury-free and is a guaranteed starter against his former side.
Axel Tuanzebe was very average against Wolves but the Aston Villa manager will stick with him in that three-man defensive line alongside Konsa and Tyrone Mings.
Morgan Sanson finally returned from injury but remained an unused sub last weekend. The 27-year-old will be hoping to get a start against the Gunners but we think Dean Smith will opt against this idea.
The pairing of Douglas Luiz and John McGinn performed really well in that 2-3 loss so the manager will not want to tinker with that on Friday.
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Emi Buendia will start as the attacking midfielder with Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins pairing up as the two front men.
Leon Bailey is still recovering from his thigh injury but the Aston Villa boss has hinted that he could make a comeback vs Arsenal.
Smith said, as quoted: “Leon Bailey’s hasn’t ticked all the right boxes for the medical staff yet. We’re hopeful he’ll be ready for the Arsenal game. Sanson and Davis are back in full training now.”
But we think even if Bailey is fit he will only get a place on the bench as Dean Smith will be indecisive about throwing him into the starting XI against a team like Arsenal.
Aston Villa predicted line up vs Arsenal:
Predicted Starting Line up: Martinez; Konsa, Tuanzebe, Tyrone Mings; McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Cash, Targett; Buendia, Danny Ings, Watkins.