Arsenal will be hoping to continue their momentum run form when they face Aston Villa in their penultimate Premier League game of the season on Tuesday evening.
The extended Matchday 37 of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign continues into the mid-week, as teams that involved in the FA Cup semi-finals return to top-flight action. North London outfit are one of such club, as they go head-to-head with Aston Villa at Villa Park, looking to continue their quest for a finish in the European spots.
Despite spending over £100million in summer transfer window after return to Premier League, Aston Villa have endured a underwhelming campaign, sit 18th on the table, three points from safety.
Since resumption of the campaign, the Villans have lost four at of seven league games, win one and draw two, their latest draw was against Everton at Goodison Park last week Thursday.
Despite the Villans have impressed with their fighting spirit, the fact that they have one of the worst defensive units in the league coupled with a somewhat goal-shy attack has meant that they have been mired in the relegation battle.
Arsenal, meanwhile, have endured a underwhelmed campaign themselves but have improved under Mikel Arteta, who replaced Unai Emery as north London outfit head coach.
The Gunners are 10th on the table presently, but can still finish as high as 6th if they win their remaining league games. Even the alternate route to the Europa League is also possible after they reached the FA Cup final by beating defending champions Manchester City this past weekend.
The reverse fixture, played at the Emirates back in September last year, ended in a late come-from-behind 3-2 win for Arsenal, who were also down to ten men for half the game. Ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, Sportarena takes a closer look at the Premier League clash.
Team News & Tactics
Dean Smith has seen his squad’s injury woes improve ahead of the visit of Arsenal. On Tuesday, the Aston Villa manager will have just four first-team players unavailable, with Danny Drinkwater and Kortney Hause recovering from their respective injury troubles.
Those who will miss oaut for Villa against Arsenal are Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels andWesley, with Neil Taylor a major doubt and unlikely to be risked, as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury. In Taylor’s absence, Matt Targett will be deployed as the left-back for the hosts.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Reina; Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, Hourihane, McGinn; Trezeguet, Samatta, Grealish
Unlike his counterpart in the Aston Villa dugout, Mikel Arteta has been hampered by a few fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Birmingham.
On Tuesday, the Arsenal boss is likely to be without as many six first-team players. Pablo Mari is done for the season due to an ankle injury he sustained last month, while Gabriel Martinelli is unlikely to play another game in 2020. In addition, Bernd Leno and Calum Chambers are sidelined as well, but are closing in on their returns.
Finally, Shkodran Mustafi is unlikely to be risked after he sustained a minor injury this past weekend against Manchester City. Mesut Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi, meanwhile, are two players who are out of favour with Arteta and will play no part against Aston Villa.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Martinez, Holding, Luiz, Kolasinac; Cedric, Torreira, Xhaka, Saka; Pepe, Nketiah, Aubameyang
- Aston Villa are without a win against Arsenal in 17 Premier League home fixtures (D7 L10), since a 3-2 triumph on 13 December 1998. The Villans have also lost each of their last six top-flight games against the Gunners.
- Aston Villa have lost 21 of their 36 Premier League fixtures this season. They have only lost more than 20 Premier League matches on one other occasion, when they were relegated in the 2015/16 season.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in 18 of their 20 matches against teams below them in the Premier League table this season (W10 D8 L2). Both defeats were against Brighton & Hove Albion.
- Aston Villa have not beaten a ‘Big Six’ side (D2 L22) since a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on 11 April 2015.
- Nicolas Pepe has been involved in 17 goals in all competitions for Arsenal this season (8 goals, 9 assists) – only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (27) has been involved in more.
Despite endured a miserable at starting of his life at Emirates, as the season has progressed, Nicolas Pepe has started finding his feet and making a more visible impact.
Especially since resumption of the campaign, the 25-year-old has become one of major threatening of Mikel Arteta’s side opponents.
On song against Manchester City, Nicolas Pepe is starting to come into form at just the right stage of the season, as Arsenal look to end their campaign with a trophy and European qualification. Now is the time for the 25-year-old go on a run, the first game being against Aston Villa.