Aston Villa vs Arsenal Prediction: Emery to exact revenge over old side

 | December 08 | 

4 mins read

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Unai Emery has enjoyed a stellar 13-plus months in charge of Aston Villa, but the crowning moment of his time so far was surely achieved on Wednesday when his side dominated Manchester City in a 1-0 win that doesn't begin to tell the story of the game. Villa face another test of their talents on Saturday evening (17:30), when Arsenal attempt to be the first team to take points off them at Villa Park.

Mikel Arteta's side had to work for the three points at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday, requiring a stoppage-time winner from Declan Rice to down Luton Town 4-3. A reunion with former Gunners boss Emery is made even tastier by the proximity of the clubs in the table; Villa can move to within a point of the leaders, if they make it eight out of eight wins at home this weekend.

Aston Villa vs Arsenal Betting Tips:

  • Aston Villa to win and over 2.5 goals @ 18/5
  • Aston Villa 5+ shots on target @ 11/8

Team News

Emery sprung a surprise with his team selection in midweek, opting to start Moussa Diaby and Matty Cash on the bench for a second successive game. Ezri Konsa has now started back-to-back games at right-back, while the decision to persevere with Leon Bailey - who has scored two in as many games - looks inspired.

The Spaniard must now decide whether to keep faith with a winning team or make changes with just two days rest between games. If he does opt to utilise his squad, Cash, Diaby, Alex Moreno and Jacob Ramsey are at the front of the queue to come in as starters.

Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings are long-term injury absentees.

Arsenal have the benefit of a day's extra rest, but a lacklustre display against the Hatters leaves the team open for changes. Oleksandr Zinchenko, Leandro Trossard and Jorginho are all waiting in the wings for the Gunners, who are still without Emile Smith Rowe, Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Fabio Vieira and Jurrien Timber.

Team News

Are Aston Villa undervalued at 12/5 to win on Saturday? Arsenal came second in last season's Premier League and have won their last two games at Villa Park, so perhaps their tag of favourites (21/20) is justified. The draw, meanwhile, can be found at 13/5.

Both teams to score has landed in five of seven league games at Villa Park this term, and it's 4/7 to happen again this weekend.

Aston Villa to win and over 2.5 goals @ 18/5

Villa kept up their perfect winning run at Villa Park on Wednesday, but one statistic did fall - Wednesday was the first Premier League game this season where they failed to score at least three goals.

It wasn't for the want of trying, though, as they created 2.04 xG from 22 shots, and really should have scored more. They've still scored at least three more than any other side at home, despite playing a game fewer than half of the division.

Arsenal's defensive record away from the Emirates Stadium was admirable in their first six games, as they only conceded three goals, but that tally was doubled in Bedfordshire this week against a lowly Luton side.

That should give added confidence to the Villa attack, but Emery will be mindful that they can be caught at the back. Their clean sheet against City was just their second at Villa Park, while Arsenal have only failed to score once on their travels.

I think the energy at the stadium will just see Villa past their opponents, giving Emery his first win over the Gunners since his sacking in November 2019, but there should be goals in this one, just like there was last season when Arsenal ran out 4-2 winners in this fixture.

Aston Villa 5+ shots on target @ 11/8

It was raining shots for Villa against City on Wednesday, as they registered a whopping 22 compared to the paltry two served up by the reigning champions. Seven of those efforts were on target for the home side, who have had at least five shots on target in all seven Premier League games at home.

Arsenal have only conceded five shots on target in a single away game once this season - the 2-2 draw at Chelsea in October - but of the six shots they allowed on Tuesday, Luton hit the target with four of them. The Gunners have also allowed five shots on their goal in home matches against Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur.

With Villa Park sure to be rocking for a second time this week on Saturday evening, I think Villa will pepper the opposition's goal once again, particularly given the question marks surrounding Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya.

In Leon Bailey, Ollie Watkins, Douglas Luiz and Youri Tielemans, Emery has players at his disposal that will shoot on sight.

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips on our Football homepage.

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