Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Arsenal vs Aston Villa in the Premier League on Friday Night Football; kick-off 8pm.
It remains to be seen if Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette will be rewarded for his late goal against Crystal Palace with a recall for the Aston Villa clash.
Bukayo Saka’s fitness will be assessed ahead. The England winger was forced off at half-time in Monday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace after being kicked on his calf, although he is expected to be in contention to play some part.
Granit Xhaka (knee) is the only certain absentee for Mikel Arteta’s side, with Alexandre Lacazette pushing for a first league start of the season having scored off the bench last time out.
“We have two or three players that finished the game with some issues,” Arteta said on Thursday.
“He (Saka) hasn’t trained yet so we have to assess him and see how he is. It is down to the doctors and see how he recovers, see how he is today and tomorrow.”
Aston Villa will have Matty Cash available after he was forced off against Wolves. The defender came off late in the derby defeat with a dead leg but is fit for the trip to the Emirates.
Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore are available after their hamstring injuries while Keinan Davis has also returned to training. Trezeguet (knee) remains a long-term absentee.
How to follow
Arsenal vs Aston Villa is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 7pm; kick-off 8pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Last time out…
- Arsenal – who faced Aston Villa in the first ever competitive game at the Emirates Stadium – have lost four of their last 10 home league games against the Villans (W6). The Gunners have only lost more league games at their new ground against Man City (5) and Chelsea (6).
- Aston Villa have won their last three Premier League meetings with Arsenal, as many as they had in their previous 36 against them in the competition (W3 D9 L24). They last won four consecutive league games against the Gunners in September 1962.
- Each of the last nine Premier League meetings between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates has seen at least three goals scored. The only specific fixture to see a longer such run in the competition is Manchester City at home to Newcastle – 11 times between 2007 and 2020.
- Arsenal had won seven of their nine Premier League games on a Friday before the beginning of last season (D2). Since then, however, the Gunners have lost each of their last two such fixtures at home to Everton (0-1) and away to Brentford (0-2) on the opening day this season.
- Of the 12 Premier League sides to have featured at least 10 times in the Premier League on a Friday, only Leicester (1/12) and Spurs (2/11) have a lower win % in such fixtures than Aston Villa (2/10), beating Spurs 4-1 in December 1997 and Everton 2-0 in August 2019.
- Aston Villa have lost five of their last eight away league games (W3), as many as they had in their previous 17 on the road (W7 D5 L5). Meanwhile, the Villans have never won a Premier League away game on a Friday before (D2 L2).
- Ollie Watkins scored three of Aston Villa’s four goals against Arsenal in the Premier League last season, with these goals coming from just five shots on target for the striker.
- Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has won 75% of his Premier League meetings with Arsenal (3/4) – of all managers to have faced the Gunners at least four times in the competition, only Pep Guardiola has a better win rate against them (91%).
- Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in each of his last three Premier League games at the Emirates Stadium. In total, he’s netted 42 Premier League goals at the Emirates, with only Robin van Persie netting more at the ground in the competition (46).
- In his 23-minute appearance against Crystal Palace last time out, Alexandre Lacazette had more shots on target (2) and created more chances (2) than any other Arsenal player in the match. The Frenchman is averaging a goal or assist every 46 minutes in all competitions this season (3 goals, 1 assist, 185 minutes played).