Aston Villa vs Arsenal preview: Luiz, Leno suspended

Team news and stats ahead of Aston Villa vs Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm.

Team news

Kortney Hause remains sidelined for Aston Villa. The defender is unlikely to return before the end of the month after suffering a foot injury.

Wesley is continuing his recovery from a long-term knee injury but the striker is not close to a return following 13 months out.

Arsenal will be without suspended duo Bernd Leno and David Luiz after the pair were sent off in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Wolves.

Goalkeeper Mat Ryan could make his debut by stepping in for Leno but has been struggling with a hip problem so Alex Runarsson will also be on standby.

There may be a return to the starting line-up for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but there are still fitness concerns over Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari (all calf) as Martin Odegaard pushes for his full debut.

How to follow

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A look ahead to matchweek 23 in the Premier League and some of the key stats surrounding this rounds set of fixtures

Follow the game in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Jones Knows’ prediction

My faith in Aston Villa being a genuine top-six contender is wavering. Villa have lost four of their last six Premier League games – as many as they had in their previous 18. Have teams worked out how to stop their clever interchanges through midfield? In their last two matches, Villa have only registered 15 shots and conceded 39 on their goal.

Arsenal won’t be affording them much space either in this one. According to expected goals conceded data, their season tally of 11.48 away from home ranks them as the fourth-best defence in the league. This is even more impressive considering they’ve already played Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United on the road this season.

This one looks set to be a low-scoring affair settled by a fine margin. I’m on the fence with the result.

An angle to attack at an appealing price is Ollie Watkins to have a header on target with Sky Bet at 4/1. Only Patrick Bamford (22), Aleksandar Mitrovic (19) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (18) have had more headers on goal than the in-form Watkins this season with five of those hitting the target. He managed to score a header in the reverse fixture, too.


BETTING ANGLE: Ollie Watkins to have a headed shot on target (4/1 with Sky Bet)

Opta stats

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from West Ham’s win against Aston Villa
  • Aston Villa haven’t completed a league double over Arsenal since the first Premier League season in 1992/93 under Ron Atkinson, winning 1-0 in both games.
  • Arsenal haven’t lost three league games in a row against Aston Villa since November 1993, when they lost their first three Premier League encounters with the Villans.
  • Arsenal have failed to score in their last two league matches against Aston Villa, managing just two shots on target across those games, both in their 0-3 defeat earlier this season.
  • Aston Villa have lost four of their last six Premier League games (W2), as many as they had in their previous 18 in the competition (W10 D4 L4).
  • Arsenal lost their last match against Wolves, ending a seven-game unbeaten run for the Gunners in the Premier League (W5 D2). They last lost consecutive league games in November/December, a run of three which began with defeat to Wolves.
  • Aston Villa have conceded on average 1.6 goals per Premier League home game this season (14 goals in 9 games), in contrast to their away form which has seen them ship just 0.9 goals per game (10 in 11).

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Wolves’ win against Arsenal
  • Since Mikel Arteta’s first game in charge of Arsenal in December 2019, the Gunners have had more Premier League red cards than any other side (9). Arsenal saw both David Luiz and Bernd Leno sent off in their last league match against Wolves.
  • Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins netted twice at the Emirates earlier this season against Arsenal in their 3-0 Premier League win – only Didier Drogba has ever scored 2+ goals in consecutive Premier League games against the Gunners, doing so in the 2009/10 season.
  • Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez kept a clean sheet in his first Premier League appearance against Arsenal earlier this season; the only two goalkeepers to keep clean sheets in their first two Premier League appearances against a club they’ve previously appeared for in the competition are Shaka Hislop vs Newcastle (1998-99) and Mark Schwarzer vs Middlesbrough (2008-09).
  • Arsenal’s Nicolas Pépé has scored in each of his last three away games in the Premier League, having scored in just two of his first 18 on the road in the competition. The last Arsenal player to score in four straight away league games was Olivier Giroud between September-November 2015.

Pitch to Post Preview – Liverpool v Man City special: Jamie Carragher’s verdict, team news & line-ups, and the standout stats

In this week’s Pitch to Post Preview Podcast Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher joins Peter Smith for an in-depth look at Sunday’s big clash between Liverpool and Man City.

Carragher gives his verdict on whether Liverpool can recover in the title race after their defeat to Brighton – and what they will have to do to beat Man City in their must-win match at Anfield.

We also hear the latest from both clubs, with Sky Sports News reporters Vinny O’Connor and Ben Ransom sharing the team news and discussing the selection issues ahead of the game.

And Sky Sports stats star Matt Cheetham has the numbers behind the five key areas of the game, so listen in and impress your mates with his stats and facts! He also makes his Pitch for what will happen in the match – and reveals whether the data backs up the predictions made by some of Sky Sports’ Twitter followers!

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