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Premier League Preview: Arsenal - Aston Villa



Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Gibbs
Gervinho, Arteta, Song, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Van Persie

Hutton, Collins, Cuellar, Warnock
Albrighton, Petrov, Bannan, N'Zogbia

Arsenal has no new injury worries to contend with for the clash against Aston Villa, so expect Arsene Wenger to rotate slightly after facing a tough Everton side just three days previously.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho may come in with Theo Walcott and Tomas Rosicky relegated to the bench.

Jack Wilshere (ankle), Abou Diaby (hamstring), Sebastian Squillaci (groin) and Francis Coquelin (hamstring) are nearing a return to fitness, but are not expected to make a comeback before the end of March.

For Alex McLeish, along with Darren Bent being sidelined for the remainder of the season, defenders Richard Dunne (collar) and Ciaran Clarke (knee) will occupy the treatment table until early April.

Unfortunately, McLeish does not have the same squad depth that Wenger enjoys, so the more-or-less the same side who beat Fulham 1-0 last time out could feature. Barry Bannan replacing the inexperienced Chris Herd in the center of midfield could be the only change.

  • The two sides met in the FA Cup in January (pictured right) when Arsenal came from two goals down to win 3-2.
  • Mikel Arteta has the most attempted passes in the Premier League with 1892.
  • Arsenal’s last defeat at the Emirates was the 2-1 loss against Manchester United in January.
  • Aston Villa’s last away victory was in the same weekend, against struggling Wolves.
  • In its last six meetings, Aston Villa has won just once against the Gunners.
  • Aston Villa has managed just one win from its last seven outings in all competitions, but is unbeaten in its last three.
  • The two sides have faced each other 183 times, with Arsenal victorious 74 times, compared to Aston Villa's 65, and 44 meetings ending all square.
  • Robin van Persie is the league's leading scorer, notching 26 goals so far this season.
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