Premier League: Aston Villa vs Arsenal

Premier League: Aston Villa vs Arsenal

It’s a busy time in the Premier League, with games mid-week and on the weekend. After a busy matchday 15 slate on Wednesday and Thursday, we’re back in action on Saturday. Among several fixtures is a critical clash between league leaders Arsenal and high-flying Aston Villa, who are just four points off the North Londoners. The kick-off is scheduled for 12:30 PM EST at Villa Park. The Gunners are coming off a thrilling 4-3 victory over newly promoted Luton Town thanks to a dramatic Declan Rice winner. As for the Lions, they just beat Man City, easily their most impressive victory of the campaign.

Quick Take

  • Arsenal face Aston Villa on Saturday
  • The Gunners are a road favorite
  • Below, find the match preview

H2H history

Recent history is certainly on Arsenal’s side only. They’ve won four in a row against Villa, but the Lions did notch three consecutive victories before that between July 2020 and February 2021. Last term, Arsenal beat Villa 4-2 and 2-1. However, the hosts are a perfect 7-0-0 on home soil in 2023-24. Something to keep in mind on Saturday.

Arsenal flying high

Yes, Arsenal was in top spot for a lot of last season as well, but something feels different this time around. Man City doesn’t look like the same side as the past and Mikel Arteta’s men will surely learn from their mistakes. The Gunners are 11-3-1, having bagged 33 goals in 15 games while conceding just 14 times. The North Londoners have also won six straight matches across all competitions.

Although Luton gave Arsenal a serious run for their money, the quality did shine through. The Gunners had 67% of the ball and 23 total attempts, with nine hitting the target. Gabriel Jesus, Kai Havertz, Gabriel Martinelli, and Rice all hit the back of the net. The Gunners are two points clear of second-place Liverpool. There’s a very nice mix of players producing the goods in the final third for this squad, too. Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka have five goals apiece, while the latter has also tallied six assists. Arsenal’s recent form against Villa is certainly a good sign, but they cannot take the hosts for granted or their former boss, Unai Emery. The Gunners are a slim +100 favorite at 888sport.

Phenomenal campaign for Villa

I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted that Aston Villa would be in third place in the top flight at the start of December. But under Emery, they’ve been thriving. The Lions have notched some impressive wins this term against the likes of Chelsea, West Ham, Brighton, Tottenham, and most recently, City. Pep Guardiola’s men have been in poor form and Villa took full advantage, completely outplaying the title holders.

The hosts had 22 shots and seven on target to only two for City. Leon Bailey found the breakthrough in the 74th minute, scoring his fourth goal of the campaign. Villa’s 10-2-3 record includes a perfect seven wins in seven on home turf as previously mentioned, which is certainly a good sign for Saturday. Ollie Watkins is the leading man up top with eight goals and six assists. Douglas Luiz also has five goals to his name. With three wins in their last four, Villa will be confident about a positive result on matchday 16. They’re an underdog at soccer betting sites.