Aston Villa need a minimum of three points from their last two matches to secure another season of Premier League football, so will be looking to go all guns blazing against a rampant Arsenal who dispatched both Liverpool and Manchester City in the same week.
When and where?
The match will be held at Villa Park, kicking off at 8:15pm on Tuesday 21 July.
A ten-man Arsenal had to come from behind twice at the Emirates back in September, with a late goal from talisman Aubameyang securing the three points.
This will be the 50th meeting between the clubs in the Premier League, with Arsenal winning 27 from the previous 49.
Wesley, Tom Heaton and Bjorn Engels are all out for Villa. Neil Taylor remains a doubt, but Hause and Drinkwater should be available.
Arsenal’s extensive absence list remains strong, with Leno, Martinelli, Chambers and Mari all out still. Mustafi could be a doubt after hobbling off at Wembley on Saturday and Ozil and Guendouzi’s exclusion showing no signs of ending.
Last five matches
(D) 1-1 vs Everton
(W) 2-0 vs Crystal Palace
(L) 0-3 vs Manchester United
(L) 2-0 vs Liverpool
(L) 0-1 vs Wolves
Aston Villa’s recent relegation-level form has shown no signs of easing up, and needing a win against either a strong Gunners side or a rebounding West Ham side, they will be up against it.
(W) 2-0 vs Manchester City
(W) 2-1 vs Liverpool
(L) 2-1 vs Tottenham
(D) 1-1 vs Leicester
(W) 2-0 vs Wolves
Outsiders in the Europa League race, Arsenal will be looking to maximise their points with two ‘easier’ games remaining (Villa and Watford) but after beating far tougher teams in their last five, Arteta’s side will certainly back themselves in this game.
If Arsenal are allowed to play freely by Villa, it will certainly be a walkover. The Villa midfield and fullbacks will need to stop the distribution to Pepe and Aubameyang on the wings to nullify the threat, instead forcing a narrow attack. Grealish and Trezeguet will need to be on form to exploit a narrow Arsenal defence, but with the recent form of Tierney and David Luiz, it won’t be easy for them.
Score prediction- Aston Villa 0-3 Arsenal
Match Preview written by Tom Cresswell