David Luiz has conceded two penalties in four games for Arsenal – compared to three in 160 league appearances for Chelsea


Sead Kolasinac was substituted in Thursday’s Europa League win because of a minor problem but Arsenal are hopeful he will be fit.

Rob Holding may be in contention and academy graduates Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka will hope to feature after both scored versus Eintracht Frankfurt.

Aston Villa winger Trezeguet returns after a one-game ban and Matt Targett has overcome a hamstring injury.

Jonathan Kodjia and James Chester remain sidelined.


Martin Fisher: One team can’t stop conceding, the other have stopped scoring… something has to give at the Emirates.

Arsenal’s sloppy second-half display at Watford was alarming and unless they cut out basic errors they have little chance of finishing in the top four.

After successive blanks, Villa will be hoping Gunners generosity will last a little longer. Dean Smith’s net spend was greater than any other Premier League manager over the summer and overall he’ll be encouraged by the way his new side is gelling, with lack of goals the only cause for concern.

I expect Villa’s drought to end but I think Arsenal will outscore them.


Arsenal head coach Unai Emery: “I think every player can be important for us.

“Sometimes we are going to have one plan and we’ll need to change that to use different players in each match.

“We have some new players and players who we need to work with for their adaptation in the next matches. Progressively, they’re getting better.”

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith: “Any team is beatable, we saw that with Norwich’s result against Manchester City.

“When you go head-to-head against anybody you’ve got to have that belief but we know how tough it is at the Emirates.

“We’ve got great belief in what our players are about and we saw with that trip to Tottenham that we can go toe-to-toe with these teams.”


It was a case of ‘same old Arsenal’ with their defensive collapse against Watford on Sunday.

The Gunners still have a weakness at the back but, from what I’ve seen of them so far this season, I don’t think Aston Villa have got the attacking power to take advantage.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v former Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton



  • Arsenal have won six consecutive league and cup games against Aston Villa, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last five.
  • Villa have won three Premier League away games at Arsenal, a tally exceeded only by Manchester United and Chelsea (both have four victories).


  • Arsenal have lost just one of their last 20 Premier League home games (W15, D4), with the solitary defeat coming against Crystal Palace in April.
  • They have recorded one clean sheet in their last 10 league matches, conceding two goals or more in six of those games.
  • The Gunners have made 14 errors leading directly to Premier League goals since August 2018, more than any other side.
  • They have also conceded a joint-league high 10 penalties since the start of last season, including three in the current campaign.
  • Since Unai Emery took charge, Arsenal have faced an unrivalled 47 Premier League shots after losing possession within 40m of their own goal.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in the last seven league games he has started at the Emirates Stadium.

Aston Villa

  • Villa have lost nine straight away matches in the top flight, one shy of their club record, set from 1924 to 1925.
  • They are also winless in 20 Premier League away games (D3, L17), with their most recent victory coming at Bournemouth on the opening day of the 2015-16 season.
  • The Villans have lost 13 of their previous 14 league fixtures against sides from the established top six, earning their only point in a goalless draw with Manchester City in November 2015.
  • Jack Grealish has been fouled 179 times in league football (including play-offs) since the start of last season, more than any other player in the top four tiers.

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