Premier League leaders Arsenal welcome Aston Villa to north London tonight as they look to maintain their perfect start to the season.
Mikel Arteta’s Gunners have been superb so far this term, winning four from four including Saturday’s comeback victory over Fulham.
Arsenal are the only team in the top-flight yet to drop a point and they’ll be confident of keeping up that record this evening.
Steven Gerrard is coming under increasing pressure following Villa’s poor start to the campaign.
The Villans have taking just three points from four games and lost at home to West Ham over the weekend.
They were also beaten twice by Arsenal last season but Gerrard needs a response from his men tonight or his critics will grow louder.
Arsenal v Aston Villa: Date and how to follow
This Premier League clash will take place on Wednesday, August 31.
The game at the Emirates is scheduled to kick off at 7:30pm.
It will be broadcast on BT Sport 4 with coverage starting at 7pm.
BT Sport customers can live stream this via the app using their mobile, tablet or computer devices.
Updates will also be live on talkSPORT throughout the evening.
To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.
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Arsenal v Aston Villa: Team news
Arsenal XI: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney, Lokonga, Xhaka, Odegaard, Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
Subs: Turner, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Holding, Cedric Soares, Tomiyasu, Vieira, Marquinhos, Smith.
Aston Villa XI: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Kamara, McGinn, Bailey, Ramsey, Buendia, Watkins.
Subs: Olsen, Luiz, Ings, Chambers, Augustinsson, Young, Coutinho, Archer, Iroegbunam.
Arsenal v Aston Villa: What’s been said?
Arteta believes the Arsenal captaincy has made Martin Odegaard more hungry for success.
“He’s more humble I would say – even more,” Arteta replied when asked if he had seen a change in the Norway captain since giving him the armband.
“That’s the way he is. More humble and more hungry, a good combination.
“At 23 he has already had a lot of experience and a lot of pressure, especially individually.
“He’s played for Madrid and knows what it’s about. He does it all natural, nothing worries him, and he’s developing that even more.”
Arsenal v Aston Villa: Match stats
- Arsenal have won their last five home Premier League matches, last enjoying a longer winning run at the Emirates between November 2018 and April 2019 (10 in a row). The Gunners are looking to win their first three home league matches in a season for the first time since 2017-18.
- Arsenal are the only Premier League side still with a 100% record this season, winning their opening four games. The Gunners have only started three previous top-flight seasons with a run of five wins, doing so in 1930-31 (finished 1st), 1947-48 (finished 1st) and 2004-05 (finished 2nd).
- Aston Villa have lost their last three away Premier League matches, last losing four in a row in league football between April and August 2017 in the Championship under Steve Bruce.
- Aston Villa have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games on a Wednesday (D3 L6), winning 2-1 at Spurs in May 2021.
- Arsenal have lost just one of their last eight Premier League games on Wednesdays (W6 D1), going down 2-0 at home to Liverpool in March. However, overall in the Premier League the Gunners have won 48% of their games played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (93/194).
- Each of the last 10 league games between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium have produced at least three goals. In Premier League history, only one specific fixture has produced 3+ goals on 11 consecutive occasions – Manchester City hosting Newcastle between September 2007 and July 2020.
- Aston Villa have won four of their 13 Premier League games against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, with only Chelsea and Manchester City (6 each) winning more often at the ground than the Villans.
- Arsenal have won eight of their last 11 Premier League games against Aston Villa (L3), including both meetings last term. Those three defeats all came consecutively between July 2020 and February 2021.
- Bukayo Saka – who turns 21 on September 5th – has registered 16 Premier League assists so far for Arsenal. Only three players have more Premier League assists before their 21st birthday: Cesc Fabregas (38), Wayne Rooney (22) and Michael Owen (18).
- As a player, Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard won just one of his 12 away Premier League matches against Arsenal (D5 L6), with that coming in February 2000 with Liverpool. He played more matches at the Emirates without winning than any other ground in his Premier League playing career (six – D3 L3).
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