Arsenal v Aston Villa

13 May

Jack Wilshere


Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere scored on his last Premier League start against West Brom a year ago

TEAM NEWS

Midfielder Jack Wilshere could make his first start for Arsenal since the final day of last season as he steps up his fitness after a broken leg.

Mesut Ozil is likely to return after missing out with a hip injury last weekend, but Danny Welbeck is out for nine months after having knee surgery.

Aston Villa full-back Aly Cissokho is available after a one-match ban.

Rudy Gestede is set to miss out with a groin injury, while Kieran Richardson and Jordan Veretout are doubts.

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger denies reports he has agreed to extend his stay beyond next season: “That’s completely wrong. You can treat that as just an invention and no more.

“What I focus on is respecting my contract and then envisage what I will do afterwards. I will see where I am personally and where the club stands at the end of my contract.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

The biggest decision I’ve got here is whether Arsenal will win 3-0 or 4-0.

Prediction: 3-0

Lawro’s full predictions v X-Men star Ben Hardy

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Arsenal could win five consecutive league matches against Aston Villa for the first time.
  • The Gunners have lost only three of their last 34 league meetings between the sides (W22, D9, L3).
  • Nonetheless, those three Villa wins were all at the Emirates Stadium, most recently on the opening day of the 2013-14 season. Only Chelsea, with four wins, have been more successful at the stadium.

Arsenal

  • The Gunners are unbeaten in nine league games – although they have drawn five of them.
  • They have secured a 19th consecutive year of Champions League football and could still finish as high as second for the first time since 2005.
  • Arsenal have won their final league match of the season in seven of the last eight years, drawing the other at Fulham in 2010-11.
  • Leading scorer Olivier Giroud scored his first goal in 16 league games last Sunday. He has scored in each of his last five appearances against Villa in all competitions.
  • Alexis Sanchez has scored six goals in his last seven Premier League games.

Aston Villa

  • Villa avoided a club record 12th successive league defeat by drawing 0-0 against Newcastle last week.
  • They have not won an away game in any competition since the opening day of the season at Bournemouth, taking three points from the subsequent 17 league matches (D3, L14).
  • Only Derby County, in 2007-08, have won fewer matches in a top-flight season than Villa’s current tally of three. They have led in just eight league games this season.
  • Villa are the only team in the Premier League not to have scored more than two goals in a match in 2015-16.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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