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Arsenal v Aston Villa: match preview | Premier League

Aston Villa’s defence has regressed to the levels that almost resulted in relegation last season but Emiliano Martínez may hold the key to renewed fortification. The former Arsenal keeper has the inside track on Mikel Arteta and will be licking his lips at the chance to show the club they made a mistake in cashing in. Motivation may be totally irrelevant, though, as Arsenal seem to have skewed too heavily toward preventing goals. Yes, conceding two against Manchester City, Leicester and Manchester United is an amazing upgrade but scoring one in that period feels far too meagre for long-term success. Spain’s own George Graham will be unconcerned with stats, though, and focused on driving his side to feed off the victory at Old Trafford. Graham Searles

Sunday 7.15pm Sky Sports Box Office

Venue Emirates Stadium

Last season Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 2

Odds H 8-11 A 4-1 D 3-1

Referee Martin Atkinson

This season G6 Y14 R1 2.5 cards/game

ARSENAL

Subs from Rúnarsson, Macey, Saliba, Soares, Kolasinac, Maitland-Niles, Willock, Smith Rowe, Pépé, Nketiah, Xhaka, Ceballos, Mustafi

Doubtful None

Injured Nelson (knee, 21 Nov), Marí (ankle, 21 Nov), Chambers (knee, Dec), Martinelli (knee, unknown)

Suspended None

Discipline Y11 R0

Form WLWLLW

Leading scorer Lacazette 3

ASTON VILLA

Subs from Kalinic, Steer, Taylor, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Jota, Guilbert, Elmohamady, Davis, Ramsey, Chrisene, Hourihane, Heaton, Engles, Hause

Doubtful Hause (groin), Heaton (knee)

Injured Traoré (hamstring, 21 Nov), Wesley (knee, Jan)

Suspended None

Discipline Y14 R0

Form WWWWLL

Leading scorer Grealish, Watkins 4