Sunday’s late kick-off could have huge ramifications for the Premier League title race and the battle for a top-four finish. We look ahead to the game with our Arsenal vs Aston Villa prediction and preview.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Arsenal are backed to pass a huge test of their title credentials on Sunday, beating Aston Villa in 53.5% of the Opta supercomputer’s pre-match simulations.
  • Arsenal have won 10 of their last 11 Premier League games (one draw), scoring at least two goals in each victory and only conceding four times throughout that run.
  • Bukayo Saka has 11 goal involvements in his last 11 league games (nine goals, two assists), and 14 goals overall in the competition this season. One more would make him the first Englishman to net 15 for the Gunners in a single season since Ian Wright in 1996-97 (23).

Match Preview

Matchday 32 gave us a major twist in the Premier League title race, with Arsenal and Manchester City the beneficiaries as Liverpool slipped up in a 2-2 draw at Manchester United. That result – coupled with Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion – boosted the Gunners’ hopes of ending their 20-year wait to be crowned champions of England, though they face a major test of their credentials on Sunday against fifth-placed Aston Villa.

According to the Opta supercomputer’s season predictions, Arsenal’s title hopes stood at 21.4% before their trip to the Amex Stadium, but with the Gunners leading Liverpool on goal difference ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, they are now rated at 29.6%.

Mikel Arteta’s team produced another mature performance on the south coast, with David Raya barely troubled as goals from Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard fired them to victory. Saka and Trossard were on target again on Tuesday, as Arsenal salvaged a 2-2 draw in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie with Bayern Munich.

The Gunners were staring at defeat when familiar faces Serge Gnabry and Harry Kane netted for Bayern, but Trossard came off the bench to sweep home following fine work from Gabriel Jesus. The Belgian has often played the role of super sub this season, with four of his eight Premier League goals coming off the bench. Only Olivier Giroud in 2016-17 (six) has ever netted more as a substitute for Arsenal in a single campaign.

arsenal 2-2 Bayern munich xg race

While Trossard might feel his form is worthy of a start, the performances of Saka and Havertz have limited his minutes. Havertz has been involved in nine goals in his last seven Premier League matches (five goals, four assists), and this is his most productive campaign in the competition for both goals (nine) and assists (five).

Saka, meanwhile, has 11 goal involvements in his last 11 league appearances (nine goals, two assists), while his penalty against Brighton saw him match last season’s tally of 14 Premier League goals. Just one more goal in 2023-24 would make him the first Englishman to net 15 in a single campaign with the Gunners since Ian Wright in 1996-97 (23).

The winger has come under the spotlight after being denied a penalty in stoppage-time against Bayern, having gone down – some say softly – under the challenge of Manuel Neuer. Since the start of 2019-20, Saka is the Premier League’s sixth most-fouled player (270 fouls won), but 15 players have won more penalties than the England international’s four.

Villa are one of only four teams to beat Arsenal in the Premier League this season, but they approach Sunday’s game having won just one of their last five matches in the competition (two draws, two defeats) to slip below Tottenham in the race for a top-four finish, their latest frustrating result coming as they let a 2-0 lead slip in last week’s 3-3 draw with Brentford.

Sunday’s game will represent Unai Emery’s first return to a full Emirates Stadium since his Arsenal sacking in 2019, the Spaniard previously guiding Villarreal past the Gunners in a 2021 UEFA Europa League semi-final, with a goalless draw in north London being played behind closed doors.

Overall, Emery has faced Arsenal six times in his career, only losing one of those matches (two wins, three draws) – a 4-2 defeat with his current club at Villa Park last February.

The Villa boss will be desperate to see Ollie Watkins continue his outstanding run of form, with the England man recording 11 goal involvements in his last 10 Premier League games (nine goals, two assists), and seven in his last four on the road (five goals, two assists). He needs just one more goal to match Christian Benteke’s club record for most in a single Premier League season (19 in 2012-13).

Elsewhere, Villa do have a few selection issues to contend with, as key midfielder Douglas Luiz is serving a two-match ban and both Matty Cash and Clément Lenglet missed Thursday’s 2-1 win over Lille in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final tie.

Those absences are unlikely to force a change of tack from Emery, whose team have caught their opponents offside 142 times in the Premier League this season, more than 40 times more than any other side (Tottenham are second with 101). Ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, Arsenal ranked joint-eighth in the league for offsides, being caught out 67 times.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa Head-to-Head

John McGinn’s goal fired Villa to a 1-0 win over Arsenal in December’s return fixture, and they now have a chance to complete just their third Premier League double over the Gunners, previously doing so in 1992-93 and 2020-21.

Arsenal have won five of their last six home Premier League games against the Villans, though, the exception being a 3-0 defeat in November 2020.

Gabriel Martinelli hit the winner in this exact fixture last season, with Villa succumbing to a 2-1 defeat in August 2022 under Steven Gerrard.

Villa are unbeaten on their last nine trips to London in the Premier League, however, winning six and drawing three. It’s their longest unbeaten run in the capital in their league history, having lost eight of their previous nine before this streak began (one win).

Recent Form

Arsenal have won 10 of their last 11 Premier League games, the exception being their goalless draw at Man City, scoring at least two goals in each victory.

The Gunners have shipped just four goals across these 11 games, though three of those have been conceded at the Emirates in wins over Liverpool (3-1), Newcastle United (4-1) and Brentford (2-1).

Villa, meanwhile, were thrashed 4-1 by City at the Etihad Stadium in their last away game, though they have not lost on back-to-back Premier League road trips since May 2023.

Emery’s team have struggled on their travels against the Premier League’s best this term, however. They have faced three of last season’s top four on the road, losing those matches by an aggregate score of 12-4 (4-1 vs City, 3-2 vs Manchester United, 5-1 vs Newcastle), while they were also beaten 3-0 at Liverpool, though they did win 2-1 at Tottenham.

Global Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off at the Emirates this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa Predicted Lineups

arsenal predicted lineup vs aston villa
aston villa predicted lineup vs arsenal

Arsenal vs Aston Villa Prediction

The Opta supercomputer is backing Arsenal to extend their home winning run in the Premier League to six games, with the Gunners triumphant in 53.5% of match simulations ahead of kick-off.

Villa are given a 20.4% chance of dealing a huge blow to their title hopes, with 26.1% of scenarios seeing the points shared.

Despite the boost to their title hopes last week, Arsenal are still viewed as third favourites, with City (40.4%) and Liverpool (29.9%) both topping the table more often in our season predictions than Arteta’s men (29.6%).

Villa, meanwhile, are given a 36.8% chance of finishing fourth and a 58.3% chance of finishing fifth, which would mean an anxious wait to hear whether England will receive an extra Champions League place.

arsenal vs aston villa opta prediction

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