Premier League: Aston Villa v Arsenal match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at Villa Park

Aston Villa will be looking to claim their first victory over Arsenal at Villa Park in 14 years when the two sides meet on Saturday.

Paul Lambert's men have lost two games on the trot against both Manchester clubs and sit third from the bottom, two points adrift of Wigan and safety. The former Norwich manager will be forced to watch the match from the stands after receiving a one-game ban for 'improper conduct' during his side's 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City last week.

And they will face a difficult task against an Arsenal side unbeaten in four games in all competitions. The Gunners beat French champions Montpellier 2-0 on Wednesday with Jack Wilshere scoring his first goal in almost two years before Lukas Podolski thumped in the second.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 5.30pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Arsenal 3 (Gibbs, Walcott, Arteta) Aston Villa 0, Premier League, March 2012

Arsenal 3 (van Persie 2, Walcott) Aston Villa 2 (Dunne, Bent), FA Cup, January 2012

Aston Villa 1 (Albrighton) Arsenal 2 (van Persie, Benayoun), Premier League,  December 2011

STATS

Darren Bent has scored six goals in his last eight Premier League games against Arsenal and in his only FA Cup appearance against them last season for Villa

Abou Diaby has scored four goals in six Premier League games against Villa; more than against any other opponent in the competition

The Villans have won only two of their last 18 home games in the Premier League

Only Barcelona’s Xavi (1152) has made more passes than Mikel Arteta (1104) in Europe’s big five leagues this season

ODDS

Aston Villa to win: 4.75

Arsenal to win: 1.72

Draw: 3.75

TV: Live on ESPN at 5.30pm and highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm

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