Aston Villa vs Arsenal: Premier League match preview

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

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The Independent Online

Aston Villa have made their best league start for 16 years, having taken 10 points from a possible 12.

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Paul Lambert’s signings have gelled quickly, with Phillip Senderos belying his gaffe-prone reputation thus far and Tom Cleverley another player with a point to prove. Recent England debutant Fabian Delph has also excelled at the heart of an in-form Villa.

Arsenal will be reeling from their defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday and will be looking to bounce back at a ground where they have not lost since 1998.

Deadline day arrival Danny Welbeck will be keen to open his scoring account while the injury-ravaged Arsenal defence will be in search of their first Premier League clean sheet of the season.

Alexis Sanchez is in fine form, with three goals already, and Villa will be desperate to keep him quiet.

Video: Premier League review

KICK OFF: Saturday, 3pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Aston Villa 1 (Benteke) Arsenal 2 (Wilshere, Giroud), Premier League, January 2014

Arsenal 1 (Giroud) Aston Villa 3 (Benteke x2, Luna), Premier League, August 2013

Arsenal 2 (Cazorla x2) Aston Villa 1 (Weimann), Premier League, February 2013

STATS…

Villa have kept three clean sheets in their opening four games.

Arsenal have won seven of their last 11 encounters with Villa.

Laurent Koscielny was dismissed at the Emirates in 2013 as Villa won 3-1.

ODDS…

Villa to win: 4.33

Arsenal to win: 1.80

Draw: 3.60

TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.20pm.

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