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Premier League Preview: Aston Villa v Arsenal


Can Aston Villa dent Arsenal’s top four chances?

Arsenal travel to Villa Park on Saturday for the lunchtime kick-off, and looking to make amends after a sobering defeat at home to Liverpool in midweek.

Although Mikel Arteta’s men gave a good account of themselves during periods of the game, they were outdone by a slick Liverpool side who won through goals from Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino.

Villa, in the meantime, have been revitalised since Steven Gerrard took over, and they are on course for a top-half finish.

This looks set to be an intriguing clash, and Villa will be hoping for a repeat of last season when they prevailed 1-0. Freebets has scoured the markets, and picked out three tips for you to follow up on.

Philippe Coutinho to hit the target

Although things didn’t work out for the diminutive Philippe Coutinho at Barcelona, the Brazilian has looked like a player transformed at Villa Park, although he will no doubt have fond memories of when he played alongside Gerrard during their Liverpool days.

Anyway, Coutinho has struck four times since he joined Villa in January, and he is a joy to watch. It is hoped he will add a few more goals to his game before the season is out, and he has a habit of popping up with important goals too.

Unibet sees plenty of value in Coutinho finding the target anytime, as they are serving up a price of 27/10, and we think these are odds you simply can’t ignore.

Granit Xhaka to go into the referee’s book

While Granit Xhaka has tried to be more cautious with his tackling. More often than not, they are mistimed, and he finds his way into the referee’s book. During his Gunners career, he has been cautioned 47 times in the Premier League, and he has been sent off on four occasions.

The Swiss midfielder probably ought to learn self-control, and keep calm. However, judging by his ratio of Premier League cards to games, it seems inevitable that he will receive a yellow card.

And if you are into the cards markets, then you can get a short price of 8/5 bet365 for Xhaka to be booked. It may well be a case of when, rather than if Xhaka gets cautioned, and we will watch with great interest.

A share of the spoils?

Arsenal, of course, will have had to go back to a drawing board. While they may have targeted six points from Leicester, Liverpool, and Villa, this will be a tricky fixture to navigate.

The top four race could still have plenty of twists and turns, and Villa have nothing to lose. For them, it’s just a case of whether they can claim a top-half finish come May. Arteta’s charges can’t afford to lose this one, even though they have games in hand over Manchester United and West Ham, and if you fancy a draw, Paddy Power are offering tempting odds of 12/5 for a share of the spoils.