Gunners goss: A behind the scenes look at Villa’s next opponents

Dean Smith’s side have a fine recent record against Arsenal and will be hoping to see that continue on Friday evening

Aston Villa will be looking to put last weekend’s nightmare behind them when they travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal on Friday evening.

There would be no better way to rid the thought of Saturday than with a win in the capital and if recent head-to-head form is anything to go by, then Dean Smith’s men have every chance of doing just that.

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The last three meetings between the two teams have all gone in favour of Villa with the Gunners failing to find the net in any of them.

Mikel Arteta’s side are in fine form, though. Unbeaten in their last six and fresh off of their own last minute rescue mission against Crystal Palace, they’ll be determined to right their recent Villa wrongs.

We spoke to LondonWorld reporter, Rahman Osman, to get the latest from the Arsenal camp ahead of the big game.

Arsenal’s recent form on paper has been excellent, what has changed?

To be honest not much has changed, perhaps the win against Tottenham was their best performance all season and even that was only in the first half where they blew Tottenham away.

They ground out victories against Norwich, who everyone beats and then  Burnley who are in their usual slow start to a  season form.

They were outplayed by both Brighton and Crystal Palace and were  lucky to get a point from both games.

The plus side is that they are unbeaten their last five games and that could give them momentum but it does still look grey at the Emirates.

The next few games will tell us where exactly Arteta is headed.

It was well noted that Villa were after Emile Smith-Rowe in the summer, do you think he’ll be out to prove a point on Friday evening?

He’s been one of the shining lights in what has been an average start to the season, the beauty about him is that he plays with passion and loves the club.

He alongside Saka are the future of the club and he will be looking to stamp his authority in the game.

Will he be on the lookout for Villa? Of course, yes, he’ll want to be putting in performances against teams like Villa and eventually catch the attention of Gareth Southgate.

Emile Smith-Rowe of Arsenal in action during the Carabao Cup Third Round match (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Key player(s) Villa need to be wary of?

Aubameyang and Lacazette both were on the score sheet against Crystal Palace on Monday night. They both looked sharp and will be looking to continue from where they left off on Monday night.

Strengths/weaknesses of the Gunners

They play in moments and will have a period where they will dominate but the down side of that is that they don’t sustain it throughout the game.

Their passing from midfield to the attackers is slow, especially with the injury to Granit Xhaka.

Team news

Granit Xhaka is a long term absentee and Bukayo Saka is a doubt after he was replaced against Crystal Palace following a kick from James McArthur.

Predicted line-up (4-3-3): Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Odegaard, Partey, Smith Rowe; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Score prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Aston Villa