Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil is still important to Arsenal even when he doesn't take the spotlight, Nigel Winterburn argues.

Arsenal travel to Villa Park on Monday to take on Aston Villa where a win will take them back on top of the Premier League table

Where to Watch Live

Kick-off is set for 7:45 pm GMT. Live coverage will be available on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.


Aston Villa will be confident given that they have already beaten the Gunners 3-1 in the reverse fixture and managed to restrict them to a 1-1 draw last season in the corresponding fixture. However, manager Paul Lambert will be hardly optimistic of their chances given that they have managed to win only five of their subsequent Premier League fixtures. A win here will give them a much needed boost ahead of a possible relegation battle where they are currently perched five points above Crystal Palace, who are 18<sup>th.

Their last game ended in a 2-1 loss to Sheffield United in the third round of the FA Cup and the players will be looking to come back from that disappointment and repeat their performance as against Manchester City where they came back from being 2-0 down to win the game.

For the Gunners, the game will mark their improvement this season, having come back from being thrashed 3-1 by Villa at the Emirates to gunning for the top spot in the Premiership. Arsenal have managed their resources very well after that initial disappointment and have been commanding the top spot for a long time now in spite of blips against the two Manchester clubs during that period.

Arsene Wenger has seen the other title challengers win their respective games and will be under pressure to get three points, failing which will see them lose out on the top spot. The Gunners have a lot of injury problems, with the likes of Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby out for the season while Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are major doubts for the game.

Christian Benteke

What the Managers Say

Paul Lambert: "I understand that against some of the bigger clubs, Manchester United and Chelsea for instance, that if you don't have the ball you have to be resolute in what you are doing and see the game through. But the one thing about our team is that if people do come on to us, then we can hurt them with the pace that we have got. We can use that as one of our weapons."

Arsene Wenger: "It is not about revenge. The opening day of the season is not Villa's fault, and what happened after the game is not Villa's fault. We just had to face dissatisfaction from people and our fans, that was completely normal. Villa is just another game. What is always important is the next game and to produce a good performance."

Form Guide

Aston Villa

  • Last Five(all competitions, most recent first): L W D L L
  • Last Result: Aston Villa 1-2 Sheffield United


  • Last Five(all competitions, most recent first): W W W W D
  • Last Result: Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Team News

Aston Villa

  • Injured: Chris Herd (hamstring), Joe Bennett (back), Libor Kozak (broken leg), Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles), Jores Okore (knee).
  • Doubtful: Ron Vlaar(calf), Nathan Baker(hamstring)
  • Suspended: N/A

Probable Line-Up: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Luna; Bacuna, Westwood, Delph, Weimann; Benteke, Agbonlahor.


  • Injured: Theo Walcott(knee), Abou Diaby(knee), Kieran Gibbs(calf), Aaron Ramsey(thigh), Nicklas Bendtner(ankle), Thomas Vermaelan
  • Doubtful: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain(fitness)
  • Suspended: N/A

Probable Line-Up: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Flamini; Rosicky, Wilshere, Cazorla; Giroud.