Olivier Giroud
Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud has scored 10 goals in his last 11 games in all competitions Getty

Aston Villa host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, 13 December as the Gunners look to top the table for the first time in over two months. The north London club have a chance to open up a four point gap between themselves and Manchester United, who lost to Bournemouth this weekend.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 1.30pm GMT. Live coverage of the game is available on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports HD.


Aston Villa are in a crisis at this point, having not won a single game since the opening weekend, which has left them on six points, seven clear of a place out of the relegation zone. The Villans came close to ending their horrible run last weekend, but Oriol Romeu's last ditch equaliser poured cold water over their hopes to close the gap on Sunderland, who are in 19th spot.

Villa's problems stem from their failure to keep a solid back four, having managed only two clean sheets in their last 15 games, with a goal difference which is among the worst in the division. They have also not been as prolific on the other end of the pitch, scoring only 13 goals, the joint lowest in the division. However, manager Remi Garde will be inspired by their resilience against Manchester City, keeping the league leaders at bay and managing a point from what was otherwise a well fought stalemate.

Meanwhile, Arsenal are riding on the wave of a brilliant comeback against Olympiacos, scoring three past the Greek side to confirm a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Olivier Giroud scored a hat-trick to keep the Arsenal flag sailing, having been in the forefront of the Gunners' debacle against Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia where the Frenchman was sent off.

Arsenal have not been in great form in the league themselves, having managed only one win in their last four games, coming against Sunderland in their last fixture at the Emirates. Draws against Tottenham and Norwich, along with a loss against West Bromwich Albion has made this a must win affair, a test which they have to pass if they have to foster any hopes of making a proper challenge for the title.

What managers say

Arsene Wenger: "The luck we had last week was that we won a game that could have gone the other way and the other results went for us. But Villa need the points just as we do. It is a dangerous match. That means it will be a physical battle. That is why we have to focus straight away on the Premier League after last Wednesday night. We need to recover mentally and physically. But we have shown the ­maturity to focus on both competitions."

Remi Garde: "I've got a lot of admiration because I realise how tough this job is in the Premier League, how difficult it is to keep a job and get results. This is the first side (of the job) and then I remember the club at Arsenal 20 years ago without training facilities, without a modern stadium like they have today. All this has to be credited to Arsene. A football club is not only the results you get today but also how you will build for the future for yourself or for another manager for or another chairman or owner."

Betting odds

  • Aston Villa win: 19/4
  • Draw: 13/4
  • Arsenal win: 10/17

Team news

Aston Villa

Possible XI: Guzan; Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bacuna; Veretout, Sanchez, Gueye; Ayew, Gestede, Sinclair.


Possible XI: Cech; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs; Ramsey, Flamini; Campbell, Ozil, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud.