Premier League

Aston Villa-Arsenal Preview

Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal have plenty to do despite topping the Premier League table with four wins from four matches.

After the disappointment of missing out on Champions League qualification last season, the Gunners have started the new campaign in fine fashion.

Heading into Wednesday's game at home to Aston Villa, Arteta's side are two points clear of champions Manchester City.

Yet Arteta is not getting carried away, acknowledging the work that is still there to be done.

"The most pleasing thing obviously is the performances with the results," he said.

"The way we are playing, what we transmit as a team, and then obviously getting that into winning football matches, it's the reason why we are here.

"The things to improve, there are still a lot. There is individually and collectively a lot still to do, and we know what it is."

While Arsenal are on the up, Villa are struggling under Steven Gerrard, even if Arteta considers them "a top team" with "a big squad, top quality players (and) a good manager."

"You get out of it by turning your results around," Gerrard added. "We've shown before that after a difficult patch we can come through it and put patches of games together in a different way and move up this table.

"I've been through tough times as a player and in my short managerial reign. I've been faced with challenges, heat and pressure, and I'll accept that and take it on my shoulders.

"There's no one more determined than me to change this current situation. We haven't started the season well enough, results haven't been good enough, and I accept that."

Arsenal - Martin Odegaard

Arteta praised new captain Odegaard this week for being "more humble and more hungry" since being given the armband. The midfielder is leading by example, having already netted three times at this early stage.

Aston Villa - Boubacar Kamara

Kamara has stood out in a struggling Villa side, but he will have his work cut out against Odegaard and Co. If Villa are to get anything from this game, they will need the France international to step up.

- Arsenal have won eight of their last 11 Premier League games against Aston Villa (L3), including both meetings last term. Those three defeats all came consecutively between July 2020 and February 2021.

- Aston Villa have won four of their 13 Premier League games against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, with only Chelsea and Manchester City (six each) winning more often at the ground than the Villans.

- Each of the last 10 league games between Arsenal and Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium have produced at least three goals. In Premier League history, only one specific fixture has produced three-plus goals on 11 consecutive occasions - Manchester City hosting Newcastle between September 2007 and July 2020.

- Arsenal have lost just one of their last eight Premier League games on Wednesdays (W6 D1), going down 2-0 at home to Liverpool in March. However, overall in the Premier League the Gunners have won 48 per cent of their games played on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (93/194).

- Aston Villa have won just one of their last 10 Premier League games on a Wednesday (D3 L6), winning 2-1 at Spurs in May 2021.

Updated August 30, 2022

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