Aston Villa will feel that the progress they made at the beginning of the year, with four consecutive games without losing (W3, E1) in the Premier League (PL), has been wasted recently, after suffering defeats in a row against Leicester City (4-2). and the league leader, Manchester City (3-1). While those high-scoring encounters may have been exciting to watch, continuing the trend of keeping just two clean sheets in their last 12 matches will make it difficult for 11th-placed Villa to break into the top half of the table.

Villa Park has seen these poor defensive performances first-hand, with the “Villans” winning just once at home after the World Cup break (D1, P3). Therefore, manager Unai Emery hopes to use his knowledge of his former team, Arsenal, when he arrives in town, something that is much needed considering Villa have lost each of their last three clashes between Yeah.

This will be Arsenal’s first meeting with a former manager since beating Tottenham 2-0 under George Graham in March 2001, but that will be the furthest thing from current manager Mike Arteta’s mind. His team have learned that the margin for error at the top of the table is very small, with their 3-1 loss to fellow title contenders Manchester City in midweek cutting their eight-point lead and stretching his streak to four games without winning (E1, P3).

Now sitting in second place on goal difference, the Gunners still have one game to play, although that may prove pointless if their already horrendous week takes a turn for the worse with another loss here. They can at least take solace in having won four of their last six visits to Villa Park (P2), helping to make it their second-winningest PL side away from home with 13 wins after their 14 successes at West Ham.

Players to watch: Villa’s Leon Bailey has scored 15 of his last 17 goals for the club at home, while Arsenal are hoping for some Gabriel Martinelli magic here, having won each of the last 14 games they’ve played the Brazilian has seen the door.

Highlight: Aston Villa have seen 17 goals scored in the first 15 minutes of their league games this season, the most in the category.