Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Trezeguet, Barkley, Grealish; Watkins
Arsenal: Runarsson; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric; Partey, Xhaka, Smith Rowe; Saka, Lacazette, Pepe
Aston Villa vs Arsenal Score Prediction
Let’s not beat around the bush: you’re worried, aren’t you?
The prospect of Runarsson being faced with endless pops at goal from Ross Barkley and Jack Grealish is reason enough for concern, but then there is also the dead ball aspect, as Villa are a side who win multiple fouls per game.
It’s all a bit disconcerting. One wouldn’t normally be this uneasy about a third choice player coming into the starting lineup, but Runarsson has looked so hopelessly out of his depth that it’s impossible not to. Add to that the confidence that drains out of the defence when he’s on the pitch – this was immediately evident against Wolves – and a win doesn’t appear within sight.
Is he destined to fail? Of course not. For all his weaknesses, he has produced a couple of decent stops in his outings and what’s to say he doesn’t pull out Richard Kingson-esque World Cup heroics?
Before the ball gets to goal plenty needs to happen in front. Nicolas Pepe will have a tough job on his hands coming up against Matty Cash, who has been one of the standout full-backs in the league this season. An engrossing midfield battle with two strong cores will make for intriguing viewing, too.
Arsenal are a more threatening side than they’ve been all season. As witnessed against Wolves, when they have 11 players on the pitch they can create openings. Pepe is firing, Saka has been Arsenal’s best player this season and Emile Smith Rowe creates delightful triangles on both sides of the pitch.
The way this season has gone, this could just as easily be 3-0 either way or anything in between. It feels like it’s got goals in it, either way.