Arsenal face one of their toughest tests of the season on Saturday as they face an Aston Villa side that have won 14-straight at Villa Park.
Villa's latest victory over Manchester City, which saw them climb above the Cityzens in the Premier League table, was their most impressive of Unai Emery's reign so far, and they'll undoubtedly back themselves to beat the Gunners this weekend.
Emery has done a quite remarkable job with a talented group of players, maximising their talents and evolving the Villans into one of the most watchable sides in the league.
Arsenal haven't always been easy on the eye this term, but boy have they been efficient and their duel with Luton on Tuesday was one of the games of the season so far. The Gunners looked like they were heading for dropped points at Kenilworth Road before Declan Rice struck at the death to seal all three points.
Aston Villa vs Arsenal preview: Prediction, team news & lineups
Here's our preview of Arsenal's daunting trip to Villa Park this weekend.
How to watch Aston Villa vs Arsenal on TV
- When is kick-off? Saturday 9 December
- What time is kick-off? 17:30 (BST)
- Where is it played? Villa Park
- TV channel/live stream?
Aston Villa team news
Emery doesn't have any fresh injury concerns from the midweek victory, but we could see Matty Cash return to the starting XI with Ezri Konsa shifting back into a central position.
Given Leon Bailey's fine recent form, he's unlikely to be replaced by Moussa Diaby this weekend.
Bertrand Traore should be returning to the fold soon, while Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings are long-term absentees.
Arsenal team news
Arsenal learned in the week that they'll be without Takehiro Tomiyasu for the foreseeable future due to a calf injury.
The Japanese defender joins Fabio Vieira, Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey, and Emile Smith Rowe on the sidelines.
Arteta is unlikely to make many changes from Tuesday's victory at Luton Town, although Oleksandr Zinchenko will come in for Jakub Kiwior.
Aston Villa vs Arsenal predicted lineups
Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Kamara, Luiz; Tielemans, McGinn; Bailey, Watkins.
Arsenal: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Odegaard, Havertz; Saka, Jesus, Martinelli.
Aston Villa's recent form
Aston Villa 1-0 Man City
Bournemouth 2-2 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 2-1 Legia Warsaw
Europa Conference League
Tottenham 1-2 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 3-1 Fulham
Arsenal's recent form
Luton Town 3-4 Arsenal
Arsenal 2-1 Wolves
Arsenal 6-0 Lens
Brentford 0-1 Arsenal
Arsenal 3-1 Burnley
Aston Villa vs Arsenal score prediction
We've got a cracking game in store this weekend!
The two sides played out a thriller in the corresponding fixture last term, and Arsenal are going to need enjoy similar luck if they're to prevail on Saturday. Villa's aggressive high line should hand the visitors openings, but Emery's side play with such verve on home soil that they'll be hard to contain.
The Gunners' spine is going to have to be at its very stoutest for Arsenal to walk away with all three points.
In the end, the spoils could be shared and I don't think that would be a bad result at all for Mikel Arteta, who'll be watching on from the stands.