Date: 17th February 2023 at 5:05pm
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Arsenal will be looking to return to top spot in the Premier League table with a win over Aston Villa on Saturday. 

The Gunners have topped the table for the majority of the season so far, but a 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday meant the reigning champions leapfrogged Arsenal into first place.

Mikel Arteta’s side can move back into top spot with a victory over Villa in Saturday’s early kick-off, before The Citizens face Nottingham Forest a couple of hours later.

Here, we predict the XI that Arteta could select for the visit of The Villans.


England international Aaron Ramsdale has started every single match in the league so far this term for The Gunners, and will continue between the sticks on Saturday. The ex-Bournemouth man was criticised for making a mistake in the build up to Ivan Toney’s goal for Brentford last week, and conceded three in midweek against City.


Arteta had named Ben White at right-back for every one of Arsenal’s league matches prior to the defeat at The Etihad on Wednesday, but the Englishman looks set to return to the starting line up. Takehiro Tomiyasu took White’s place last time out, but the Japan international failed to impress and is set to drop back to the bench.

Saliba is in line to start against Villa

In the middle, Gabriel is set to once again partner William Saliba. The pair have started all 22 of The Gunners’ games in the league so far, keeping the likes of Rob Holding on the bench. Saliba and Gabriel have both been impressive this term, but Arsenal haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last four matches and Arteta will be keen to put a stop to that run.

On the left, Oleksandr Zinchenko could once again be preferred to Kieran Tierney. The ex-Manchester City man started against his former side in midweek, and has now started nine of Arsenal’s last ten league games.


Arteta was dealt a huge blow before kick off against City as Thomas Partey was ruled out of the game, with Jorginho deputising. The Italy international impressed during such a huge occasion, and The Gunners boss will be relying on him to continue to do so until Partey returns to fitness.

Jorginho impressed during his first start for Arsenal

Alongside him, Granit Xhaka will once again start. The Swiss midfielder has been in fine form this season, flourishing in a slightly more advanced role.

Ahead of the pair, Martin Odegaard will once again take up the advanced midfield role. The ex-Real Madrid man has been in superb form so far this season, scoring eight goals and providing six assists in the league as well as captaining the side.


In attack, Gabriel Martinelli looks set to retain his place on the left. The Brazil international has struggled in front of goal lately and Leandro Trossard is undoubtedly pushing for his starting spot, but Martinelli remains Arteta’s first choice at present and the Brazilian did score in their 2-1 win over Villa earlier this season.

Saka scored from the spot against Manchester City on Wednesday

Through the middle, Eddie Nketiah will once again lead the line in the absence of Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian remains sidelined through injury, but Nketiah has impressed since being called upon, scoring four goals in his last eight league matches.

On the left, Bukayo Saka will once again start. The England international scored his eighth league goal of the season against City on Wednesday, matching his tally of assists during what has already been an outstanding season for the winger.

Predicted XI: Ramsdale; White, Gabriel, Saliba, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Odegaard, Jorginho; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli 

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