Date: 13th December 2015 at 12:01pm
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Arsenal take on Aston Villa at Villa Park knowing a win will momentarily take them to the top of the table.

The Gunners are two points behind Manchester City and Leicester, but with the Foxes not playing until Monday night, the North London side can move to the summit.

After an impressive 3-0 win in Olympiakos on Wednesday, which sealed their unlikely progression to the last-16 of the Champions League, Arsene Wenger will be expecting another strong performance when his side face the Premier League’s bottom side.

However, the French boss knows his team will have to improve on their recent league showings on the road after losing at West Brom and drawing at Norwich in their last two trips.

Five wins from eight top flight away games though shows Arsenal are, more often than not, tough to beat on their travels.

Villa boss Remi Garde will be looking to cause a shock as he prepares to take on his former side.

The Frenchman, who was Wenger’s first signing as Arsenal boss back in 1996, has collected just two points from his opening four matches as the Villans sit eight points from safety.

It’s their worst ever start to a top flight season and no club has managed to survive in the Premier League after collecting just one win and six points at this stage of the season.

Villa have also yet to win at home this season and they have not beaten their visitors at Villa Park since 1998.

The hosts will also need to keep a close eye on Olivier Giroud who, following his midweek hat-trick, has scored 13 goals in all competitions this term.


Team News:

Jack Grealish could return to the Villa side after he was banished to the Under-21s as punishment for his off-field behaviour.

Captain Micah Richards remains doubtful with a knee injury but Leandro Bacuna and Rudy Gestede are fit.

Arsenal have no fresh injury worries but remain without Alexis Sanchez, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky.

Last Meeting: Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa – May 30, 2015 (FA Cup Final)
League Position: Aston Villa – 20th (6 pts); Arsenal – 3rd (30 pts)
Form: Aston Villa – LLDLLD; Arsenal – DLWDWW
Key Players: Aston Villa – Joleon Lescott; Arsenal – Mesut Ozil
Shoot Says: Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal

 
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