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Arsenal are looking to continue their resurgence from a stuttering start to the Premier League as they entertain Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on Friday.

Arteta’s Arsenal side left it late on to steal a point from former Gunner legend Patrick Vieira and his Crystal Palace side while Villa were also victim of a late comeback to West Midland rivals Wolverhampton.

It was nearly the perfect return for the former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira as his side put on a valiant display after coming from behind to go 1-2 ahead thanks to goals from Christian Benteke and striker Odsonne Edouard.

The Eagles looked to be cruising to an impressive victory, only for substitute Alexandre Lacazette to clinically dispatch Arsenal’s equaliser in the dying seconds to extend Arsenal’s unbeaten run to five Premier League games – just the 44 games short of Vieira’s Invincibles.

As for Aston Villa, the joys of an away victory at Old Trafford alongside the convincing win away to Everton has since vanished with the Villain’s losing back-to-back games – the first being an loss away to Tottenham and most recently their incredible collapse against Wolves.

After leading 2-0 until the 68th minute it looked to be a game Dean Smith’s side would see out, however an enthralling final ten minutes saw Wolves claw back into the game in style – scoring three in the last ten minutes to steal the points in the West Midlands derby.

The loss leaves Villa just behind Arsenal in 13th place though the last meeting at the Emirates between the two sides in November 2020 resulted in a thrilling 0-3 away victory, with the victory being one of seven consecutive defeats Mikel Arteta’s side endured in that time period.

Team News

Mikel Arteta will be without Granit Xhaka for the next few months as he continues his recovery, while there is concern around Bukayo Saka who had to be taken off at half time during their game against Palace.

The trio of Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and Thomas Partey all look set to retain their places in the side with Nicolas Pepe continuing to start on the right side.

As for Aston Villa, Bertrand Traore and Leon Bailey remain doubts for the game, however the South American duo of Emiliano Martinez and Douglas Luiz were both able to play vs Wolves despite returning late from international duty and will remain in the side against Arsenal.

Arsenal vs Aston Villa – kick off at 8pm (UK time) on Friday 22nd October 2021

Joel Tudor

ScoopDragon Football News Network

About the author

Niall McCaughan

Broadcast Journalist
Sport Social's Broadcast Journalist. Host of the Football Social Daily podcast. Football Commentator for Manchester United, Leicester City and more. Big Pompey fan.
Follow @niallpfc on Twitter

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