Arsenal travel to Aston Villa on Saturday as Mikel Arteta’s men look to bounce back after what happened against Wolves on Tuesday.
Two red cards overshadowed all the good things we did in the first half at the Molineux. David Luiz’s sending off was questionable and Arteta claimed in his press conference today that he was ‘very hopeful’ that the FA would consider our appeal. (Arsenal.com)
Sadly, it hasn’t gone our way. Arsenal confirmed this evening that the FA had dismissed our appeal. The Brazilian, like Bernd Leno, will miss this weekend’s game, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.
Two forced changes at the back
Maty Ryan is still not back from his injury. It doesn’t look like he will make it in time for Saturday’s game, which means that Runar Alex Runarsson will be handed his first ever Premier League start.
Gabriel Magalhaes is expected to replace Luiz and that will likely be our only other defensive change. Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin are almost guaranteed to start, while Kieran Tierney’s injury means Cedric will continue at left-back.
Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey have formed an excellent partnership in the middle of our park. They will likely start again, and the duo will have to be at their absolute best to get us back to winning ways.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came on as a substitute on Tuesday and he is likely to do the same again this weekend. Both Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka have done enough to keep their spot, and Arsenal fans will be hoping that they continue their fine form.
Emile Smith Rowe has started every single game in the Premier League since Boxing Day. He was an injury concern recently as well, and it would be a wise move to give him a break amid our hectic schedule.
That would mean Martin Odegaard gets to make his full Premier League debut. The Norwegian got a few minutes under his belt against Manchester United last weekend, and he deserves to get some more from the start against Villa.
Alexandre Lacazette was withdrawn at half-time against Wolves as Arteta had to replace Luiz after his red card. The Frenchman is expected to start again, and he has a point to prove having scored just once since mid-January.