Arsenal look to bounce back at Aston Villa

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin crosses the ball during the Premier League match at the Molineux Stadium,

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin crosses the ball during the Premier League match at the Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. - Credit: PA

Arsenal will look to bounce back to winning ways after seeing their seven-game Premier League unbeaten streak brought to a halt this week. 

The Gunners will make the trip to Villa Park to face Dean Smith’s Aston Villa on Saturday (12.30pm) in a match where they will be without goalkeeper Bernd Leno and defender David Luiz through suspension, although the boss could appeal the decision on his defender. 

“Well, on my understanding here I wouldn’t say 'yes, let’s go straight away because I think we have a big chance’,” Arteta said. 

“But I don’t know, I will speak to legal and the club and make the best decision of what to do.” 

New signing Mat Ryan could take his place in between the sticks although he missed the Wolves defeat through injury so the boss will be hoping to have him back in contention. 


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If not, 25-year-old goalkeeper Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson may be called upon once again after coming off the bench in the Wolves defeat.

“He had a muscular issue and in the last two days he hasn’t been able to train. Hopefully we can get him back in the next few days.” 

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They head into the clash on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Wolves where they only finished the contest with nine men. 

Nicolas Pepe's outstanding goal gave the Gunners a deserved lead amid a fine first half performance, but on the stroke of half-time a red card for David Luiz - and Reuben Neves' penalty - transformed the game. 

Joao Moutinho's spectacular strike put Wolves in front, and Arsenal’s hopes of a comeback were dashed when Bernd Leno was sent off for handling the ball outside the area. 

Arsenal’s Thomas Partey (right) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Pedro Neto during the Premier League ma

Arsenal’s Thomas Partey (right) and Wolverhampton Wanderers' Pedro Neto during the Premier League match at the Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. Picture date: Tuesday February 2, 2021. - Credit: PA

“The way we lost the game is where it really hurts and it's painful," Arteta said. 

"I have to take the positives as well in the way the team is evolving, the way the team played against this opponent, which is really difficult to attack, the amount of chances we created. We leave the ground, we have zero points and we lost two important players.” 

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