It’s another tough assignment for Remi Garde’s Aston Villa as they face Arsenal and Dan Fitch thinks that they’ll fail again.
Remy Garde is still waiting for his first win since taking over as Aston Villa boss and an unkind fixture list is not helping him to achieve this modest goal.
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Garde watched from the stands as Villa lost away at Spurs and has since overseen further defeats by in-form Everton and Watford, along with spirited draws against Manchester City and Southampton.
The festive period will see Villa take on fellow relegation candidates Newcastle and Norwich, which look like easier games to win than this encounter with Garde’s former club Arsenal.
Much like his mentor Arsene Wenger, Garde has a lengthy injury list to contend with. Jordan Amavi, Gary Gardner and Micah Richards are all out, while doubts remain over Leandro Bacuna, Rudy Gestede and Carlos Sanchez.
It’s been a good week for Arsenal, who qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3-0 win over Olympiacos.
Olivier Giroud helped himself to a hat-trick on Wednesday night to guarantee qualification for Arsenal, behind Bayern Munich. Now they must try to build on last weekend’s victory over Sunderland, which brought to an end a poor run of Premier League form.
It’s a welcome boost at a time when Arsenal have once again been decimated by injuries. Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla, Francis Coquelin, Tomas Rosicky, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere are all out for the trip to Villa.
Arsenal are the favourites at 1.61, with the draw at 4.30 and Aston Villa at 6.60.
Even accounting for Arsenal’s patchy form, this is a fair price against a Villa side that have not won since their opening day victory over Bournemouth and sit adrift at the bottom of the Premier League.
Villa have been losing at half-time in four of their last five defeats and Arsenal look decent value at 2.52 to win half-time/full-time. Garde’s team are also the joint lowest scorers in the Premier League, making Arsenal To Win To Nil another bet worth considering at 2.60.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Over 2.5 goals is the narrow favourite at 1.95, with unders at 2.04.
Villa might be struggling to score but their tendency to concede has seen five of their last seven games produce three goals or more. Arsenal are even more prolific in this regard, with 13 of their last 16 games breaching the 2.5 goal barrier. With these stats in mind, over 2.5 goals looks a very tempting price.
Olivier Giroud’s midweek hat-trick took his recent tally to ten goals from his last 12 games. It’s no surprise then that he’s as short as 2.00 to find the net, so we’ll take a chance on him scoring the first goal at 4.90.
Also among the goals for Arsenal in recent weeks have been Joel Campbell 3.25, Mesut Ozil 3.30 and Aaron Ramsey 3.05.
Back Arsenal half-time/full-time at 2.52
Back Over 2.5 Goals at 1.90
Back Olivier Giroud to score the first goal at 4.90
Will Olivier Giroud be celebrating another goal when Arsenal face Aston Villa?