Paulista Debut! Arsenal v Aston Villa: Team News & Likely Line-Ups


Team News

The big news for Arsenal is that Alexis Sanchez will not feature this weekend as he will be rested for the visit of a struggling Villa side.

Jack Wilshere is expected to return within the next ten days, whilst Mikel Arteta is also absent in Arsenal’s midfield.

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Mathieu Debuchy, Danny Welbeck, About Diaby and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are the other guaranteed absentees for the Gunners- whilst Laurent Koscielny may not be selected as he still has issues with his achilles.

Aston Villa are without Libor Kozak and highly-rated defender Ron Vlaar, whilst former Gunners defender Philippe Senderos is also unavailable.

Paul Lambert’s side also have injury concerns for Fabian Delph, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Joe Cole and Leandro Bacuna.

Likely Line-Ups

After Wojciech Szczesny featured in last weekend’s FA Cup victory against Brighton, David Ospina is set to return to the starting line-up and continue as first choice in the Premier League, given his recent performances.

Defensively, Arsenal are also likely to continue with the impressive Hector Bellerin at right-back and with Kieran Gibbs on the opposite flanks. Per Mertesacker will captain the side in the middle and may have a new defensive partner in Gabriel Paulista, who is expected to come straight into the side given Koscielny’s achilles issues.

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In midfield, Aaron Ramsey looks set to continue partnering the impressive Francis Coquelin as the deep-lying duo, behind Santi Cazorla, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott- with the latter of the two having scored last weekend.

With Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck missing out, whilst Joel Campbell and Yaya Sanogo are now on-loan, Olivier Giroud is the only real striking option.

Arsenal XI: Ospina, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Paulista, Gibbs, Ramsey, Coquelin, Walcott, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud

Aston Villa are likely to start with Brad Guzan in goal, behind a defensive line of Alan Hutton, Jores Okore, Ciaran Clark and Aly Cissokho.

The visitors are likely to play with a three-man midfield, consisting of Ashley Westwood, Carlos Sanchez and Fabian Delph- if the latter passes as fit.

Andres Weimann, Christian Benteke and new signing Carles Gil, who scored his first goal for the club in their FA Cup victory against AFC Bournemouth last week, will be the forward trio.

Aston Villa XI: Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Clark, Cissokho, Westwood, Sanchez, Delph, Weimann, Benteke, Gil

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