Arsenal will be bidding to make it five straight Premier League victories at the start of the 2022-23 campaign when they welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Gunners lead the way in England’s top flight with 12 points from four matches, but Villa are down in 15th spot in the table, having only picked up three points from their opening four games of the campaign.
Arsenal were far from their best against an impressive Fulham on Saturday, but the Gunners managed to grind out a 2-1 victory over the Cottagers, with Martin Odegaard levelling the scores in the 64th minute before Gabriel Magalhaes netted the winner four minutes from the end of normal time.
It has been a flying start to the season for Mikel Arteta’s side, winning all four of their matches, scoring 11 times and conceding just three, to leave them top of the division on 12 points, two points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
The Gunners started their campaign with a 2-0 success at Crystal Palace before running out 4-2 winners over Leicester City in their first home match of the season; the capital outfit then beat Bournemouth 3-0 before the narrow success over Marco Silva’s Fulham last time out.
Arteta’s team has the small matter of a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United this weekend, and it would be some achievement if the managed to enter that match with a perfect record from five games.
While Arsenal are flying, the same cannot be said for Villa, who will enter Wednesday’s difficult away fixture off the back of a 1-0 home defeat to West Ham United, with Pablo Fornals netting the winner in Sunday’s affair.
Steven Gerrard’s side were beaten at Bournemouth on the opening weekend of the season before recording a 2-1 victory over Everton at Villa Park, but they have now lost their last two in the league, suffering a 3-1 defeat at Crystal Palace on August 20 before the reverse to West Ham last time out.
Villa did record an impressive 4-1 win over Bolton Wanderers in the EFL Cup on August 23, but they are currently down in 15th spot in the Premier League table, which is a concern considering that their next two matches are away to Arsenal and at home to Man City.
Gerrard’s team finished 14th in England’s top flight last season, 10 points above the relegation zone, and it remains to be seen whether they can push for a potential top-half spot this term.
Villa have actually won three of their last five league games against Arsenal but have lost the last two, including a 3-1 defeat in the corresponding match in North London last term.