Following a huge victory over Man City in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, Arsenal will look to carry their momentum into a positive Premier League finish.
It’s been a roller coaster of a season for the Gunners, though seemingly Mikael Arteta has righted the ship from the touchline. He’s won over the big-ticket star players, and done well to blend in more youth as well. They continue to be a team on the rise, though with very little left to play for in two Premier League matches, and a big FA Cup Final looming – how will the Gunners treat Tuesday’s match?
You better believe Aston Villa will be seeking answers to that question as well, as this is a crucial encounter for the future of their franchise. Villa currently sit 18th, in the final relegation position, and are just three points behind Watford. It’s worth noting that Watford play just before this match, so that’s definitely one to monitor and factor into your handicapping. If Watford loses to Man City (they should), it could open up a huge opportunity for Aston Villa to edge past them heading into the final matchday.
As you can see, the stakes are high as nobody wants to go down to the Championship. In a time where funds are tight for many clubs, the financial losses would be significant. This means a lot to Villa, and with the desperation so apparent, this showdown between Arsenal and the Villans should be must-see TV. As always, keep reading beneath the posted odds for further team news, tactics, and a betting suggestion to end off your day on a high note. Enjoy the match!
Arsenal vs. Aston Villa Betting Odds:
Aston Villa (+250)
Arsenal -0.5 (-102)
Aston Villa +0.5 (-118)
Over 2.5 (-140)
Under 2.5 (+120)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Aston Villa vs. Arsenal Pick
For a while, Dean Smith’s Aston Villa crew were basically the walking wounded. He’ll get some injury relief as his side heads to the Emirates Stadium for this crucial clash vs. the Gunners.
Danny Drinkwater and Kortney Hause will both return to the lineup, drastically improving their play without the ball. That should be pretty important against a skilled Arsenal club that will want to control the bulk of possession.
The issues for Villa this season have not been in scoring goals, where skipper Jack Grealish and Trezeguet provide excellent skill and finishing prowess – it’s been with their defense. With reinforcements back, and an added commitment to playing without the ball, Villa should be better.
They’ve also shown improvements since the restart. Though their goal differential in -5 in those 8 clashes, expected goals show a side that should actually be positive. The Villans have been a tad unlucky all season, and perhaps they get some good fortune to go their way down the stretch.
Expect Villa to try and push the pace, especially if Watford loses earlier in the day. They’ll need to seize a valuable opportunity and know they need a positive result. A win against an Arsenal side that is likely overly content following their FA Cup triumph vs. Man City, isn’t out of the question.
For Arsenal, it will be intriguing to see what type of lineup Arteta deploys. The only game that matters for them from here onward is next Saturday in the FA Cup Final vs. Chelsea. Beyond that, this side continues to improve their form – though glaring holes and questions do remain.
With this clash meaning the world to Aston Villa, and very little to Arsenal, expect that to be apparent early. Villa will need to push the pace and take chances, but still want to secure a positive result. They would likely also be content with a draw here. Expect renewed focus and players returning to strengthen an improved Villa back-line, and look for Dean Smith’s crew to carry that into a likely draw. Aston Villa +0.5 (to either win/draw), seems like a solid bet for Tuesday afternoon.
Pick: Arsenal 1 – Aston Villa 1