Arsenal vs Aston Villa 17 August 2013 Watch Live


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Emirates Stadium
Kick-off: 15.00 BST.
TV: Highlights BBC ONE Match of the Day.

Arsenal (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs; Ramsey, Wilshere; Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski; Giroud.
Out: Arteta (thigh), Diaby (knee), Miyaichi (ribs), Monreal, Vermaelen (back).
Tests: Sagna (ankle), Sanogo (hamstring).

Aston Villa (Possible, 4-3-2-1): Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Luna; Westwood, Tonev, Delph; Weimann, Agbonlahor; Benteke.
Tests: Herd (calf), Sylla (ankle).

Referee: Anthony Taylor. Matches: 24, R6 Y48.

Team News
Arsenal have been dealt a blow with the news that Mikel Arteta could be out for up to six weeks with a thigh injury.

The full extent of the Spanish midfielder’s problem is still to be discovered, but Gunners manager Arsène Wenger did at least receive a boost regarding the fitness of Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey ahead of their Premier League opener at home to Aston Villa.

Walcott limped out of England’s 3-2 friendly win over Scotland with a knee injury while Ramsey did not feature for Wales at home to the Republic of Ireland due to an ankle problem.

“(Thomas) Vermaelen is out, (Nacho) Monreal is out and Arteta will be out for this game tomorrow as well. That is the three main injuries we have at the moment. Monreal is not far from coming back. Arteta and Vermaelen are a bit longer,” Wenger said.

“It could be as long (as six weeks for Arteta), but honestly we don’t know yet. We have to check the severity with the doctor. I haven’t talked to the doctor.”

England forward Theo Walcott (knee) will be available and while Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey missed the midweek international against the Republic of Ireland because of an ankle injury, he is expected to feature.

Full-back Nacho Monreal is to resume full training next week, while captain Thomas Vermaelen continues his rehabilitation, along with midfielder Abou Diaby.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, meanwhile, expects to be without midfielder Yacouba Sylla.

The energetic Mali international is struggling with a twisted ankle suffered in a youth team game earlier this week and is unlikely to have overcome it in time for the trip to north London.

Versatile midfielder Chris Herd is also highly unlikely to feature but Lambert has no other concerns unless any of his men return from international duty with new injuries.

Match Notes
After quiet summers, both sides remain largely unchanged from the 2012-13 model.

Yet while Villa’s lack of activity is seen as a mark of stability, Arsenal’s is interpreted as stasis.

Stasis is a word that could as equally apply to stand-in captain Per Mertesacker, whose lack of pace – in comparison to Villa’s rapid front three – makes the job of the Arsenal midfield all the more vital.

Betting: Home 4-11, Away 15-2, Draw 19-5.

Stat of the game: Arsenal last lost at home on the opening day of the season 20 years ago, against Coventry.

Jonathan Liew’s prediction: Arsenal 2 Aston Villa 1.

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