Tips & Predictions

Arsenal stay on track in 9/1 Aston Villa punt

Arsenal to win
Bukayo Saka to score
Ollie Watkins to have 1 or more shots on target
Martin Odegaard to have 1 or more shots on target
John McGinn to commit 1 or more fouls

*A Bet Builder on these selections adds up to around 9/1 with Paddy Power. TAP HERE TO ADD TO YOUR BETSLIP INSTANTLY

Sunday, 4:30pm
Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London
TV: Sky Sports Main Event

The Champions League games this week honestly were unreal weren’t they? Just so many goals, they were so exciting and leave the ties very evenly balanced.

And this is just as big a game for Arsenal as the Munich one.

Bayern were always going to be difficult – certainly more difficult than a lot of people thought.

Arsenal have been very, very good in the league this season though, so I don’t read too much into the European result. They didn’t lose, and they were up against a very good Bayern side who look like they’ve only got the Champions League to focus on now, they’ve got Harry Kane and they can salvage their season with the Champions League.

But the tie is still very much alive at 2-2, it’s just that they have to go and win in Munich now, which is not the easiest task.

Now they take on Villa, who had their own European test on Thursday, but when you’re challenging for things, you’re going to have big games on top of one another and adrenaline keeps you going on to the next game. If you’re a player and you’re playing at the top of the league, that’s why you’re in football, to play in games that matter.

Villa were unreal earlier this season and have felt a little bit indifferent of late. We saw them get ahead against Brentford last week and they couldn’t see it out. Still, on their day, they are such a good side.

Ollie Watkins, Aston Villa, February 2024

Ollie Watkins is banging them in, John McGinn does a fantastic job for them in midfield, and defensively they’ve still got enough to finish in the top four – even if I still fancy Spurs to nick in ahead of them.

Hopefully, we get that fifth Premier League spot for the Champions League next season and they both get in because Unai Emery’s doing a really good job.

And he might not say it publicly but oh my God I think it would be very satisfying for him to get one over on Arsenal. He’s been a top manager everywhere else he’s been and I think the Arsenal job was a quite a dark time for him – the fans were on his back, everyone was kind of taking a p*ss out of him.

There was a lack of respect for him, and obviously he’s gained that back and more since then with what he’s done in Spain and now with Villa.

It’s still hard to see Arsenal losing on Sunday though. They are the most in-form side in the league right now. They really look unbeatable.

Defensively, they’re just so sound. Saliba’s gone up a level and Gabriel been so good. They’re probably the best pairing around at the moment. And Declan Rice definitely helps too. He held things together at West Ham and he’s doing the same at Arsenal.

And you never really worry about them scoring goals or creating either. So Arsenal to win for me.

 

He’s scored against Munich and Brighton in their last two games and is the main man for them despite Kai Havertz’s surge in goal-scoring form.

If Arsenal win there’s every chance Bukayo Saka’s on the scoresheet.

While the Norwegian’s usually pulling the strings and picking passes, he’s also got an eye for goals and can hit the target on Sunday.

 

Villa’s top scorer has caused problems for defences all season and even up against Arsenal’s solid centre-half pairing, he can get at least an effort on goal.

 

John McGinn does so much for this Villa team – scores, creates, wins the ball – and occasionally makes a foul or two. This should be a solid bet on Sunday.

Arsenal to win
Bukayo Saka to score
Ollie Watkins to have 1 or more shots on target
Martin Odegaard to have 1 or more shots on target
John McGinn to commit 1 or more fouls

*A Bet Builder on these selections adds up to around 9/1 with Paddy Power. TAP HERE TO ADD TO YOUR BETSLIP INSTANTLY

*All prices quoted are correct at time of publication but subject to change

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