Aston Villa vs Arsenal: Flamini, Chambers Back for Villa Test

Arsenal will look to bounce right back from Tuesday’s disappointment when they visit Aston Villa on Saturday.

The ‘Gunners’ were less impressive in the Champions League opening group game at Borussia Dortmund in the midweek, eventually conceding twice in the space of three minutes either side of first-half and second-half.

Villa, like the north Londoners, are yet to lose so far this season but maintain are four-point gap ahead of their opponent.

Interestingly, Paul Lambert’s men proceeds to the weekend’s encounter on the back of a stunning 1-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield, while Arsenal drew 2-2 at home to Manchester City same day.

“I think the players are naturally determined to bounce back,” he said. “You always want to remind the players where we failed. We want to re-dress what wasn’t done well. But we want to respond.

“We had a disappointing performance more than a defeat [on Tuesday]. We came out of Saturday’s [draw against Manchester City] feeling that we had a very good performance and on Tuesday night we didn’t. So it’s important we come back.

Arsene Wenger at Villa Park Last Season. Image: Getty.
Arsene Wenger at Villa Park Last Season. Image: Getty.

“We have confidence in our strengths and we want to show that we can perform. It is always a test for us to go to Villa Park but we want to bounce back quickly and I’m sure we will.”

This fixture caused an early scare for Arsenal fans last season, as the Villain’s metted a 3-1 defeat on the hosts in the first game of the previous campaign.

Team News

Aston Villa

Ron Vlaar is an injury doubt for second-placed as the Dutch defender is yet to recover from a calf injury which forced him out of the trip to Merseyside last weekend.

Nathan Baker could be called upon to stand in for the centre-back against seventh-placed Arsenal. Cristian Benteke is back to training but yet to reach full match fitness following a five-month injury layoff due to a ruptured Achilles.


Mathieu Flamini and Callum Chambers are both available for Aston Villa after missing midweek’s loss through tonsillitis and groin injuries respectively, but defender Nacho Monreal has not fully recovered from a back injury.

Wenger says Mathieu Debuchy could be sidelined for either six weeks or three months depending if his ligament damage requires surgery.

He said: “He has an exploration of his ankle on Friday night and they go in and look how the ligament is damaged, and after that we know if he does need surgery. If he doesn’t, it’ll be six weeks, if he does need surgery it’ll be three months. At the moment we don’t know.”

New signing Danny Welbeck is rest assured to start with Yaya Sanogo out with a hamstring injury.


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