Saturday's Premier League action gets underway at Villa Park as mid-table Aston Villa and title-bidding Arsenal go head-to-head in a handsomely-looking contest.
Following an impressive four-game unbeaten league run (W3, D1), Aston Villa first succumbed to a 4-2 home defeat to Leicester City a fortnight ago before going down 3-1 at Manchester City last weekend.
Unai Emery must steady the ship quickly if the Lions are to increase their chances of securing a first top-half finish in the Premier League since 2010/11 as they start this round three points adrift of tenth-placed Chelsea.
Villa Park hasn't been Villa's safe shelter in 2023 by any stretch of the imagination, with the Birmingham outfit picking up just one win in five home outings since the turn of the year (D1, L3).
Luckily for the hosts, Arsenal's downturn in fortunes couldn't have come at a more opportune moment for them, with Mikel Arteta's team going winless in three straight league games for the first time this season (D1, L2).
After slumping to a dismal 3-1 home defeat to reigning champions Man City on Wednesday, the Gunners slipped to second in the table, yet with a game in hand, they could still return to the summit.
Aston Villa's growing defensive woes have seen them keep just two clean sheets in their last 12 competitive outings, contributing to their new-found status as 'entertainers.'
Indeed, Villa Park has been a venue of entertainment of late, with five of Villa's last six home matches seeing over 2.5 goals and both teams on the scoresheet.
Against this backdrop, Villa's last three top-flight meetings with Arsenal at home have yielded an identical 1-0 scoreline (W2, L1), highlighting the potential for a cagey, low-scoring affair.
Desperate to return to winning ways and get their stuttering title pursuit back on the rails, Arsenal will turn to their three-game H2H winning streak for inspiration.
However, after losing their last two away fixtures in all competitions, the Gunners are staring down the barrel of three straight defeats on hostile turf for the first time since December 2021.
Villa Park has historically been Arsenal's stomping ground, though, with the Londoners only beating West Ham United (14) more often in away Premier League games than Villa (13).
Aston Villa vs Arsenal Potential Line-ups
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Emiliano Martinez; Ashley Young, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Alex Moreno; Boubacar Kamara, Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey; Emiliano Buendia, Ollie Watkins, Leon Bailey.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Granit Xhaka, Jorginho; Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Leandro Trossard; Eddie Nketiah.