Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Aston Villa v Arsenal

Mark Lawrenson is backing Aston Villa to secure a 2-1 win against Arsenal at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: BT Sport / Screengrab)

Mark Lawrenson is backing Aston Villa to secure a 2-1 win against Arsenal at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners suffered a 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux Stadium on Tuesday night despite taking the lead in the first half.

Nicolas Pepe broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute before Ruben Neves equalised from the penalty spot in the fifth minute of added time at the end of the first half after David Luiz was sent off.

Joao Moutinho edged Wolves into a narrow 2-1 lead before Bernd Leno was sent off in the 72nd minute for a handball.

Arsenal went seven games unbeaten to seemingly have turned a corner under Mikel Arteta before their 2-1 loss to Wolves.

Aston Villa have struggled to find a level of consistency throughout the 2020-21 campaign despite producing some impressive results, including a 7-2 win over defending champions Liverpool FC.

The Birmingham side are a point ahead of Arsenal in ninth position in the Premier League table, having played two games less than the Gunners.

BBC Sport pundit Lawrenson is backing Aston Villa to ease to a 2-1 win against Arsenal at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.

“West Ham did a job on Aston Villa on Wednesday but, unlike last season, I don’t look at Dean Smith’s side when they lose now and think they are going to go on a run of bad results,” Lawrenson told BBC Sport.

“The Hammers were set up to nullify Jack Grealish, and it worked, so it will be interesting to see how Arsenal approach this one.

“Will the Gunners bother doing that with Grealish, or will they just think they are better than Villa and just go and play their football? I don’t know.

“Arsenal are without the suspended David Luiz in defence after his red card in Tuesday’s defeat by Wolves, so they might change their shape and go with three at the back – but I fancy Villa to edge this one anyhow.”

Aston Villa are looking to complete their first league double over Arsenal since the inaugural season of the Premier League in 1992-93 after the Gunners lost 3-0 to the Villa Park outfit in the reverse fixture this term.

Arsenal have scored nine goals in their past four league away games in the Premier League.

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