[Teams] Aston Villa vs Arsenal: Key duo ruled out for Gunners

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Arsenal will look to get back to winning ways when they take on Aston Villa at Villa Park this afternoon. 

Mikel Arteta has suffered a major doubt blow ahead of the game. Number one goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been ruled out after suffering a hip injury in the first half during Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday night. Bernd Leno is recalled to start his first Premier League game since August.

Gabriel Martinelli is also ruled out of the game this afternoon due to illness. Emile Smith Rowe is therefore recalled to start in the attack along with Bukayo Saka – who keeps his place on the right flank. Nicolas Pepe has to settle for a place among the Arsenal substitutes once again.

Kieran Tierney once again lines-up at left-back for the Gunners so Nuno Tavares has to settle for a place on the bench. Takehiro Tomiyasu isn’t involved this afternoon as he’s still working his way back from a calf injury that’s hampered him for several weeks. Therefore, Cedric Soares continues at right-back.

Ben White partners Gabriel Magalhaes in the heart of Arsenal’s back four so Rob Holding has to make-do with a place among the substitutes. Thomas Partey will be looking to continue his excellent form as he lines-up in the holding role again.

Granit Xhaka also keeps his place in the starting eleven while Martin Odegaard will be looking to continue his superb recent form. Albert Sambi Lokonga and Mohamed Elneny are named among the substitutes.

Alexandre Lacazette leads the line up front for the Gunners this afternoon so Eddie Nketiah remains on the bench.

As for Villa, Douglas Luiz is passed fit to start but Calum Chambers drops to the bench against his former club. Ashley Young starts at full-back while Ollie Watkins starts up front for the hosts.

Here are the confirmed line-ups:

Aston Villa

Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Young, Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Coutinho, Buendia, Watkins

Subs: Olsen, Sanson, Traore, Chambers, Ings, Bailey, O’Reilly, Iroegbunam, Chukwuemeka

Arsenal

Leno, Tierney, White, Gabriel, Cedric, Partey, Xhaka, Smith Rowe, Saka, Odegaard, Lacazette.

Subs: Okonkwo, Holding, Pepe, Tavares, Sambi Lokonga, Elneny, Nketiah, Swanson.

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