Villa's dream run can continue at the Emirates
Punters thinking about steaming in to Arsenal at odds of 4/7 may want to think twice when they hear that none of the last six league meetings between these two has ended in a home win.
Aston Villa are on a four game winning streak and will attract plenty of support at 4/1 to once again enhance their claim to breaking in to the top four and they will arrive brimming with confidence knowing they are the only Premier League team to have never lost at the Emirates.
This is a game that sees the league's best attack (Arsenal) against the best defence (Villa) but the Gunners power up front has taken a bit of a hit since Robin van Persie got injured and barring a 3-0 victory against struggling Hull, the goals have not been as free flowing and against this tough Villa defence, the home side may struggle to find a way through.
Villa have drawn two of their three games at the Emirates and won the other so the 5/2 on offer about a stalemate after 90 minutes could be popular while 0-0 is bit at 12/1 although with such talent on show 1-1 at 11/2 or 2-2 at 14/1 looks more realistic.
A huge boost for Arsenal is that Cesc Fabregas may return to anchor midfield and is 7/1 to mark his return with the first goal but it may be more moments of genius from Andrei Arshavin (5/1) that see the Gunners get off to a flyer and he along with Eduardo are joint favourites to net the first goal.
The Villans have a host of goal scoring talent in all areas of the pitch with Gabriel Agbonlahor (7/1 for first goal) and John Carew (15/2) both looking dangerous while Emile Heskey has even started scoring and can't be ruled out at 9/1 to bag the first, but James Milner has score three in his last five and is a good bet at 11/1 for the first goal or the safer option of 4/1 to score anytime.
It has been Villa's defence that has seen them shoot up the league and they have kept a clean sheet in their last four games and are 9/2 to do so again and on current form they look like a cracking bet in most of the markets at the prices, and if the 4/1 about them in the match betting doesn't appeal, you can cover yourself from the draw by backing them with a goal head-start at 6/5.
Martin O'Neill's side won this fixture last year 2-0 and the same score line is a huge 22/1 with 1-0 at 11/1 and 2-1 12/1. If you think Arsenal will have no problems on their home turf then 1-0 at 11/2 or 2-1 at 6/1 may appeal to you but the Villans look the bet.
History may not be on Villa's side statistically but recent history is and under O'Neill they have been getting better and better as the season has gone on and without the distraction of the Europa Cup, they look like they won't be running out of steam anytime soon and with the added carrot of moving ahead of Arsenal should they win you can be sure the Gunners are in for a tough afternoon.
Arsene Wenger has come out recently and said that the last four trophyless years have actually been his most successful but a loss on Sunday would see their grip on a Champions League place slip further as Villa begin to look more and more like the side to break the top four and it will take a brave man to back Arsenal at odds on when the most in form team are paying at 4/1.
Aston Villa - 4/1
James Milner to score anytime - 4/1