Jan 13, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT
Arsenal will be seeking revenge in today’s Premier League clash at Aston Villa (watch live on NBCSN now and NBC Sports’ Live Extra) after the Villains defeated the Gunners 3-1 in the reverse fixture.
Arsene Wenger‘s side enter the the match on a strong run of form, undefeated in their last five competitions while Villa have struggled of late, most recently dropping 1-2 FA Cup decision to Sheffield Wednesday.
For today’s match, Olivier Giroud returns as the lone striker for Lukas Podolski, Serge Gnabry comes in for the injured Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil comes back to the attacking midfield, moving Jack Wilshere back into the holding role and giving Mikel Arteta a rest. Nicholas Bendtner and Thomas Vermaelen are out injured but long term absentee Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returns to the bench after missing the last five months with a knee injury.
For Villa, Karim El Ahmadi comes back to the starting lineup for Leandro Bacuna while Ciarain Clark forms a back three with Nathan Baker and Ron Vlaar, meaning Andreas Wiemann heads to the bench. Chris Herd is out with a hamstring issue while Libor Kozak, Jores Okore and Charles N’Zogbia are long-term absentees.
Aston Villa (3-5-2) — Guzan; Clark, Vlaar, Baker; Lowton, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph, Luna; Benteke, Agbonlahor
Bench – Steer, Sylla, Bacuna, Tonev, Helenius, Weimann, Albrighton.
Arsenal (4-2-3-1) – Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini, Wilshere; Gnabry, Ozil, Cazorla; Giroud
Bench – Fabianski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Rosicky, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ju-Young Park
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