Bet Builder Tips: Our belting 40/1 Villa v Arsenal punt for Saturday’s early kick-off

Our tipster Shane O'Brien weighs up Saturday's only Premier League clash.

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Arsenal’s five-game winning run was brought to a halt against Liverpool on Wednesday, and their grasp on fourth place will begin to look a lot less firm if they fail to beat Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners are currently one point clear of Manchester United with two games in hand (away to Tottenham and Chelsea) and face a tricky run-in, so their Champions League place is by no means guaranteed.

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The Draw

Arsenal face a potential banana skin on Saturday against a Villa side that appears to be finding its feet under Steven Gerrard. Prior to last Sunday’s defeat at West Ham they had won their three previous games, scoring nine and conceding none.

January signing Philippe Coutinho is starting to hit the heights he achieved with Liverpool, and Villa look a good bet to finish in the top half for the first time since their promotion to the Premier League in 2020. They can dent Arsenal’s top four aspirations with a Draw on Saturday afternoon.

Both teams to score

Arsenal have undoubtedly improved defensively under Mikel Arteta, but they have now failed to keep a clean sheet in four of their last five games. Villa, meanwhile, have scored ten goals in their last four games and have scored just two fewer goals than Arsenal in the league this season.

They can be reasonably confident of breaching an Arsenal defence that has conceded an average of more than one goal per game in the league. Arsenal, however, can be equally confident of causing problems for a Villa defence that has conceded 39 times in just 28 games.

Villa have managed four clean sheets in 13 home games and just once in their last seven outings at Villa Park. They have conceded 12 goals in that seven-game spell and will struggle to contain an Arsenal side that has scored in each of its last six league away games as Both Teams To Score.

Philippe Coutinho anytime assist

Philippe Coutinho has been a revelation since moving to Villa Park on loan in January. The Barcelona loanee has scored four and assisted three in his first nine appearances for Villa and is just two assists away from climbing to the top of the Villa assists charts.

Coutinho seems to have found a new lease of life since moving back to the Premier League, averaging 1.9 key passes per game in his first nine league appearances compared to just 0.1 key passes per game during his 12 league appearances for Barcelona.

All but one of Coutinho’s seven goal involvements have come at Villa Park and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him thwart an Arsenal side that he has haunted in the past. Coutinho has four goals and one assist in nine previous appearances against the Gunners and could easily add to the latter tally on Saturday with an anytime assist.

Gabriel Martinelli to score anytime

Martinelli caught the eye with a brilliant display against Liverpool on Wednesday night and will undoubtedly play a key role as Arsenal aim to compete in the Champions League for the first time since 2017. The Brazilian scored his first goal of the year in a recent win against Watford at Vicarage Road, brilliantly finding the top corner to give Arsenal a two-goal cushion.

Each of his last three goals in the league have come away from home and, with Arsenal struggling for a consistent goalscorer in the absence of top scorer Emile Smith-Rowe, he can step up to the plate for Arsenal at Villa Park. Martinelli to Score Anytime rounds us off.

Aston Villa v Arsenal tips

The Draw
Both teams to score
Philippe Coutinho anytime assist
Gabriel Martinelli to score anytime

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