Mikel Arteta expects another 'difficult game' ahead of Arsenal vs Aston Villa
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 27: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Fulham FC at Emirates Stadium on August 27, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal are currently sat pretty atop the Premier League, being the only team to have a 100% record so far this season.

The Gunners edged past newly promoted Fulham 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium last Saturday in a tightly contested game, thanks to goals from captain Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Magalhaes.

Mikel Arteta's side now prepare to welcome Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium.

Villa have struggled to get started so far this season and have only picked up one win out of their opening four fixtures.

The last time the two teams met was last season at Villa Park in the Premier League, where Arsenal grinded out a tough 1-0 victory.

Team News

Arsenal were dealt a big blow ahead of their game against Fulham, losing midfielder Thomas Partey and fullback Oleksandr Zinchenko through injury. 

Speaking in an interview to the club's media [www.arsenal.com] Arsenal manager Arteta provided a fitness update for the two, and whether either of them could feature in midweek.

He said: "I don't think so. We still have to make another scan especially on Thomas [Partey] to see the length but I don't think they will be available.

"It is a similar area [to the one that kept Partey out last season], but hopefully not as bad."

Aston Villa

Currently sat 16th in the Premier League, Aston Villa have had a slow start to the new season, but Arteta has still stressed that the Gunners' midweek opponents will present a tough challenge. 

He said: "I watch the Premier League teams and how physical they [Villa] are. Every game here is a battle for everybody, and we don't expect anything different.

"Villa are a top team, they have a big squad, top quality players and a good manager, and we expect a difficult game again here on Wednesday.

"Obviously, since we played each other they haven't changed that much. We'll play towards the games and prepare as well as possible, but they're a really physical team with a lot of presence, who are really good at using the box and it will be tough."

A good start

Arsenal remain the only side in the Premier League this season to pick up the maximum amount of points from the first four fixtures.

Arteta reflected on his side's start, he said: "The most pleasing thing is the performances with the results.

"The way we are playing, what we transmit as a team and then getting that into winning football matches - there's the reason why we are where we are.

"There is still a lot to improve. There is room individually and collectively in many areas that we have to do."

The Gunners can secure their fifth win in a row if they are victorious on Wednesday night, but Gerrard's side will be no rollovers, and despite being underdogs will be looking to add to their current points tally.

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