Arsenal follow up their midweek European success with a trip to the West Midlands in order to take on the Premier League’s bottom club Aston Villa, in a highly-anticipated clash.
Villa currently see themselves seven points adrift of safety, yet last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Southampton was a step in the right direction as they seek a first win in 15 league matches.
The Gunners, on the other hand, will head into the encounter buoyed by their Champions League progression after defying the odds to beat Olympiakos 3-0 in Athens.
Villa’s under-fire playmaker Jack Grealish could be back in contention, and Villa will need him at the very top of his game as Arsenal’s very own creative influence, Mesut Ozil, is in such a rich vein of form.
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As per the table provided by Opta Stats, there is only one winner when comparing the two so far this season, as Ozil recently stated his belief that he is currently in the form if his life.
The German World Cup winner has a whopping 12 assists for the season, including the unique record of providing at least one assist in seven consecutive Premier League matches.
Arsenal’s star player averages 4.5 key passes, 85.71 touches and 58.07 accurate passes per match, figures which all better his upcoming opponent, Grealish.
In the absence of Alexis Sanchez, the burden and pressure falls on the former Real Madrid man’s shoulders, but thus far he is thriving in the spotlight.
Grealish has some way to go before producing such consistency for Villa, yet that shouldn’t detract from his importance to the team and if they are to avoid the drop this season, he must feature regularly.