Premier League: Arsenal vs. Aston Villa
The Villains travel to the Emirates intending to show that they have what it takes to break the supremacy of English football’s elite quartet.
If Villa wins this afternoon (13:30 GMT), Martin O’Neill’s side will rise to third and, impressively, complete a clean sweep of Premier League’s Big Four, having already defeated Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United this season.
The boys from Birmingham have won their last four league matches without allowing a goal, and are on a run of eight straight in all competitions without a defeat.
The only worry for O’Neill’s men is their dreadful record against arsenal in recent years. Their 2-0 victory at the Emirates last season was Villa’s only win against the Gunners in 21 league matches.
Arsene Wenger will still be without Nicklas Bendtner, Tomas Rosicky, Gael Clichy, Kieran Gibbs, Robin Van Persie and Johan Djourou on a lengthy injury list.
Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas and Armand Traore, both with hamstring problems, face a race against time to make the Boxing Day fixture.
UPDATE: Cesc Fabregas came off the bench and bagged a brace as the Gunners climbed to second in the EPL table with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa.