Former Premier League striker Chris Sutton has predicted Arsenal to beat Aston Villa, but says his “head is telling me this will be a draw”.
Arsenal are going through their worst run of form this season and have seen an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League relinquished in the blink of an eye.
Wednesday’s defeat against Manchester City saw the reigning champions leapfrog them on goal difference.
Without a win in four matches across all competitions – including defeats home and away to City – the Gunners will be very eager to bounce back at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.
It is another tricky fixture with former Arsenal boss Unai Emery now in charge of the Villans.
While Emery will have a fire in his belly for this fixture, Villa are going through a difficult period themselves after enjoying a honeymoon period under the Spaniard.
The Midlands outfit were beaten 3-1 by City a few days before they inflicted the same scoreline on Arsenal, making it two losses in a row after the disappointing 4-2 battering at home to Leicester City.
With Villa on the back of two heavy defeats, ex-Blackburn Rovers and Celtic striker Sutton hopes Arsenal will come out victorious on Saturday.
I say ‘hopes’ because Sutton admitted that his head is telling him the match will finish a draw, but his “heart wants there to be a title race this season”.
Going heart over head in his prediction of a 2-1 win for the visitors, the Hoops legend wrote in his BBC column: “This has turned into a crucial game for Arsenal, who are without a win in four matches in all competitions.
“It’s not the case that they have lost form – I was at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday for BBC Radio 5 Live and in the first half they were very good, although Manchester City controlled things after the break.
“It doesn’t really matter how well the Gunners play here, though. They just need to find a way to win.
“It’s really important for their manager and the fans, but also the players too. They are a young team, who had a fantastic first half of the season, but the longer they go without a victory, the more pressure they will come under.
“Villa will be awkward opponents, however, as they showed when they played City on Sunday. They carried a threat in the second half and could have made it a tense finish.
“I can see them causing Arsenal problems too and my head is telling me this will be a draw, but I am going to follow my heart – and my heart wants there to be a title race this season.”
The BBC readers agree with Sutton’s heart, with 57 per cent (at the time of writing) saying the Gunners will win.
Arsenal’s last away match in the top flight was against Everton. They lost 1-0.
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