Premier League Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Arsenal vs. Aston Villa (Sunday, Nov. 8)
Visionhaus. Pictured: Jack Grealish
- Arsenal hopes to maintain its recent form Sunday when it faces Aston Villa in London.
- The Gunners enter the match fresh off a 1-0 win against Manchester United and face an opponent that has lost two consecutive games.
- Michael Leboff tells us how he’s playing this interesting Premier League match.
Arsenal vs. Aston Villa Odds
|Arsenal Odds||-159 [BET NOW]|
|Aston Villa Odds||+425 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+310 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-148/+120) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Sunday, 2:15 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
Turns out Aston Villa may not win the Premier League, after all.
Following a perfect start through their first four matches, including a 7-2 win over Liverpool, the Villans have tumbled back down to earth thanks to back-to-back losses against Leeds and Southampton.
A trip to The Emirates to take on up-and-down Arsenal now awaits Villa. The Gunners have won three on the spin across all competitions, but can you trust them as -150 favorites?
Arsenal are a peculiar team.
After starting the season with three wins and a loss, the Gunners were pulled into the mid-table with back-to-back 1-0 losses to Man City and Leicester. Those are strong teams, but considering three of Arsenal’s four wins in the Premier League have come against Fulham, West Ham and Sheffield United there are more questions than answers at the Emirates once again.
Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Man United on Sunday helped quell some nerves around North London, but those three points were a testament to Arsenal’s defense, which held United to just 0.39 expected goals at Old Trafford. The Gunners’ defensive performance at United wasn’t an outlier, either. Arsenal have surrendered just three goals on 2.7 xGA over their last four Premier League matches.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Overall, Arsenal have played pretty close to their results. According to StatsBomb, the Gunners are averaging a -0.09 xG differential per 90 minutes on the season, which paints them as a mediocre team. Arsenal have enough quality to outscore their xG, but they’re still a tricky team to trust.
After a blinding start, Aston Villa are going through a bit of a wobble. The Villans have dropped two matches in a row by a combined score of 7-3. After losing 3-0 to Leeds United, Villa fell behind, 4-0, to Southampton before clawing three goals back in the second half. Villa were a bit unfortunate to surrender four times in that game, their xGA was 2.45, but it was still a worrying performance from a team that turned its fortunes around thanks to great defensive play.
Villa’s defensive turnaround last season was astounding as they went from one of the leakiest teams in the league from August until March, to one of the sturdiest after the pause. Dean Smith’s side allowed just 1.01 xG per match in their last 10 matches of 2019/20.
That form carried into 2020/21 as the Villans allowed 0.93 xGA per 90 minutes in their first four matches of this season.
Aston Villa’s defensive numbers have suffered over the past two weeks, but I trust them to bounce back and make life difficult on an Arsenal attack that is creating scoring chances at a pedestrian rate so far this season.
The Gunners have match-winning talent up front, but they’re only creating 0.98 non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes through seven Premier League matches in 2020/21. Arsenal have dealt with a tough schedule to this point, but I can’t back them at this price in a match that could end up in a gridlock.
I don’t think the goals will come easy for Villa, either. Arsenal’s defense has really started to shine and the addition of Thomas Partey in the middle of the field has already paid dividends for the Gunners. Partey played a huge role in shutting out Manchester United last weekend and I expect him to be all over Jack Grealish, Ollie Watkins and Ross Barkley on Saturday.
That said, I’m having a hard time looking away from Aston Villa in this spot — especially considering that this will be the third match in seven days for the Gunners. Arsenal did make a slew of changes for their win over Molde on Thursday, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’ve been playing a lot of soccer due to their Europa League obligations.
At +410, you need Aston Villa to win this game 19% of the time to start seeing value. I think that the Villans tick that box.
In a game where one goal can be the difference, I’ll buy low on Villa and hope their defense returns to form.