Aston Villa vs Arsenal: STARTING XI – Boss Uses VERY STRONG 4-4-2 Formation

Remi Garde rang the changes in the stalemate with Southampton, recalling Jores Okore, Joleon Lescott, Leandro Bacuna and Rudy Gestede for Micah Richards, Ciaran Clark, Kieran Richardson and Carles Gil.

Skipper Richards remains out for the visit of Arsenal with a knee problem, though Clark is back in contention after serving out a one-match suspension. Lescott and Okore would therefore seem set to battle it out to partner Clark in central defence.

Leandro Bacuna is fit after sustaining a knock at St Marys: he will hope to retain the left-back berth ahead of Richardson, with Alan Hutton on the opposite flank. Should Garde continue with a 4-2-3-1 formation, Idrissa Gueye and Carlos Sanchez will look to retain their starting berths in the engine room, allowing Jordan Veretout to continue further forward in attack.

Ashley Westwood offers an alternative option in central midfield. Up front, Gestede faces a battle to retain the central striker’s role, with Gabby Agbonlahor now fit, and Jordan Ayew offering an alternative should he not be deployed out wide.

Gil and N’zogbia may also come into consideration for the wide roles, along with Jack Grealish who has returned to training with the first-team.

Jose Crespo remains sidelined, although Tiago Llori may come into the equation for the squad having returned to fitness. Jordan Amavi is Villa’s only long-term absentee.

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