Arsenal predicted line-up vs. Aston Villa: £71m front three start plus latest updates on Jesus, Saka & Timber

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The latest Arsenal team news, injury updates and predicted XI ahead of their Premier League clash against Aston Villa.

Arsenal face a tough test of their title credentials this Sunday when they welcome Champions League-chasing Aston Villa to the Emirates in one of the biggest games of the weekend.

With so much on the line and only goal difference separating the Gunners from second-placed Liverpool, Mikel Arteta will be hoping to have a full first-team squad to choose from but must reckon with concerns over the condition of players like Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Magalhães and Gabriel Jesus.

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We’ve collected all of the latest information on the condition of the Arsenal squad and predicted Arteta’s likely starting line-up for Sunday’s match below – and if you’re looking for some up-to-date information for your Fantasy Premier League team, you can also check out our Top 2,000 manager’s latest advice column by clicking here.

Goalkeeper & Defence

The only serious fitness concerns that Arsenal have had in defence in recent weeks has been over defender Gabriel, who withdrew from the Brazil squad ahead of the friendlies against England and Spain with an injury and went on to play through a knock he picked up after a challenge by Danny Welbeck in the 3-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

There had been some speculation that the centre-half may be rested for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, but he ended up playing the full 90 minutes and as such seems likely to start again on Sunday afternoon.

Summer signing Jurriën Timber, meanwhile, remains out of action with the anterior cruciate ligament injury he sustained against Nottingham Forest back on the opening day of the season – but the Dutchman is back in training with at least some chance that he features again before the very end of the campaign. Arteta has said that he is “doing very well” but has stopped short of suggesting that he is on the brink of getting game time again, mentioning that he may turn out for the Under-21 team first.

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Midfield

There are no new injury worries in Arteta’s midfield three, with Thomas Partey back in action from the bench in the 2-2 draw against Bayern despite missing out on minutes against Brighton. The Ghanaian midfielder recently withdrew from his international squad in order to concentrate on regaining full match fitness after an injury-riddled season so far.

Forwards

Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus has been struggling with persistent knee and hamstring injuries throughout the season and admitted that he may need surgery after the end of the season, adding that “I don’t remember the last day I played football without pain.”

He also said that he was determined to see out the season, even if meant missing this summer’s Copa America to undergo treatment. The forward was dropped from the starting line-up against Bayern but came on as a second-half substitute for Jorginho.

Bukayo Saka, meanwhile, played a full part in the Champions League quarter-final despite recent fitness issues leading to his being rested against Luton Town and withdrawn just over an hour into the win over Brighton. Arteta has said that “he is fine” and he is expected to start again this weekend.

Full predicted line-up vs. Aston Villa

Raya; Kiwior, Saliba, Gabriel, White; Rice, Jorginho, Ødegaard; Martinelli, Havertz, Saka.

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