LIVE: Aston Villa vs Arsenal | Premier League | July 21st, 2020
With a golden opportunity to build on what has been a stunning week for Arsenal, the Gunners will make the trip to relegation scrappers Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
David Luiz deserved all the praise that came his way after Arsenal’s stunning FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City, according to head coach Mikel Arteta.
The Brazilian’s defensive qualities have been often questioned after a series of high-profile and costly mistakes, but he was masterful at Wembley as Arsenal earned a shock 2-0 victory.
He made 11 clearances, four interceptions and a crucial block to deny Raheem Sterling in the second half, with Opta statistics showing he also won all four of his aerial duels and touched the ball more times than any team-mate.
David Luiz was hailed after the game for his “fantastic” display by former England captain Rio Ferdinand, having formed a solid back-three alliance with Shkodran Mustafi and Kieran Tierney.
It was apt that the Brazilian should produce his very best against City, having been widely pilloried for his display when Arsenal took on the same opposition and lost 3-0 in the Premier League last month.
Starting with the hosts, undoubtedly left heartbroken to have seen Everton snatch an 88th-minute equalizer at Goodison last week, Aston Villa know that they’re hanging onto their Premier League status by a thread. Entering their penultimate game of the season, Dean Smith’s men sit three points adrift of safety and know that they must leave Villa Park with something to show for themselves in midweek.
With a final day trip to a resurging West Ham later in the week, last year’s Championship play-off winners have managed to win just one of their last 13 top-flight appearances, a run that stems all the way back to January 21st. With time ticking away and MVP Jack Grealish failing to inspire his squad, Tuesday’s hosts should also be concerned by what is an extremely worrying record against their London opponents.
Including a 3-2 defeat when they made the trip to the Emirates earlier in the season, Villa have lost each of their last seven straight contests against their midweek guests.
After being given the green light following an injury issue, Chelsea loanee Danny Drinkwater could make his first appearance since the restart.
Elsewhere, while Kortney Hause is expected to be named among the substitutes, full-back Neil Taylor has failed to recover from a hamstring problem.