Arsenal predicted line-up for Aston Villa tie as Mikel Arteta rings the changes

Mikel Arteta is expected to make nine changes to the team which started in midweek as Arsenal welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners have won their last three matches, with the impressive 1-0 win at Manchester United last weekend sandwiched between Europa League victories over Dundalk and Molde.

The Arsenal boss rang the changes for the clash with Norwegian side Molde and is expected to revert to his first-choice starting XI as he eyes a fourth win in a row.

Standing in the way are Aston Villa, who came flying out of the blocks at the start of the season with four wins on the trot.

The run included a 7-2 thrashing of Premier League champions Liverpool, but Dean Smith's men have since been brought back to earth with defeats to Leeds and Southampton.

Smith was dealt a blow ahead of the trip to north London, as £17million summer signing Bertrand Traore was ruled out of the tie with a groin injury sustained last weekend.

The Villa boss has no other fresh injury concerns, with Tom Heaton and Wesley remaining long-term absentees while Kortney Hause may return to the bench.

Arteta also has no fresh concerns, with Calum Chambers and Gabriel Martinelli continuing their rehabilitation from serious knee injuries, and Pablo Mari recovering from an ankle complaint.

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Winger Reiss Nelson is a doubt for the clash after missing the midweek victory over Molde with a minor knee injury.

Arteta is expected to continue with the five-at-the-back shape which dominated United last Sunday, and may even name the exact same starting XI.

Mohamed Elneny has impressed alongside Thomas Partey in midfield and may be given the nod behind the attacking trident of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Willian.

Nicolas Pepe offers another option in attack and picked up a goal and assist in his most recent outing.

Bukayo Saka and Hector Bellerin are expected to continue in the wing-back roles either side of centre-back trio Rob Holding, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney, while goalkeeper Bernd Leno should start between the posts.

Arsenal predicted XI: Leno; Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney, Saka; Partey, Elneny; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Aston Villa predicted XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Douglas Luiz; Grealish, Barkley, Trezeguet; Watkins.

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