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Arsenal v Aston Villa – BBC Sport

David Luiz has conceded two penalties in four games for Arsenal – compared to three in 160 league appearances for Chelsea

TEAM NEWS

Sead Kolasinac was substituted in Thursday’s Europa League win because of a minor problem but Arsenal are hopeful he will be fit.

Rob Holding may be in contention and academy graduates Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka will hope to feature after both scored versus Eintracht Frankfurt.

Aston Villa winger Trezeguet returns after a one-game ban and Matt Targett has overcome a hamstring injury.

Jonathan Kodjia and James Chester remain sidelined.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Martin Fisher: One team can’t stop conceding, the other have stopped scoring… something has to give at the Emirates.

Arsenal’s sloppy second-half display at Watford was alarming and unless they cut out basic errors they have little chance of finishing in the top four.

After successive blanks, Villa will be hoping Gunners generosity will last a little longer. Dean Smith’s net spend was greater than any other Premier League manager over the summer and overall he’ll be encouraged by the way his new side is gelling, with lack of goals the only cause for concern.

I expect Villa’s drought to end but I think Arsenal will outscore them.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery: “I think every player can be important for us.

“Sometimes we are going to have one plan and we’ll need to change that to use different players in each match.

“We have some new players and players who we need to work with for their adaptation in the next matches. Progressively, they’re getting better.”

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith: “Any team is beatable, we saw that with Norwich’s result against Manchester City.

“When you go head-to-head against anybody you’ve got to have that belief but we know how tough it is at the Emirates.

“We’ve got great belief in what our players are about and we saw with that trip to Tottenham that we can go toe-to-toe with these teams.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

It was a case of ‘same old Arsenal’ with their defensive collapse against Watford on Sunday.

The Gunners still have a weakness at the back but, from what I’ve seen of them so far this season, I don’t think Aston Villa have got the attacking power to take advantage.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v former Wales rugby captain Sam Warburton

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Arsenal have won six consecutive league and cup games against Aston Villa, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last five.
  • Villa have won three Premier League away games at Arsenal, a tally exceeded only by Manchester United and Chelsea (both have four victories).

Arsenal

  • Arsenal have lost just one of their last 20 Premier League home games (W15, D4), with the solitary defeat coming against Crystal Palace in April.
  • They have recorded one clean sheet in their last 10 league matches, conceding two goals or more in six of those games.
  • The Gunners have made 14 errors leading directly to Premier League goals since August 2018, more than any other side.
  • They have also conceded a joint-league high 10 penalties since the start of last season, including three in the current campaign.
  • Since Unai Emery took charge, Arsenal have faced an unrivalled 47 Premier League shots after losing possession within 40m of their own goal.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored in the last seven league games he has started at the Emirates Stadium.

Aston Villa

  • Villa have lost nine straight away matches in the top flight, one shy of their club record, set from 1924 to 1925.
  • They are also winless in 20 Premier League away games (D3, L17), with their most recent victory coming at Bournemouth on the opening day of the 2015-16 season.
  • The Villans have lost 13 of their previous 14 league fixtures against sides from the established top six, earning their only point in a goalless draw with Manchester City in November 2015.
  • Jack Grealish has been fouled 179 times in league football (including play-offs) since the start of last season, more than any other player in the top four tiers.



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Boris Johnson confronted on east London hospital visit

The prime minister was visiting the maternity ward at Whipps Cross Hospital when he was approached by a father.

The man, who is also a Labour activist, told Boris Johnson that the ward was understaffed and the NHS was being destroyed.

A spokesman for the prime minister later said Mr Johnson was visiting public services to see for himself the reality of the situation.

They added the prime minister was “not going to hide away from those circumstances when he goes on these visits, and so obviously is keen to talk to people and empathise and see what he can do to help.

“It’s also a reminder of why exactly he is so keen to make the NHS a priority.”

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Former Khan adviser moves to Lib Dems over knife crime

(L-R) Leroy Logan, Siobhan Benita and Chuka Umunna

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@SiobhanBenita

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Leroy Logan (left) announced he would join the Lib Dems, alongside Siobhan Benita and Chuka Umunna

Sadiq Khan’s former policing adviser has joined the Liberal Democrats, saying his children were no longer safe in London due to rising violence.

Leroy Logan, a former police superintendent, said he quit the Labour Party over the London mayor’s failure to “grasp” knife crime.

Mr Logan will now become policing adviser to the Lib Dem mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita.

Mr Khan said he was wished Mr Logan “all the best of luck in the Lib Dems”.

“I think lots of parents, me included, are concerned about safety in London and across the country,” the mayor added.

“One of the things I’ve been keen to do since I became mayor is to persuade the government to realise that their cuts over the last nine years have consequences.”

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Sadiq Khan said he would “never apologise” for his policing policies

Speaking at the Lib Dem’s conference, Mr Logan said: “I’ve seen my children and their generation grow up in fear.

“It’s so tangible. It’s been normalised to such an extent it can happen anywhere, not just small pockets of deprived areas.”

Mr Logan said the mayor “doesn’t really understand” knife crime, and had “isolated himself” on the issue.

“He’s surrounded himself with people who think they are problem solvers, but are creating more problems on the street because they’ve lost touch with what is going on.”

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PA Media

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Leroy Logan is the former chairman of the Metropolitan Black Police Association

Mr Logan previously criticised the choice of Lib Peck to run London’s Violence Reduction Unit – a role he had also applied for.

Ms Benita, who is running in London’s 2020 Mayoral election, said: “Sadiq has wasted his mayoral term in not addressing this issue with the urgency it needs.

“While he continues to blame other people, our young children in London continue to be traumatised, petrified and at risk. There is so, so much more we can do.”

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Joe Willock signs long-term Arsenal contract

Willock has represented England at U16, U19, U20 and U21 levels

Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League club.

The England Under-21 international has been at the club since he was four.

Willock, who made his debut in September 2017 in a League Cup game against Doncaster, started Arsenal’s first three Premier League games this season.

“It is only right in my heart and my mind to continue my career here,” the 20-year-old told Arsenal.com.