'I'm going with them': Mark Lawrenson predicts Arsenal vs Aston Villa result
Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he believes home advantage will help Arsenal claim a narrow win over Aston Villa on Friday.
The Gunners host the Villans looking to build on their dramatic stoppage-time equaliser against Crystal Palace on Monday.
Alexandre Lacazette spared their blushes after the Eagles had taken a 2-1 lead. They could have had few complaints had they lost against Patrick Vieira’s men.
As it was, the point moved them above Villa in the Premier League table.
Of course, Villa had to deal with their own stoppage-time drama at the weekend. They looked to be cruising to a 2-0 win over Wolves with 80 minutes on the clock.
However, the visitors scored three times to snatch all three points and consign Villa to back-to-back defeats.
Lawrenson suggested that he is not yet convinced that Arsenal are back on track, but he did back Mikel Arteta’s side to make it three defeats on the bounce for Villa.
“Aston Villa suffered a late collapse against Wolves last time out, while Arsenal scraped a draw with Crystal Palace on Monday in a game that said more about where they are at the moment than their recent run of three straight wins did,” he told BBC Sport.
“The Gunners probably thought they had turned the corner after their poor start to the season but I don’t think that is the case. I’m going with them to win this one, but that is mainly down to them having home advantage – it is going to be another close one,” he added, as he predicted a 2-1 win for Arsenal.
Arsenal looking to exact Emirates revenge on Aston Villa
Arsenal have a further point to prove following their draw on Monday. This fixture provided one of the darkest days in Arteta’s tenure to date last season.
Villa won 3-0 in North London last term. And they went on to do the double over Arsenal, with a 1-0 victory at Villa Park earlier this year.
Both sides clearly have a lot of potential. And they are both working on their squads after incredibly busy summers.
A victory for either will see them move up to ninth ahead of the weekend. Failure to win meanwhile, may see a little more pressure applied to either Arteta or Smith.