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Paul Merson predicts Arsenal v Aston Villa result

Arsenal and Aston Villa lock horns at the Emirates Stadium in the Premier League’s first match of gameweek nine on Friday night.

Mikel Arteta and his charges will be eager to put things right after labouring to a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace on Monday.

Only an injury-time Alexandre Lacazette equaliser spared Arsenal’s blushes against an Eagles side that outplayed the Gunners on their own patch.

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Villa, meanwhile, have been inconsistent over the past few weeks and go to the Emirates on the back of two consecutive defeats.

STEVEN GERRARD TO ASTON VILLA IS WRONG.

Dean Smith’s charges beat Manchester United at Old Trafford and thrashed Everton 3-0 last month.

However, they capitulated against Wolves last time out, spurning a 2-0 lead to concede three in the last 10 minutes plus injury time.

Merson, who played for both Arsenal and Villa, believes it’ll be a tight encounter.

“Arsenal have done alright in the Premier League so far,” he wrote on Sportskeeda.

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“People said it was a bad result the other day against Crystal Palace, but I think this is the kind of game they lost a couple of years ago.

“In recent weeks, they’ve kept sticking at it and need to win this one badly, as otherwise, it’ll quickly become three games without a win in the Premier League.

“Aston Villa, on the other hand, had a nightmare result against Wolves.

“They were 2-0 up with 10 minutes left on the clock but somehow squandered their advantage, as they made a series of wrong substitutions.

“It’ll be a tough game, but I expect Arsenal to just edge this one (2-1).”

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