Mikel Arteta feels his Arsenal team must take the positives from Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat to title rivals Manchester City.

The reigning champions leapfrogged the Gunners to the top of the table on goal difference after goals from Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Erling Haaland at the Emirates Stadium.

But Arsenal still hold a game in hand over the Citizens, and Arteta wants his players to have a positive mindset as they look to get back on track away at Aston Villa on Saturday.

“We have seen where the level is and what we have to do to be at that level,” Arteta told reporters. “There are a lot of positive things to take, for sure, from the season so far (and the loss to City).

“We know that the level of efficiency has to be good with every single game to beat them (City) at the end.”

Unai Emery had positive team news ahead of the visit of Arsenal with Tyrone Mings, who signed a new contract on Friday, returning from injury.

“Tyrone Mings didn’t play last week,” Emery said Friday. “He was training yesterday and today. He’s in the squad. We will decide if he is ready to start the match as well.”

Diego Carlos is also close to getting back on the pitch, having suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in August.

“Diego Carlos is starting back which is very good news,” Emery said. “He trained with us (Thursday) and (Friday) but he’s not in the squad, obviously.”


Aston Villa – Ollie Watkins

Watkins has scored in three successive league games for the first time since August 2018, with Brentford in the Championship, and will be looking to net in four consecutive league appearances for the first time in the top four tiers of English football. Can he achieve that feat against the Gunners?

Arsenal – Jorginho

Jorginho scored his only away brace in the Premier League to date against Villa, netting two penalties in Chelsea’s 3-1 win at Villa Park in December last season. He played well on his first full start in deputising for Thomas Partey against City, and will be hoping to put in another strong performance here if he gets on the pitch again.


– After winning three consecutive Premier League games against Arsenal from July 2020 to February 2021, Villa have now lost each of their last three against the Gunners.

– Only against West Ham United (14) have Arsenal won more Premier League away games than they have against Villa (13), though they have lost two of their last three visits to Villa Park.

– Arsenal have lost their last two away games in all competitions, as many as they had in their first 14 on the road this term (won 11, drawn one). They last lost three on the bounce away from home in December 2021, while they have not lost three in a row without scoring since December 2009.

– Villa boss Emery took charge of 51 Premier League games for Arsenal between August 2018 and November 2019 (W25 D13 L13). This will be the Gunners’ 10th Premier League match against one of their former managers – the previous nine were all against George Graham between 1996 and 2000 (four victories, four draws and one loss), with their only defeat coming at Tottenham in November 1999 (1-2).

– Nine of Villa’s 34 Premier League goals conceded this season have come in the opening 15 minutes of games, both a league-high total and percentage (26 per cent). However, the Villans have also scored a league-high share 31 per cent of their Premier League goals in this timeframe this season (eight of 26).