Thomas Partey was taken off injured as Arsenal lost 1-0 at Villa Park.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Thomas Partey of Arsenal receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park on February 06, 2021 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 06: Thomas Partey of Arsenal receives medical treatment during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park on February 06, 2021 in Birmingham, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Thomas Partey was replaced by Willian after 75 minutes when the midfielder went down injured.

After the game, Mikel Arteta said, “I don’t know we will see the extent of the injury. He wasn’t feeling well enough to continue playing so we had to take him off.”

Arsenal have just announced their team for the game against Aston Villa and Mat Ryan gets his first start for Arsenal:

Arsenal lineup: Ryan, Bellerin, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Lacazette

Subs: Runarsson, Chambers, Mari, Elneny, Ceballos, Odegaard, Willian, Martinellie, Aubameyang

After an incredibly frustrating defeat to Wolves, let’s have a look at the Arsenal team we predict Mikel Arteta to select to bounce back against Aston Villa.

Mikel Arteta File Photo File photo dated 08-11-2020 of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.Copyright: Andy Rain
Mikel Arteta File Photo File photo dated 08-11-2020 of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. Copyright: Andy Rain

The less said about the Wolves game, the better, but it’s fair to say the Arsenal squad will be feeling a sense of injustice. They now need to channel that into motivation to get a result away at Villa Park on Saturday.

One bit of good news going into this game is that Arsenal don’t have another for over a week afterwards. The next midweek is for FA Cup fixtures, so Arteta’s squad can rest up.

As a result, we’re not predicting a huge number of changes. Obviously, there are one or two required by the red-card suspensions for Bernd Leno and David Luiz, but here’s how we think Arsenal will line up overall.

Goalkeeper

Mat Ryan after signing for Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Mat Ryan after signing for Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal.com)

We know this is one position where Arteta has to make a change. Bernd Leno picked up a one-match ban for his handball on Tuesday, and this is that one match.

The big question is whether Mat Ryan will be fit. If he is, you’d expect him to start, given the amount of Premier League experience he has compared to Runar Alex Runarsson. Otherwise, Runarsson will be making his first league start in England.

Right now, it looks like Ryan has passed his late fitness tests. Icelandic reporter Hjörvar Hafliðason, who seemingly has links to Inaki Cana and Runar Alex Runarsson, claims Ryan will start.

Defence

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

It’s hard to see many changes from the back four that finished the match against Wolves on Tuesday.

If Arteta sounded pessimistic on Ryan’s fitness, he was even more so on Kieran Tierney, admitting Tierney “wasn’t close at all” to playing in midweek. As a result, Cedric Soares should start.

David Luiz is out with his suspension, and Pablo Mari is only just returning from injury, so Gabriel Magalhaes is nailed on to start at left-centre-back. Rob Holding will probably keep his place on the right, with Hector Bellerin at right-back.

Midfield

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Thomas Partey of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 02, 2021. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Thomas Partey of Arsenal runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 02, 2021. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

One small positive consequence of the red cards against Wolves was that a couple of players came off earlier than expected. Thomas Partey was one of them, leaving the field to make way for Runarsson. As a result, he should be able to start this one too.

Granit Xhaka will surely start alongside him, as the pair are forming a good partnership at the base of Arsenal’s midfield.

It’s hard to call who will get the nod in front of them. For the time being, Arteta seems to be keen to continue giving Emile Smith Rowe chances if at all possible. Tuesday seemed like a chance to rotate with Martin Odegaard, but it didn’t happen.

After Smith Rowe was forced to complete the full 90 against Wolves for a team with nine men, after his recent injury problems, surely this time he has to rest.

Forwards

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal celebrates with team mates (L-R) Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin of Arsenal after scoring their side's first goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 02, 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts - Pool/Getty Images)
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Nicolas Pepe of Arsenal celebrates with teammates (L-R) Alexandre Lacazette and Hector Bellerin of Arsenal after scoring their side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 02, 2021. (Photo by Nick Potts – Pool/Getty Images)

Like Partey, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe came off early against Wolves, with Lacazette making way for Gabriel at half-time and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang replacing Pepe.

You’d think that would mean both are available to start against Villa. It seems like Pepe is also a better fit than the alternatives on the left while Arsenal are playing a right-footed left-back, as they are at the moment.

Bukayo Saka has to start on the right, as he remains one of Arsenal’s main threats in attack. He was unlucky not to get a single goal from his explosive start on Tuesday.

That means Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Willian, and Gabriel Martinelli on the bench.

Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Aston Villa

Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Aston Villa created with Chosen11.com
Arsenal Predicted Lineup vs Aston Villa created with Chosen11.com
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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.