Arsenal v Aston Villa preview

Arsenal v Aston Villa preview

Published Feb. 22, 2013 7:15 a.m. ET

Arsenal are without full-backs Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs, but January signing Nacho Monreal is available to return against Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Monreal sat out the Bayern defeat after playing for Malaga in the Champions League group phase and he will likely replace Thomas Vermaelen at left-back, while Carl Jenkinson should come in on the right for Sagna, who is out with a knee injury.

Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker were paired together against Bayern and could start alongside each other again, while Olivier Giroud is pushing for a recall up front.

Aston Villa playmaker Charles N'Zogbia has recovered from the thigh injury suffered during the closing stages against West Ham in time to be fit.


Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and midfielder Karim El Ahmadi are also available after illness ruled them out of the 2-1 win against Sam Allardyce's side.

Defender Chris Herd (foot) is also poised to return to training next week but winger Marc Albrighton (foot) and defender Richard Dunne (groin) are still ruled out.