Arsenal aim to extend lead at Luton as Man City travel to Aston Villa

By on December 4, 2023

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

We have another exciting round of Premier League matches to look forward this week and there are some important games at the top of the table. League leaders Arsenal travel to Luton Town on Tuesday while Manchester City take on Aston Villa the following day, so the Gunners have the opportunity to extend their lead at the summit.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key midweek games:

Luton vs Arsenal

Arsenal cemented their place at the top of the Premier League table with a relatively comfortable 2-1 win over Wolves at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Hot off the back of their superb 6-0 demolition of Lens in the Champions League, the Gunners once again came flying out the blocks at the weekend.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring in the 7th minute with a fine finish before Arsenal doubled their lead in the 13th minute when Martin Odegaard swept home following a stunning move involving Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus. Arsenal have several chances to put the game to bed but were wasteful in front of goal. Wolves never gave up and ensured it was a tense finish when Cunha pulled one back in the 87th minute. Eddie Nketiah should have calmed the nerves to make it 3-1 almost immediately but hit the post when put clear through.

Thankfully, Arsenal held on to secure the win and move four points clear at the top of the table ahead of Sunday’s action. Liverpool reduced the advantage to just two points with a late comeback win over Fulham at Anfield. The Merseysiders remain in second spot after Man City were held to a controversial 3-3 draw at home to Tottenham. City now sit third – three points adrift of Arsenal – and they face a tough trip to fourth-placed Aston Villa on Wednesday.

Therefore, the Gunners will want to put the pressure on Pep Guardiola’s side and extend their advantage over City to six points with a win at Luton Town on Tuesday evening.

Luton head into the game off the back of a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Brentford. It’s left them sitting 17th in the table and just two points ahead of Everton and Burnley, so they desperately need a positive result tomorrow to help boost their relegation fight.

Prediction: Luton will look to make life difficult for Arsenal but it’s going to be extremely difficult for the newly-promoted side. Arsenal have been back to their free-flowing best in recent games and should have far too much quality for the opposition tomorrow. It may take a while to break Luton down, but we expect the Gunners to ease to another three points to extend their lead at the top.  Luton 0-2 Arsenal

Aston Villa vs Man City

If Arsenal beat Luton on Tuesday, as expected, then the pressure will be on their title rivals to respond the following night. However, Man City face a tough trip to the Midlands to take on Aston Villa at Villa Park.

City have stumbled lately and head to Villa off the back of three consecutive draws. After drawing 4-4 at Chelsea, City then played out a 1-1 draw with Liverpool before Sunday’s thrilling 3-3 draw at home to Tottenham. City were leading twice in the game and looked to have won it when Jack Grealish swept home in the 81st minute.

However, Dejan Kulusevski headed home the equaliser for Spurs in the 90th minute. There was more late drama when the referee blew up for a free-kick when Grealish was put clean through in the last minute of stoppage time. Man City were furious with the decision, and had to settle for a point at the Etihad Stadium. The result leaves them third in the table, three points off Arsenal, so they cannot afford to drop any more points on Wednesday.

But they’ll be up against a Villa side with one of the best home records in the country. Unai Emery has transformed Villa over the past 18 months and they sit fourth in the table after drawing 2-2 at Bournemouth on Sunday. Villa have the potential to cause Man City plenty of problems and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the defending champions drop more points on Wednesday night. Those fans with Manchester City tickets will be hoping for a big performance from their team in midweek to keep pace with their rivals in the title race.

Prediction: This should be another cracking game and Emery will be desperate to show his side belong in the top four equation with a positive result against City. Aston Villa have been terrific on home soil and we think they’ll do enough to take a draw from this game. Villa 1-1 Man City

Other contenders

Liverpool moved up to second with a dramatic win over Fulham and they can cement their position with another win at Sheffield United on Wednesday night. Jurgen Klopp’s men haven’t been at their best at times this season but they keep grinding out results and are still right in the mix at the top of the table.

They’ll be confident of going away with another three points against a Sheffield United side who are in disarray following their humiliating 5-0 defeat to Burnley at the weekend. Chris Wilder is expected to return as manager after the Blades sacked Paul Heckingbottom following the defeat on Sunday, but Wilder won’t have much time to organise his troops before Liverpool come to town. Therefore, Liverpool are expected to win the game at Bramall Lane to keep pace with Arsenal.

Elsewhere, Manchester United will be looking to bounce back with a win over a rejuvenated Chelsea side at Old Trafford. United slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle at the weekend which has left them sitting seventh in the table, so Erik ten Hag will be demanding a response from his players at Old Trafford.

However, Chelsea head into the game off the back of a morale-boosting 3-2 win over Brighton. They secured the win despite being down to 10 men so Mauricio Pochettino will be looking for a win over United to move the Blues up from their current 10th position in the table.

Tottenham are also in action as they entertain West Ham on Thursday night. Spurs are fifth in the table after their 3-3 draw with City, and they’ll want to take advantage of any slip-up from their rivals to move into the top four with a win in North London. Ange Postecoglou is having to cope with a crippling injury list but if they show the spirit they did at City against West Ham, Tottenham should have enough quality to secure the win.