English Premier League

Aston Villa v Arsenal: Watkins and Odegaard set up 22/1 shot

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins has an excellent goalscoring record against Arsenal

Aston Villa and Arsenal come into Saturday's game off the back of headline grabbing wins in midweek. Former Arsenal boss Unai Emery will be hoping to keep up his side's good form but Ben Steele thinks Mikel Arteta could be the happier after an entertaining game...

  • In form Watkins can continue superb season

  • Martin Odegaard is back amongst the goals

  • Recent domination bodes well for Gunners


Aston Villa vs Arsenal
Saturday December 9th, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports Football

Arsenal right to be wary of Watkins

While it was Leon Bailey who got the goal and the Villa defence who earned the plaudits on Wednesday, a big part of Unai Emery's success so far at Villa Park has been his ability to get Ollie Watkins firing. With eight goals already this season England forward is on pace for his best ever scoring return and Saturday night gives him a chance to face off against one of his favourite opponents.

Watkins has played Arsenal six times in his Villa career and found the net on four occasions, including the last time these two sides played back in February. Linking with Moussa Diaby and Leon Bailey, Watkins has been superb all season.

Mikel Arteta would probably prefer to play Takehiro Tomiyasu in this game but the Japan interntational is expected to miss out through injury so Arsenal will likely play Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is much less defensively sound. Watkins to score anytime is well worth a look at 15/82.88.

Ollie Watkins to score anytime @ 15/82.88

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Fit again Odegaard offers major goal threat

Arsenal's marquee result this season was also a 1-0 win over Manchester City, but it came at a bit of a cost. Martin Odegaard spent the next month dealing with an ankle problem that limited his ability to impact games to the same level as he did last season.

Arteta.jpg

However, the Norwegian looks to be back amongst the goals with two in his last three appearances. Under Mikel Arteta the Arsenal skipper has drastically improved his finishing ability and regularly finding himself on the end of a cutback around the penalty spot.

Odegaard is also one of a number of players, including Bukayo Saka and Jorginho, who have stepped up to take a penalty this season so 16/54.20 to score anytime is a great price. I wouldn't be too surprised to see him open the scoring (9/110.00) on Saturday evening either.

Martin Odegaard to score anytime @ 16/54.20

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Gunners continue matchup dominance

Watkins' goal in February was the first in a 4-2 Arsenal win and in recent seasons that had become something a theme. The Gunners have won all of the last four meetings between the two sides but Villa have scored in three of those matches.

Arsenal have been excellent defensively this season, even Tuesday's dramatic 4-3 win over Luton saw them limit their opponents to just seven touches in their penalty area, but Villa are more confident and better equipped to try and impose their style on their opponents. 10 of Villa's 15 league games have seen both teams score, including six of the last eight, while Arsenal have won their last six matches scoring 18 goals - at 11/43.75 I'm backing Arsenal to win and both teams to score.

Back Arsenal to win and BTTS - Yes @ 11/43.75

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Those looking for a good value Bet Builder could do a lot worse than backing goals from Watkins and Odegaard market to back Arsenal, creating a 22/123.00 bet. February's 4-2 win saw two goals scored in injury time, Betfair's Match Odds 90 market will pay out on the result at 90 minutes - saving you from any late drama.

Back Watkins & Odegaard to score and Arsenal to win @ 22/123.00

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