Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal vs. Aston Villa

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, May 15 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Arsenal 1/7 – Draw 7/1 – Aston Villa 16/1

Match Preview

Arsenal welcome already relegated Aston Villa to Emirates Stadium for the final game of one of the most unpredictable Premier League season’s in history.

While unpredictable on the whole, there is something very predictable about how the Gunners’ season has panned out, as securing a top-four finish has once again become the priority in the last few weeks – an objective they have now achieved.

A battling 2-2 draw away at Manchester City last Sunday means Arsene Wenger’s side now only need one more point to secure third.

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However, Arsenal will be desperate to potentially leapfrog their bitter rivals Tottenham on the last day and finish second, although that relies on their neighbours losing away at relegated Newcastle and the Gunners winning.

If Spurs draw, Arsenal would need a most unlikely 13-goal margin of victory over Villa in order to finish second, so the main aim will just be to win the game and put on a show for the fans in what has ultimately been a season of underachievement and disappointment for Wenger’s men.

Aston Villa probably wanted this season to end about six months ago – it has been nothing short of completely disastrous – and you can’t help but feel for the fans.

Last weekend’s goalless draw at home to Newcastle did end a run of 11 straight defeats and avoid a club record of most consecutive losses (12).

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This will be the last time we see Villa participating in a Premier League game after 28 years in the top flight, as they look to prepare for life in the increasingly difficult Championship, and look to bounce straight back up.

The reverse fixture saw Arsenal win 2-0 at Villa Park back in December, while the last clash at the Emirates was a resounding 5-0 victory for the Gunners in February 2015.

Team News

Arsene Wenger may hand playing time to midfielders Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini who are retiring after this match – whether any of them start remains to be seen. Santi Cazorla could play for the first time since November following his recovery from a knee injury. Mesut Ozil has returned to training and could feauture after missing the Man City game with a hip injury, while Danny Welbeck is out for nine months after knee surgery. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson (both knee) remain long-term absentees, while Per Mertesacker is a doubt with a hamstring injury.

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Aston Villa’s Aly Cissokho is available again following a ban, while Rudy Gestede could return from a groin injury. Alan Hutton (calf), Ciaran Clark (ankle), Kieran Richardson (calf), Jordan Veretout (pelvis), Gabriel Agbonlahor (fitness) and Libor Kozak (fitness) are all doubtful. Jordan Amavi is out with a knee injury and Jores Okore will not feature because of an internal issue at the club.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: D/W/D/W/D

Aston Villa’s last five: L/L/L/L/D

Key Stat: Aston Villa have failed to win any of their 17 away games in the Premier League this season since a 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth (D3, L14).

Key Player: Jack Wilshere – Arsenal will have been delighted to see Wilshere pull through 70 minutes of an intense game away at Man City unscathed. Keeping him fit could be crucial next season and hopefully we will see a glimpse of his undoubted natural ability on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa – The Gunners should seal a comfortable victory on the final day against an Aston Villa side who will be turning their attentions to the prospect of Championship football next season.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Leicester

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea FC vs. Leicester City FC

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Sunday, May 15 – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 13/10 – Draw 13/5 – Leicester 19/10

Match Preview

Chelsea host Premier League champions Leicester on the final day of the 2015/16 Premier League season on Sunday afternoon, capping off what have been completely contrasting seasons for both sides.

Chelsea have had an incredibly disappointing campaign and will end the year by facing the side that have taken their Premier League crown, just 12 months after the Blues lifted a fourth BPL title.

Guus Hiddink will oversee his final game as interim manager before Antonio Conte joins the club this summer and he would love to cap off his second spell at the club with a victory in front of the home fans.

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The Blues put in a fine performance at Liverpool on Wednesday but had to settle for a 1-1 draw, stretching their winless run to three. They haven’t won at home since February and have now gone 11 league games without a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.

Leicester arrive at Chelsea as Premier League champions – something that seemed impossible nine months ago – but they fully deserve their success after a stellar campaign.

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri has worked wonders with the Foxes and they are now unbeaten in eleven league outings.

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The club will now be looking to try and maintain their performance levels next season but ending this year with another victory will be the only thing the players will be focusing on ahead of Sunday.

The Foxes won the reverse fixture 2-1 in December in what turned out to be Jose Mourinho’s final game in charge of the Blues. That result ended an eight-game winning streak for Chelsea against Leicester in all competitions. Leicester haven’t won at Stamford Bridge since 2000.

Team News

Club captain John Terry is suspended for the final game of the season, though he has been offered a one-year contract extension so this might not be his final match as a Chelsea player. Kurt Zouma, Loic Remy and Diego Costa will all miss out injured, while Branislav Ivanovic is a doubt. Some Chelsea youngsters are likely to be given minutes in Guus Hiddink’s final game in charge.

Leicester will be without former Chelsea centre-back Robert Huth as he serves the final game of his three-match suspension, while Matthew James remains the only injury concern as he is lacking fitness. Danny Drinkwater will return from suspension here and may replace Andy King in midfield.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: L/W/D/L/D

Leicester’s last five: W/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: Claudio Ranieri will win his 100th Premier League game as a manager if he can beat his former club on Sunday (W99 D48 L36), becoming the 18th man to reach that milestone in the competition.

Key Player: Wes Morgan – The Leicester captain, like so many of his teammates, has had an incredible season. His defensive qualities have shone through time and again and the club captain will want to cap off a fine season with another victory here. If Morgan plays the full 90 minutes on Sunday, he will become just the third outfield player to play every minute of a title-winning campaign (Gary Pallister in 92/93 and John Terry in 14/15).

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 1-1 Leicester – This is set to be another special game for Leicester and Claudio Ranieri. The Foxes will be welcomed to Stamford Bridge by a standing ovation from Chelsea players and would love to beat the Blues away for the first time in 16 years. Leicester have only once won away on the final day of a Premier League season in seven attempts, and there is little to choose between the two here. Chelsea will be desperate to avoid defeat on the final day as they look to improve for next year. Score draw.