It's a huge clash on BT Sport this weekend as Arsenal look to get on top in the Premier League title race with a result at Villa Park. 

Read on for's preview of the game as Unai Emery faces off against his former employers as manager of Aston Villa.

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Emery's revenge

It's been two years and three months since Unai Emery was dismissed from his role as Arsenal coach following a dismal Europa League home defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in November 2019.

The Spaniard was filling the boots of the great Arsene Wenger when he assumed the role of Arsenal boss at the start of the 2018/19 season.

And it's fair to say the pressure of replacing the club's greatest and longest-serving manager weighed heavy on Emery's shoulders as he chopped, changed but ultimately failed to produce a winning team in red and white.

Unai Emery
Unai Emery faces his former club as Aston Villa boss.

Since leaving Arsenal, it's fair to say Emery's reputation was restored. The ex-Sevilla coach became the most successful coach in UEFA Cup/Europa League history in 2021 when he lifted the trophy for a fourth time with Villarreal.

And when Steven Gerrard was dismissed in October 2022 with Aston Villa out the relegation zone on goal difference, Emery was the man selected as his replacement.

Now 11th in the Premier League table, Emery will be hoping to build on his strong start to life at Villa Park and beating the title-chasers - and his former employers - Arsenal, would lay down a serious marker.

Will VAR play centre stage again?

Tomas Soucek's handball denying Conor Gallagher during West Ham vs Chelsea, Mario Lemina's sending off for Wolves against Southampton, Pervis Estupinan's disallowed goal for Brighton vs Crystal Palace and permitting Ivan Toney's equaliser for Brentford at Arsenal...

It was quite the weekend for the Video Assistant Referee system and the Premier League and perhaps the most notable decision of all saw Toney's 74th-minute equaliser allowed to stand against Arsenal.

The goal - which inflicted a damaging blow to Arsenal's title chances - stood after a lengthy VAR check after official Lee Mason failed to draw the offside lines to spot Christian Norgaard's position with the Brentford man offside. 

VAR at the Emirates
Will VAR play a pivotal role again this Saturday?

The PGMOL chief Howard Webb apologised to Arsenal for what he described as a "human error" by Mason in allowing the goal to stand.

Mikel Arteta, while acknowledging the apology, said on Tuesday that it wasn't human error but rather a case of Mason "not understanding his job" and commented he'd only be happy if Arsenal were given their two points back.

All eyes are likely to be on Stockley Park should any significant incidents be referred to the VAR officials again in the west Midlands in what could be a pivotal decision for the destination of the Premier League title.

Can Arsenal bounce back from title blow?

The magnitude of Arsenal's clash with Manchester City on Wednesday night was clear from the outset.

It felt like a potentially season-defining game, a match that could drastically change the course of the title race.

And that may well be the outcome. City were 3-1 winners, despite a strong Arsenal performance, and climbed above the Gunners to the top of the Premier League table on goal difference.

Arsenal were beaten by title rivals Man City at the Emirates on Wednesday
Arsenal were beaten by title rivals Man City at the Emirates on Wednesday

It's a blow for Mikel Arteta's team, who had been on a seemingly endless winning run prior to their defeat at Everton two weeks ago.

That was followed by a disappointing draw at home to Brentford and then the defeat to City, and after three games without a win some of the pessimism of recent years has begun to creep in.

For the players, the key will be staying calm and rediscovering the performance levels that took them to the top of the division. Victory at Villa Park will be key if Arsenal are to avoid a damaging slump.