FT: Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 0

Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 0. No goals at Villa Park, with the points shared. A poor contest played in even worse conditions ends goalless.

Final few seconds and Guzan takes forever with a goal kick. Villa happy to take a point and move back out of the Premier League relegation zone. Arsenal, meanwhile, sit sixth on the back of this result.

Jenkinson with a better delivery into the box. Arsenal have plenty of bodies inside the area, but none of them can get a touch.

Villa looking to run down the clock. Lambert has already left his seat and is heading for the dressing room. He must feel as though Villa have done enough to earn a share of the spoils.

Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.

Fina change of the afternoon sees Weimann make way for Albrighton.

Fans starting to head for the exits, they have seen enough. We may get a late twist yet, you never know. There are some tired legs out there now.

Arshavin with a brilliant ball in towards Gervinho. Clark has to get a touch to the ball, and he does as he sends it behind. Guzan flaps at the resulting corner, but touches the ball behind again. Second effort from Cazorla is not the best, with the delivery curling out of play.

Arsenal fans not happy with the change. On the field, the ball is in the Holt End and neither side seems that bothered that it takes an age returning to the side of the pitch.

Final change by Arsenal sees Giroud make way for Coquelin.

Gibbs flies forward from full-back. Much better delivery this time as he cuts the ball back towards the penalty spot. Giroud sticks out a leg, but fails to make contact.

Arshavin takes a turn to try and pick the Villa lock. The hosts have bodies behind the ball and in a solid line of seven at the moment. Arsenal lacking ideas when it comes to breaking a dogged defence down.

Guzan able to step off his line and collect another disappointing delivery from the Gunners. He has been rarely threatened today. When Arsenal have come close, they have missed the target.

Benteke and Koscielny take a tumble. The Villa man jumps back to his feet and races forwards. Mertesacker does really well to come across and block a shot. The resulting corner comes to nothing.

Solid from Koscielny as he stands up to Holman and nicks the ball off his toe Jenkinson leads an Arsenal charge. Giroud takes over, but can't feed a pass into Ramsey.

Bannan with yet another delivery into the Arsenal box, but the Gunners are able to clear. Struggling to see where we might get a winner from now. Maybe Holman has another thunderbolt left in him.

Jenkinson pulled up for a foul. He disagrees with the decision, but Villa can once again send men forward for a free-kick from a wide position.

Set-piece comes to nothing. So close then from Holman. Brilliant strike. Back with the present and Agbonlahor has conceded another free-kick. Arsenal still happy to play the ball short, rather than send men forward.

Giroud back with us. Great strike then arrives from Holman, as he rattles the bar from 25 yards. Szczesny got a touch as the ball cannons behind off the woodwork for a corner.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has looked lively, unlike some others, but he is replaced by Arshavin. Another attacking change by Wenger.

Giroud down for Arsenal holding his ankle. Clark caught him and Bannan asks for the ball to be put out of play. Physio back on the field.

Not a million miles away from Ramsey. He collects from Gervinho and drifts across the edge of the box. He slips as he shoots, but his effort skids narrowly wide of the upright.

Free-kick to Villa wide on their left. Chance to load the box. Delivery goes long to the back post, where Villa have three men arriving. Benteke can only nod into the arms of Szczesny from a tight angle.

Space for Benteke in behind Gibbs. His cross is only half-cleared. Weimann is inside the box, but the ball won't drop his way. Holman then snapping around midfield trying to win the ball back for the hosts.

Oxlade-Chamberlain threatening again, and he forces another corner, which he will take himself. The delivery is hung up high, but again no Arsenal player can make contact.

Guzan in no rush to get the game started again. Villa are then unfortunate not to spring Holman clearn down their right. The ball skips off the wet surface and out of his reach.

Wild swing from Lichaj has Villa rocking, and they have to conede a corner. Oxlade-Chamberlain's delivery is nodded back to him by Benteke. Gibbs then shapes to shoot, but goes wide to Gervinho. His first involvement sees him run the ball out of play.

Podolski hauled off, again, by Arsenal. Gervinho thrown on in his place. Podolski yet to finish a game he has started in the Premier League for the Gunners.

Movement now on the Arsenal bench, with Gervinho stripping off. Wenger looking for a winner, Villa prepared to takw what they have. They are, however, looking dangerous on the counter.

Nice one-touch stuff from Villa, with Benteke linking up with Weimann. The latter frees Agbonlahor. He is able to get away a well-struck shot, but he fires down the throat of Szczesny.

Frustration mounts for Arsenal. Cazorla looks to feed a delicate pass into Giroud. He is blocked off and would never have reached the pass anyway. Cazorla left stood with his hands on his hips.

Oxlade-Chamberlain takes aim from distance, but his effort is easily blocked. Ramsey slows things down to walking pace. That's the last thing we need! Agbonlahor then fells Mertesacker.

Weimann off and running again. He lays the ball off to Agbonlahor. He looks to drift inside and tee up Holman. Poor pass from the Villa skipper surrenders possession.

Time for Jenkinson to pick a cross, but yet again his delivery is poor and Clark can bundle clear unchallenged from in front of his own goal. Villa look to spring clear. Weimann inches away from finding Benteke with a dangerous cross.

Second change by Villa sees Holman replace El Ahmadi.

Another decent opportunity goes begging for Arsenal. Cazorla's delivery from the corner is glanced on by Giroud. Ramsey left all alone at the back post, but he send a half-volley high over the crossbar.

Podolski fires a pass at Cazorla chest-high. Unsurprisingly he can't do a lot with it. The Gunners do win a throw though. Movement again on the Villa bench. On the field, Podolski sees a shot deflect behind off Lowton.

Bannan racking up the yards as he trots back over to the other side. This time Arsenal are able to deal with a ball into their box, with Arteta hacking up to halfway. Villa keep probing, with Lichaj drifting a cross into the arms of Szczesny.

The ball ends up back with Bannan, who sends it over again, His delivery gets a touch off an Arsenl player and runs behind for another corner. Bannan from the other side picks out Benteke. His header comes off the back of Mertesacker and behind.

Lichaj almost bundles the ball into the path of Weimann, but Gibbs does enough to block his path. Villa try again, with Westwood breaking up play really well. A hopeful shot from Benteke deflects narrowly over the top. Bannan's corner is nodded clear.

Free-kick to Arsenal in the middle of the park, which they play short. Giroud then tries to dig a Hollywood pass out from under his feet and out to the left wing. The ball drifts out of play for a throw. Again, trying to do too much. He had other options.

An injection of pace from Oxlade-Chamberlain has him troubling Clark. He brushes past him and into the box. A low cross to the front post is turned wide of the target by Ramsey. At last we have a spark of sorts!

Arsenal knocking the ball around in midfield, but not really getting anywhere. They go from side to side, without looking forward. Villa standing firm.

Koscielny stops for a second, before realising that Agbonlahor is at his shoulder. Szczesny is alert enough to make sure he can gather a loose ball on the edge of his box. Arsenal then fail to piece together an attack.

Bannan decides not to go for goal. Instead, he hangs the ball to the back post. Clark is arriving, but the delivery has a bit too much on it and he can't divert the ball back across goal on the volley. Agbonlahor now donning the captain's armband for Villa.

Nice from Agbonlahor as he slips between two defenders. Mertesacker hangs out a leg and the Villa man goes down. Opportunity to test Szczesny from 30 yards out. Vlaar, we are told, has a calf problem.

Poor from Giroud. He gathers the ball 35 yards from goal and turns. He then swings his left foot at the ball and rolls a tame effort at Guzan.

Vlaar forced off and Lichaj takes his place. Enforced change early in the second half, with Vlaar hobbling away towards the dressing room.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has space to move into. He is thinking about that too much and forgets to control the ball.

Villa working so hard for one another when Arsenal have the ball. They are looking to press high up the field. When the ball does reach Giroud, he stands on it. Agbonlahor races clear, past Jenkinson, but can't pick out a cross.

Agbonlahor sees a snap shot from the edge of the area blocked at source. The ball breaks for Westwood, but he doesn't really catch his shot crisply and the ball trickles into the arms of Szczesny. Arsenal can break through Podolski, but he crosses into the hands of Guzan.

So close from Cazorla. Oxlade-Chamberlain rolls the ball into his path and, after exchanging a one-two with Giroud, he fires inches past the angle of post and bar from the edge of the box.

Weimann motors through the middle of the park, and prods on to Benteke. Villa looking the more lively at the start of the second half. As I say that, they give the ball away and invite a counter.

Bright opening to the half from Villa, with a pass floated towards the corner flag for Agbonlahor. He tries to cross on the turn, but fires into Gibbs.

Villa get the second half underway, once Giroud has slowly made his way out of the tunnel.

The players are back with us and we are ready for the off once more.

Straight to the point from Rory Connors. He says: "I do not think Arsenal will win."

Remember you can also bet in-play at Skybet.com. Villa are now 7/2 to pick up a win, with Arsenal evens and the draw 13/8. You can get 7/2 on the game to end 0-0.

How do you see the second half going? Get your thoughts in to Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB.

Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 0. Goalless at the interval, with there only really one opportunity of note - which Koscielny sent over the bar. Weimann had the ball in the net at one stage, but he was flagged offside.

Mertesacker fends off Agbonlahor inside the box. Wenger off his seat to demand his side keep their concentration until the interval.

One minute of stoppage time to be played.

All too hurried again, from both sides. They are desperate to try and play a killer pass when they should be looking to keep possession and wait for an opportunity to present itself.

Giroud pulls wide to the left. He provides the best delivery of the evening, with Koscielny picked out in front of goal. Not sure what he is doing there, but he has time to turn a shot goalwards. From eight yards out he sends a poor effort over the top. A defender's finish if ever I saw one.

El Ahmadi into the penalty area, with Koscielny standing off him. He only has Benteke to aim at and can't force the ball across to the Villa frontman. Groans from the home support.

Another poor cross from a wide area by Arsenal. Gibbs this time fires the ball out of play. Villa have had very little to deal with it terms of deliveries into their box.

Weimann ends up on the deck, but nothing given, Agbonlahor not happy with Oxlade-Chamberlain. Challenges fly in and Lee Mason decides to give Arsenal a free-kick in an effort to calm things down. Arteta's delivery is glanced clear by Vlaar.

Vlaar fires a free-kick long from halfway, but Mertesacker dominates in the air for Arsenal. Bannan gets the ball back, but once again the Scot can't find a final pass of real quality.

Agbonlahor down inside the area, but he was prevented from getting a shot away by a great last-ditch tackle from Mertesacker. The ball sat up nicely for the Villa, but he couldn't get a volley away.

Ball in the net, but it won't count. Bannan plays the free-kick square to Clark. His shot is blocked, but the ball breaks to Weimann. He fires in from close range, but was offside when the initial shot was struck.

Giroud sees the ball roll up and over his boot and out of play. Wry smile from the French forward who realises that is how the first half has been. Szczesny forced to come for a long ball and ends up sliding out of his area. He handled outside the box and a free-kick is given.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has Jenkinson providing an option outside him. Another disappointing cross gives the Arsenal forwards no chance. Weimann looks to run the ball out for Villa, but is outmuscled.

Lowton forced to go long, but Villa have no-one forward. Szczesny is, however, put under pressure as he looks to clear and can only fire into the crowd. Villa can't keep the ball.

Another misplaced pass from Arsenal, this time from Cazorla. He soon gets it back as Villa put in a stray pass of their own. All a bit scrappy at the moment, with neither side able to produce a moment of brilliance to unlock a stubborn defence.

Loose touch from Podolski and as he tries to make amends, he jumps into a challenge on Agbonlahor and catches the Villa man on the ankle. No malice, but a painful one for Agbonlahor. From the free-kick Benteke charges into the back of Mertesacker.

Nice touch from Benteke, as he flicks the ball over his shoulder. The ball is moved wide to Stevens, who sees a cross blocked by Oxlade-Chamberlain. Bannan then unable to feed the ball into the box through a wall of yellow shirts.

Benteke glances the ball into space, but he is the only man forward for Villa and he has to chase himself. Arsenal move through the gears, with Giroud putting in a clever flick. Flag goes up, halting the visitors in their tracks.

Podolski overhits his pass towards Giroud, the ball rolls on to Jenkinson. Another low cross from a wide area for the Gunners is cut out by Clark. Arsenal need to do more with their deliveries.

Suddenly Arsenal spring clear, with Oxlade-Chamberlain racing into acres of space. He looks to cross low for Podolski, but his effort is cleared. The ball ends up with Ramsey, who sees a low drive kept out by the feet of Guzan. Smart save as he couldn't see a lot of the ball.

Mertesacker has gone down holding his shoulder and will require treatment. He doesn't look too happy. It appears as though he put too much weight on his arm after clearing the ball and sliding onto his backside.

Podolski almost in for Arsenal. Ramsey bundles through one challenge and the ball breaks goalwards. Guzan brave as he rushes over his line to dive at the feet of Podolski. Vlaar was there as well to keep the German from getting to the ball.

Arsenal's football isn't as slick as it has been in the past. There isn't a lot of one-touch stuff in there, it's all a bit slow and predictable. Cazorla trying to change that, while Podolski pokes the ball wide to Gibbs.

Flag up against Weimann as he breaks in behind Jenkinson. Arsenal still looking to play their way out from the back, with Mertesacker starting the majority of their moves. Nothing doing for the men in yellow on this occasion.

Slip from Arteta sees him give the ball away. Gibbs recovers in time to help his team-mate out. Arteta looking at his boots. Surely he knew it was raining!

Nice turn from Giroud, who then breaks over halfway. He finds Jenkinson, but a heavy touch sees him present the ball to Stevens. Arsenal have to start again at the back.

El Ahmadi goes down under a challenge from Cazorla. He is booked for diving. Cazorla clearly pulled his leg away before the Villa man reach him. Why do players feel the need to do it? Blatant dive.

As close as we have come to an opener as Oxlade-Chamberlain dances his way into the box. He is able to drift past Stevens with ease, before drilling goalwards. He looks to catch Guzan off guard at his near post, but hits the side-netting.

Poor cross from Jenkinson. He didn't have a lot to aim at, but put far too much on his delivery. As we reach the 19-minute mark, Villa Park takes time to pay tribute to club captain Stiliyan Petrov.

Westwood over the corner. He lofts the ball high into the heart of the box. Benteke allowed a run at the ball again, with Arsenal favouring a zonal marking approach. He towers above everyone, but diverts a header well wide of the target.

Arsenal can't get the ball at the moment. Villa moving it really well. Agbonlahor onto El Ahmadi, who sends the ball wide. He gets it back and a cross aimed at Benteke has to be glanced behind by Gibbs. Arsenal playing a very high line.

Ambitious effort from Bannan following a spell of neat passing. From 30 yards he curls straight at Szczesny. Villa can take heart from that period of play as they had Arsenal troubled. Villa soon back on the ball, with the Gunners going long this time.

Better from Villa as they take the opportunity to knock the ball around. El Ahmadi tries to squeeze a pass into the box, but can't. Arsenal on the back foot and Podolski is caught in possession. Noise level rises inside Villa Park.

Space wide on the left for Stevens, but he is forced to go backwards. Villa then launch another long ball forward. They are going to that option too quickly. They need to keep the ball on the deck for a bit.

Westwood sends the ball wide to Weimann. He fires over a cross-shot which Szczesny has to parry behind at his near post. Bannan's set-piece is aimed at Benteke. He has a free run at the ball, but can't climb high enough to get a touch.

El Ahmadi feels he has forced a throw off Jenkinson, but the decision goes the way of the Arsenal full-back. The Gunners surprisingly give the ball straight back to Villa. Not a lot of room in the middle of the park at the moment.

Arsenal move the ball from right to left, where Gibbs looks to combine with Podolski. The Gunners fail in their efforts, with Clark stepping across to gather possession. Villa looking solid and organised at the back.

Bannan swings over the set-piece, long towards the back post. Decent delivery, but it has just too much on it and Vlaar can't get a touch.

Giroud being allowed to win headers just inside the Villa half. The hosts are happy to stand off and collect the second ball. On this occasion Clark goes long, but Szczesny is off his line quickly to clear. From the throw, Ramsey clatters through the back of Westwood. Free-kick in a promising position for Villa.

Jenkinson pushes on this time, but crossed wires with Oxlade-Chamberlain see him feed a pass towards nobody. Villa once again can't piece together a probing counter attack.

Villa win a couple of throws inside the Arsenal half. There are plenty of yellow shirts behind the ball though. A wayward pass down the line by Weimann sails out of play for a goal kick.

Plenty of space again for Gibbs, who is pushing well forward. Another low cross from the full-back. It drifts behind Podolski and Bannan can clear. Agbonlahor looks to break, but is halted by a firm challenge from Koscielny.

Giroud wins a free header. Stevens hesitates and a loose ball is allowed to run to Ramsey. Villa soon get the ball back, but a counter attack breaks down when they move towards the corner flag.

Cazorla's delivery sails through a crowded penalty area and away on the far side for a throw. Not the best as he swung the ball behind those in the middle. Arsenal get the ball back and are prepared to be patient as Jenkinson goes backwards. Agbonlahor then fells Koscielny.

Images being shown of Lambert perched high in the stands at Villa Park. He is serving a touchline ban. Best day for it given the conditions! On the field, Vlaar has to put a Gibbs cross behind for a corner.

Smart pass around the corner by Cazorla for Gibbs to chase. Lowton puts in a well-timed sliding challenge. From the throw, Gibbs moves into space, but the flag goes up as he drills over a cross.

Not a lot of movement up for top for Villa and Stevens opts against going long. Lowton does lob the ball forward, though, and Mertesacker is able to nod to safety for the visitors.

Mertesacker back to Szczesny, chance to test the playing surface. Agbonlahor realises he may get a sniff of a chance on the greasy pitch, but Arsenal's keeper calmly strokes the ball wide.

Arsenal get us up and running.

Horrible weather in the Midlands, cold and wet. Not one Arsenal player has braved a short-sleeve shirt, a few hardy souls have favoured that option for Villa.

The players are with us and we are almost ready for kick-off. Pre-match formalities underway with both sets of players looking focused and ready for another top-flight tussle. We will have to leave the feedback there, but there will be further opportunities to have your say at half-time and at the final whistle.

Ron David thinks the spoils will be shared. He says: "Athough I understand Mr Wenger resting both Vermaelen and Wilshere on the bench, I don't understand Sagna being there. He has been outstanding since his return, and Jenkinson isn't really good enough. Good to see Gibbs back, but I would expect he will be injured again very soon. I see a score draw, with Arsenal missing a penalty near the end."

Alafi Jackson is backing Arsenal to head home with the points. He says: "Wenger's side will not waste their fuel travelling to Villa park for no gain. I fancy Arsenal will manage to harvest the three poinst without any doubt as they are hungry to close the league table gap currently led by Fergie's side."

Today's referee is Lee Mason.

Dave Birch sees Villa getting something from this contest. He says: "Well looking at that Villa side and the subs if that doesn't tell people that Bent will be on his way in January then I don't know what will. Clearly Lambert doesn't rate him for whatever reason. I have total faith in Lambert and believe we will get out of this mess we're in at the moment. Going for a 1-1 today with one day Arsenal-bound Benteke giving us the lead and Poldolski equalising for Arsenal. I'll be happy with a point."

Carl Fletcher is the first tio get in touch. He says: "Arsenal usually do quite well at Villa Park and don't expect anything different today. I fancy a 3-1 victory today!"

Arsenal team: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Sagna, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Coquelin, Arshavin, Gervinho.

Aston Villa team: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Bannan, Weimann, Agbonlahor, Benteke. Subs: Given, Ireland, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Lichaj.

You can also bet in-play throughout the game at Skybet.com. Aston Villa start as outsiders to take the points at 4/1, with Arsenal 4/6 and the draw 14/5. You can get 13/2 on Lukas Podolski to break the deadlock or 100/1 on Gabriel Agbonlahor to open the scoring and Villa to win 1-0.

Can Villa spring a surprise on home soil or will it be a productive trip to the Midlands for Arsenal? Who will be the men to keep an eye on? Let me know your thoughts.

Feel free to offer your opinion on today's game by contacting me direct at Chris.Burton@bskyb.com or @SkySportsChrisB.

The Gunners have, however, won just twice on the road this season and have come unstuck in each of their last two away games in the league.

Arsenal got back to winning ways in style last weekend, with a derby victory over Tottenham, and maintained that momentum while in European action in midweek.

Paul Lambert's men have slipped into the drop zone and will be desperate to pick up a positive result today and start rebuilding their shaken confidence.

Things do not get any easier for Villa, with back-to-back fixtures against Manchester giants followed by a meeting with Arsenal.

Welcome to our coverage of today's Premier League encounter between Aston Villa and Arsenal.

Premier League Fixtures

There are no fixtures at present.

Footer 365

United fail with Varane and Bale bids

Manchester United have failed with a €150million bid for Raphael Varane and Gareth Bale but want Atletico Madrid's Joao Miranda, claim reports.

Costa 'so happy' at Chelsea - Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has dismissed claims Diego Costa is unhappy at Chelsea, insisting he is 'responsible for the good atmosphere' at Stamford Bridge.

Sepp Blatter 'under investigation' in United States

Outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter is being investigated by US authorities probing the corruption scandal, according to reports.

Mail Box

Celebrate Good Times, But Hard Work Starts Now

The Mailbox is joyous over the impending departure of Sepp Blatter, but offers a reminder that problems remain. Plus title winners, CL play-offs and Nigel Adkins...

Liverpool 2015 Feels Like Liverpool 2011...

One Mailer says Benteke = Carroll, Bellamy = Milner and Clyne = Downing. Plus we have U21 Euro impatience, farewell Rio, Rafa Benitez, Milner, FIFA and title play-offs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company