Raya vs Ramsdale: Mikel Arteta Tackles Goalkeeping Dilemma Ahead of Aston Villa vs Arsenal Clash

Raya vs Ramsdale: Mikel Arteta Tackles Goalkeeping Dilemma Ahead of Aston Villa vs Arsenal Clash

Joel Reyes
updated at December 9, 2023 at 1:04 PM
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  • Aston Villa will face Arsenal later today in a marquee Premier League matchup
  • Mikel Arteta was asked about Arsenal’s goalkeeper situation in a press conference
  • The Gunners boss backed David Raya to keep the starting job over Aaron Ramsdale

The match to watch this weekend is the showdown between Arsenal and Aston Villa.

Only four points separate the two sides in the league table heading into Matchday 16.

One issue that won’t go away for Arsenal is the goalkeeping battle between David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale. Mikel Arteta tackled the selection dilemma again in a press conference before the Villa clash.

David Raya, Aaron Ramsdale, Mikel Arteta, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Unai Emery
David Raya and Aaron Ramsdale; Mikel Arteta talks to the media. Images: Stuart MacFarlane.
Source: Getty Images

Raya or Ramsdale? Arteta answers

Arteta made it clear that Raya will remain Arsenal’s No. 1 despite committing a couple of mistakes in their match against Luton Town last Tuesday, per 90min.

He explained to the media during the weekly press briefing that the Spanish goalkeeper’s past performances are the main reason why he continues to be selected in the starting XI, saying:

"Maybe because of the debate, but I think when you look at his form and what he’s achieved since he’s been with us, it’s been really, really impressive."

Raya’s one of the reasons why Arsenal are in first place in the Premier League right now, keeping four clean sheets in 10 matches played this season.

Raya's Luton mistakes

His place in the starting lineup has been questioned once again, though, after he nearly cost Arsenal the victory against Luton with two blunders in the second half.

Luton tied the match at 2-2 after Raya flapped at a delivery just minutes after the break.

Luton then grabbed a 3-2 lead following another error from the Gunners keeper. He allowed Ross Barkley’s tame shot attempt to squirm underneath him.

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Aston Villa vs. Arsenal Preview

Sports Brief recently previewed the upcoming showdown between Aston Villa and Arsenal.

The Gunners maintained their two-point lead over Liverpool atop the league table after Matchday 15.

They will have their work cut out for them, however, against Aston Villa, who have won each of their last 14 league matches at home.

Joel Reyes photo
Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at Sportsbrief.com with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.
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