ArsenalAustin Villa


Mikel Arteta will be absent from the touchline for Arsenal’s Premier League game against Aston Villa at 5.30pm on Saturday evening after picking up three yellow cards

Mikel Arteta has been banished to the stands at Villa Park for Arsenal’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa.

The Gunners face Villa in a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday as they look to maintain their momentum at the top of the league against a high-flying side managed by their former boss Unai Emery. It promises to be a blockbuster clash live on Sky Sports, but Arteta won’t be watching from his usual vantage point.

Arteta will be serving a one-match touchline ban for the Villa game after picking up three yellow cards this season. He was booked after his celebrations for Declan Rice’s 97th-minute winner against Luton on Tuesday night were determined to be over-exuberant.

New rules were implemented for the 2023/24 season in an attempt to stop bad behaviour from managers towards officials. After the Luton game Arteta told beIN Sports: “I could not be seated in my seat. It was pure emotion. If that’s a yellow… that’s a yellow.”

He elaborated further in his pre-match press conference. “I think we have a boundary that maybe we have to extend or we just need a very strong rope with the bench so maybe we don’t move,” Arteta said. “That means we don’t move, all of us, we don’t move. I don’t know, the decision is made.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m going to change it from here to Sunday. We had some meetings on the evidence, opinions, conclusions and content that we had. We’re just waiting to hear.

I think I’m going to be in a director’s box. I don’t know, it’s a discussion we’re going to have later on, but let’s see. I will have a really nice view hopefully. I don’t know how to stop [celebrating], it was a really emotional moment.

“You have everybody bouncing around and you lose sense of where you are, and the space that you have to be in. It was unfortunate because now I cannot be next to my team on the touchline. But it is a decision that they have made.”

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