Arsene Wenger will be without a trio of players as Arsenal travel to the Britannia Stadium to face Stoke City on Sunday.
The title outsiders will be without their inspirational captain Cesc Fabregas (thigh) as well as the influential Samir Nasri (hamstring).
Abou Diaby has also failed to shake off a calf complaint that has been plaguing him since last month.
Fabregas missed the 1-0 win over Manchester United last week with the same injury, while Nasri was withdrawn early from the game because of his problem.
On a brighter note for Wenger, there is still a chance that Johan Djourou and Gael Clichy could overcome their respective ankle and hamstring injuries to feature and both will face late fitness test ahead of the trip to the FA Cup finalists.
Thomas Vermaelen is poised to return to the Arsenal defence for the first time since last August and Aaron Ramsey will continue in midfield in the absence of his skipper, having deputised so well last week.
"Diaby, Nasri and Fabregas will be out," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.
"Nasri and Fabregas have a little chance for Aston Villa but not for Stoke. Johan Djourou had a test yesterday that looked quite positive.
"We have a doubt about Clichy's hamstring. He had a test that was not completely satisfactory; both have a chance to be fit.
"Thomas Vermaelen is available and could be in the squad. Aaron Ramsey is likely to get another chance; I can even say that he will play."
What will be the outcome in the match Stoke vs Arsenal?