Premier League: Stoke City v Aston Villa match preview
A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at The Britannia Stadium
Friday 20 December 2013
This clash is a very important one for both Stoke and Aston Villa, a game which could be seen as a chance for both sides to steer clear of the relegation zone…for now.
Paul Lambert has been pleased with his team’s attitude throughout the early stages of the season, as they have shown their ability to grind out several hard-earned draws. However, with only two wins in their last 10 games, the Midlands' side will have to regain their winning mentality if they want to avoid scrutiny from the fans and the press.
Christian Benteke’s loss of form has not helped either. Lambert did well to hold onto their star striker over the summer, but since then the Belgian striker has struggled to replicate the threat he posed last term. In contrast to his 19-goal haul last season, Benteke has now not scored for over three months.
Home side Stoke have proved somewhat resilient in their first 16 games, with a stand-out victory coming against Chelsea two weeks ago. Despite the Potter’s loss midweek to Manchester United in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup, their last sevengames have included a set of persistent performances. In those, they have managed four draws, two wins and just one loss.
A win for either side could see them move up to 10th position if Swansea fail to beat Everton at home on Sunday.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm.
PAST THREE MEETINGS:
Stoke City 1 (Kightly) Aston Villa 3 (Agbonlahor, Lowton, Benteke), Premier League, April 2013.
Aston Villa 0 Stoke City 0, Premier League, December 2012.
Aston Villa 1 (Weimann) Stoke City (Huth) 1, Premier League, April 2012.
HEAD TO HEAD:
Stoke City wins: 29
Aston Villa Wins: 50
Stoke are undefeated in their last 5 home matches in the Premier League.
The Potters have earned 18 points so far this term, 13 of them have come from games at the Britannia.
Both stoke and Villa have failed to score in 3 of their last 4 Premier League games.
Christian Benteke has now played almost 12 hours of Premier League football without scoring a goal.
Lambert’s side have won 12 points away from home this season. Only Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham have bettered this.
No team has been awarded more penalties than Villa (3) this season.
Villa are unbeaten in their last 5 matches against Stoke in all competitions.
Stoke City to win: 2.2
Aston Villa to win: 3.4
TV: Highlights on BBC1 MOTD at 10.20pm.
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