Swansea and Aston Villa both desperately need a victory to secure their Premier League status for another year. The two sides have been inconsistent on the field and unstable away from it during the course of the season. Reports of bust-ups between Swansea players have regularly surfaced throughout the campaign, while the Aston Villa camp has been rocked this week by rumours that Randy Lerner is set to sell the club.
A win at the Liberty stadium would all but guarantee the victor Premier League safety, while the loser would be dragged deep into the relegation mire. Swansea stole a precious three points away to Newcastle last weekend, but Aston Villa have picked up just one point from their last five games. The triumphant 1-0 win over Chelsea seems an awful long time ago. Paul Lambert’s side do have a game in hand over their relegation threatened counterparts, but it is a trip away to Manchester City. Going there needing to get a result would be a tough task, so Villa will look to upset the Swans this weekend.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Aston Villa 1 (Agbonlahor) Swansea 1 (Lamah), Premier League, December 2013 Swansea 2 (Routledge, Graham) Aston Villa 2 (Weimann, Benteke), Premier League, January 2013 Aston Villa 2 (Lowton, Benteke) Swansea 0, Premier League, September 2012
The sides’ two previous meetings in the Premier League at the Liberty stadium have both ended in draws: 2-2 in 2012/13 and 0-0 in 2011/12.
Aston Villa have won just one of the eight Premier League games that Christian Benteke has missed this season.
In the win over Newcastle, Swansea striker Wilfried Bony scored in the last minute of either half for the second time this season.
In the 1-1 draw at Villa Park earlier this season, Swansea had 17 shots and 73% possession.
Swansea to win: 1.71
Aston Villa to win: 6.4
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm