Can Aston Villa make it three home wins in a row? The first time in over 7 years? That would be quite an accomplishment for a team that has struggled at home this season. It was also mark an unbelievable turn off form for Paul Lamberts men. Aston Villa haven’t been the most consistent side this season but, like last year Villa’s form is starting to pick up again towards the end of the season. Aston Villa host Stoke City this weekend, so it’s 10th Vs 11th in the Premier League table. Both teams are level on points and a win for either team will see them close the gap to 9th place Newcastle.
Last time these two clubs played Stoke beat Aston Villa 2-1, Charlie Adam and Peter Crouch scored for the visitors while current injured forward Kozak scored a goal for Aston Villa. Sorensen and Peter Crouch may feature against their former teams. Peter Sorensen was Aston Villa’s keeper from 2003-2008 making over 139 appearances. Peter Crouch played for Aston Villa from 2002-2004 and made 37 appearances scoring 6 goals for Villa, he was signed for £5 million and sold for £2.5 million to Southampton. Last but not least Stephen Ireland joined Stoke on a free transfer in the January transfer market, he can’t play against Villa due to a clause in his transfer agreement but he did make 47 appearances for Villa and scored 1 goal against Chelsea.
Ryan Bertrand is available again following inability due to loan from Chelsea. El Ahmadi is fit, despite a shin injury and Agbonlahor has also recovered from a calf injury.
Assaidi could make his comeback from injury this weekend. Erik Pieters is a doubt and will be assessed prior to the game. Robert Huth is out for the remainder of the season while Charlie Adam and Jon Wallters remain suspended. Ireland is unavailable due to a clause in his transfer agreement.
Aston Villa have won only one of their last eight Barclays Premier League games against Stoke City, but five of the games have been draws in that run.
Aston Villa have conceded the most in total (8) and the highest proportion (21%) of goals in the opening 15 minutes of PL matches this season.
Stoke have lost just one of their last seven Premier League matches (W3 D3 L1) and that was away at Manchester City
Stoke have won none of their last 13 Premier League away games (W0 D4 L9) and have failed to score in six of their last nine on the road.
Stoke have already completed more passes this season (8674) than in any of their previous five Premier League campaigns, with eight games still remaining.
Aston Villa 2-0 Stoke City
I have a suspicious feeling that Aston Villa will lose this game. Yes, we are on form, yes our team is playing really well but I think our inconsistency will kick in again for some reason. Still there’s many reasons for other fans to remain optimistic. Our team is playing really well, there’s competition for spaces this season and I honestly believe that the likes of Weimann, El Ahmadi and even Bennett have really stepped up recently. Form and logic suggests Villa should win this, Stoke are missing quite a few influential players, but I’m not sure Villa will get that 3 home wins in a row.