Premier League Preview and Prediction: Swansea vs Aston Villa

Competition: Premier League – Swansea City vs. Aston Villa

Venue: Liberty Stadium, Saturday 19 March – 13:30 ET (17:30 GMT –  Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: Swansea City 8/13 Draw 13/5 Aston Villa 19/4

Match Preview

Swansea City host bottom-placed Aston Villa in this weekend’s Saturday evening fixture, in a game Swansea need to win to all but secure their Premier League status for next season. For Villa it’s also a must-win match or they could potentially be 13 points from safety.

Swansea will be pleased that they have picked up six points from their last three matches, picking up wins at the Emirates against Arsenal and beating fellow strugglers Norwich City to ease relegation fears.

Last week’s defeat away at Bournemouth was disappointing but shouldn’t act as too much of a distraction as they still scored two goals and continued to show courage throughout.

The Swans have only picked up five wins at the Liberty this season – an amount supporters will be unhappy with, but the fans are still firmly behind their team after what has been a tough campaign.

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Head coach Francesco Guidolin is expected to be back in the dugout having missed the last few matches with a chest infection. Alan Curtis has done well in the Italian’s absence and deserves further credit for the job he’s done this year.

Aston Villa might as well be thinking about playing in the Championship next season. They have been woeful all season and haven’t been able to produce anywhere near enough quality to stay up.

The West Midlands club have been in turmoil since the second week of the season and three wins is just not good enough at all for any team in the top division.

Upcoming fixtures don’t come easy for Villa with Chelsea to visit next week before they welcome Bournemouth to Villa Park. More off-field problems saw Chief Executive Tom Fox resign on Thursday afternoon.

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Remi Garde still believes he can keep the team in the Premier League but it seems like he’s fighting a lost cause. They just don’t seem up for the fight. But if they have belief they could just pull off the most miraculous escape.

A win here could just trigger something special if the Villains get it. But that’s a tall order.

The reverse fixture was the final match in charge for former manager Tim Sherwood. A late Andre Ayew goal condemned Villa to a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park back October.

Team News

Swansea will be without Andre Ayew as he recovers from an ankle injury. Jefferson Montero could be welcomed back to the side after recovering from illness, while Madou Barrow is a doubt.

Aston Villa are set to welcome back Carlos Sanchez, though Adama Traore and Jack Grealish are still some way off from returning from their injuries. Micah Richards will hope to start but may have to settle for a place on the substitutes bench once again.

Key Points

Swansea City last five: L/L/W/W/L

Aston Villa last five: L/L/L/L/L

Key Stat: Since Swansea got promoted to the Premier League, they have only lost once to Aston Villa and are looking for a fifth-straight win against the Villains.

Key Player: Gylfi Sigurdsson – The Icelandic midfielder has got nine Premier League goals this season and is the Swans’ top scorer. He is deadly on the ball at set pieces and finds the back of the net often. He is key to unlocking this poor Villa defence and is more than capable of creating chances for his team mates.

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Score Prediction

Swansea City 3-0 Aston Villa – Swansea should see this one out with relative ease. They have the home crowd behind them against a Villa side that constantly leaks goals but also fail to score them. Anything other than a home win would go down as a major disappointment for the hosts.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Southampton vs Aston Villa

Competition: Premier League – Southampton vs. Aston Villa

Venue: St Mary’s Stadium – Saturday, May 16th – 12:45 BST (7:45 ET)

Match Odds: Southampton 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Aston Villa 7/2

Match Preview

Aston Villa travel to St Mary’s knowing that a win against Southampton will guarantee top-flight football for another year.

The Saints are chasing their own ambitions however, as they close in on Europa League football. They are one point off Tottenham and will need a win to keep the pressure on Spurs going into the final weekend.

Southampton have been impressive this term despite their drop in form recently and have managed to only concede 12 goals at home in the Premier League, which is no mean feat.

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However, they haven’t registered a win in their last four and have conceded at least two in all of those matches, so Villa will feel confident ahead of this one.

Southampton’s home record in the Premier League: P18 – W10 – D4 – L4

Aston Villa have turned a corner under Tim Sherwood as they look more confident and hungry under the former Spurs boss, achieving a 55% win ratio in the Premier League alone.

When you add this to the matter of them being in the FA Cup final, few will argue what a great job Sherwood has done in such a short space of time as the Villains looked doomed at one point.

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Much of the recent form has been down to the scoring streak that Christian Benteke has put together, netting ten times in the league since Sherwood came in. A sensational return.

Aston Villa’s away record in the Premier League: P18 – W5 – D2 – L11

This being said, Villa have only managed to find the net 12 times away from home this season and will need to be at their best to beat the Saints on Saturday.

Team News

Southampton will be without Dusan Tadic, Jay Rodriguez, Morgan Schneiderlin, Emmanuel Mayuka and Fraser Forster. James Ward-Prowse is back in contention after serving a suspension. Kelvin Davis is expected to come in for Paulo Gazzaniga in goal.

Aston Villa will travel to Southampton without Chris Herd, Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker as all three are ruled out. Ashley Westwood should continue to keep Carlos Sanchez out of the side and Gabby Agbonlahor could be preferred to Charles N’Zogbia in attack.

Key Points

Southampton’s last five: W/L/D/L/L

Aston Villa’s last five: D/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: Villa have only lost once away at Southampton since November 2000, a 4-1 loss in 2012.

Key Player: Christian Benteke – The Belgian hit-man has been sensational as of late he will be expected to torture Southampton’s defence in this one.

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Score Prediction

Southampton 1-1 Aston Villa – With both teams needing a win, expect them to cancel each other out, as a draw looks the most likely result. A point for Villa should be enough to keep them out of any trouble on the last day, while Southampton will have all to play for should they avoid defeat themselves.

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Liverpool

Competition: FA Cup semi-final – Aston Villa vs. Liverpool

Venue: Wembley Stadium – Sunday, April 19th – 15:00 BST (10:00 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 9/2 – Draw 14/5 – Liverpool 8/13

Match Preview

Wembley is the venue for this weekend’s semi-final clash between Aston Villa and Liverpool to see who can earn their place in this year’s FA Cup final.

Villa are shock contenders for the final as they are in a battle against relegation in the Premier League, but since the appointment of Tim Sherwood things have been on the up, and it looks like they will avoid the drop.

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The Villains come into the game off the back of a 1-0 away win at Tottenham Hotspur and Sherwood’s players are filling up with confidence.

In their run to the semi-final they have conceded just two goals, knocking out Premier League clubs, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion and will look to prove stiff opposition against the Reds this weekend.

Liverpool are another side who have been in good form, and finally reached the semi’s after their 1-0 replay win against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in the last round.

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That was the second of their replay’s in the run to the semi’s, as they had a scare against Championship outfit, Bolton Wanderers earlier on in the competition, but Brendan Rodgers will be itching for some success out of this season and a place in the final will put them one step closer to a trophy.

Steven Gerrard will be itching to get to Wembley for one last time with his boyhood club and winning this game will ensure he can play in the final on his birthday before he jets off to LA Galaxy in the summer.

Team News

Aston Villa are set to be without Chris Herd and Libor Kozak for the game. Gabriel Agbonlahor is facing a late race to fitness as he was forced off last time out for Villa with a hamstring problem. Christian Benteke has come into form at the right time for the club, scoring four in his last two games and will lead the attack.

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Liverpool could be without Adam Lallana and Mamadou Sakho as they are still recovering from injury. Daniel Sturridge missed out in Liverpool’s last game but is expected to return, while captain Steven Gerrard could also return to the starting lineup after serving his suspension.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s FA Cup form: W/W/W/W

Liverpool’s FA Cup form: D/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Liverpool have won the last six FA Cup meetings between the sides without conceding a single goal. Villa did win their first ever FA Cup meeting back in 1897 though and will hope to get their second victory 118 years later.

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Key Player: Raheem Sterling – The Liverpool starlet has had another great season so far and needs to let his football do the talking in their remaining games. He seemed unfazed by the controversy surrounding his contract talks in Liverpool’s Monday night win and he can provide the difference here.

Score Prediction

Aston Villa 1-2 Liverpool – Liverpool should have the edge in this one but the Villa players can make a poor season a very good one if they are to reach the final. Expect goals in what should be a thriller.

FA Cup Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Leicester City

Aston Villa vs. Leicester City – FA Cup Fifth Round

Venue: Villa Park – Sunday, February 15th – 12:30PM

Match Odds: Aston Villa 7/5 – Draw 9/4 – Leicester City 19/10

Seven-time FA Cup winners Aston Villa entertain Leicester City at Villa Park in the early kick off on Sunday in what could be a fiercely contested game in the fifth round of the competition.

It will be Aston Villa’s first game since they parted company with manager Paul Lambert and they need to get back to winning ways, but most importantly start scoring goals.

Both sides are at difficult points in their season as both Villa and Leicester sit in the relegation zone in the Premier League and will definitely want to avoid a replay from this game as a result. Though a run in the cup will be good for lifting spirits.

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Aston Villa have scored just three times in their last ten games in all competitions, while the Foxes have scored ten in the same time.

This is the first Premier League side Aston Villa have faced in this year’s FA Cup after beating Championship outfits Blackpool and AFC Bournemouth at Villa Park in the third and fourth rounds respectively.

Aston Villa’s home record in all competitions: Played 15 – Won 4 – Drawn 5 – Lost – 6

Villa have really struggled this season, scoring just 12 league goals, but as we know, the FA Cup is a completely different competition and they could begin a strong finish to the season with a good result in this tie.

Leicester City’s away record in all competitions: Played 14 – Won 3 – Drawn 1 – Lost – 10 

Leicester have really struggled away from home this season, but can take positives from their 2-1 fourth round win against Tottenham and third round victory against Newcastle.

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The Foxes come into the game off the back of two defeats and managerial problems of their own after widespread reports suggested that Nigel Pearson had been sacked on Sunday night, though they ultimately proved to be incorrect.

 

Leicester can get themselves back on track with a win in this game and need to remove some of the media pressure they have been under.

A place in the quarter-final will be a major boost for either side and will help to improve what has been a tough season.

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It will be the fifth time these rivals have met in the FA Cup, with both sides having won two each in the previous four encounters. The most recent FA Cup meeting saw the Foxes win 2-1 at Villa Park in 2001.

Aston Villa’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/L/L

Leicester City’s last five in all competitions: L/W/L/L/L

Key Stat: Aston Villa and Leicester have already faced each other twice in the league this season, with both games ending in victory for the home side by a single goal (2-1 to Villa and 1-0 to Leicester). Expect this to be just as close.

Key Player: Brad Guzan – The USMNT International goalkeeper has been consistently good for Aston Villa this season and if he is on song Villa will likely only need the one goal to progress.

Score Prediction: Aston Villa 1–0 Leicester City – Both sides are struggling and will want to avoid the replay. With Leicester so poor on the road Villa could just edge it.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Hull City vs Aston Villa

Hull vs. Aston Villa – Premier League

Venue: KC Stadium – Tuesday, February 10 – 19:45

Match Odds: Hull City 13/10 – Draw 21/10 – Aston Villa 23/10

Hull City welcome Aston Villa to the KC Stadium on Tuesday night in a crucial fixture for both teams as they look to avoid relegation.

The battle for Premier League survival is fiercer than ever this season, with at least seven clubs in a real scrap, including these two sides.

Hull picked up an unexpected point in their 1-1 draw away at Manchester City on Saturday having lost their previous three games without scoring, so that should give them hope as well as a slight confidence boost.

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The Tigers will look to their next five games as the ones in which they need to accumulate points, as they’re set for a tricky nine-game run-in where they’ll face Chelsea, Southampton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United along the way.

Hull City’s home record: Played 11 – Won 2 – Drawn 3 – Lost 6

Aston Villa slumped to a fourth straight defeat against Chelsea and extended their run of games without a win to nine (D3, L6), although they did score a goal for the first time in seven matches.

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Putting the ball in the back of the net has been a massive problem for Aston Villa this season, having scored just 12 times in 24 games, which is nine fewer goals than the next lowest scoring teams (Hull and Leicester – 21 goals). Only four of their goals have come away from home.

Aston Villa’s away record: Played 12 – Won 3 – Drawn 2 – Lost 7

Hull are without injured players James Chester (shoulder), Liam Rosenior (hamstring), Mohamed Diame (knee) and Robert Snodgrass (knee). Meanwhile, Aston Villa are missing Philippe Senderos and Libor Kozak (both leg).

We often hear the phrase, ‘it’s the games against the teams around you that will decide your fate’, and that couldn’t be more true in this instance, with just two points separating them and both are now desperately fighting for their lives.

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Hull City’s last five: W/L/L/L/D

Aston Villa’s last five: D/L/L/L/L

Key Stat: Hull City haven’t beaten Aston Villa since 1987 and are without a Premier League win against them in 7 attempts (D1, L6).

Key Player: Carles Gil – The Spaniard has looked lively in the three games he’s played since joining from Valencia in January and could be the key for Villa.

Score Prediction: Hull City 1–1 Aston Villa – Both teams will be too desperate to avoid defeat.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Aston Villa

Competition: Premier League

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, February 1 – 13:30

Match Odds: Arsenal 2/9 – Draw 9/2 – Aston Villa 14/1

Arsenal welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon as the Gunners look to continue their recent good form in the hunt for a top-four finish.

The North London side are on a run of four straight wins, which represents their best period of consecutive victories the season, and have lost just once in their last ten (in all competitions).

They’ve also only lost one game out of ten when playing on home soil in this campaign and haven’t lost a game against a team from the bottom half of the table, home or away (W 7, D 3).

Arsene Wenger has said that new signing Gabriel Paulista could be in the squad after the 24-year-old centre back joined from Spanish side Villarreal this week.

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Arsenal’s home record: Played 10 – Won 6 – Drawn 3 – Lost 1

Aston Villa have very different aspirations for the rest of the season, and their only priority will be ensuring they don’t find themselves in a struggle to avoid relegation, but it may be too late as they sit just three points above the drop zone.

They do have a good record when playing at the Emirates Stadium though, having won three times at Arsenal since their move from Highbury, as well as picking up two draws. They’ve lost just three times out of eight visits.

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Having said that, they haven’t scored a Premier League goal for five consecutive games now, and have managed just one goal in their last seven – a very worrying trend.

It’s a well documented fact that Villa have struggled desperately to score goals, with just 11 all season. To put it into perspective, Arsenal’s star-man Alexis Sanchez has notched 12 on his own.

Aston Villa’s away record: Played 11 – Won 3 – Drawn 2 – Lost 6

On paper, it looks as though it should be an easy home victory, but Arsenal must maintain their high intensity and focus in order to make sure this game isn’t a banana skin.

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[Arsenal ran out 3-0 winners in the reverse fixture back in September]

Aston Villa will be delighted with a point away at Arsenal given the current situation, so we can expect them to defend from deep and attempt to hurt their opponents on the break and from set-pieces.

Arsenal’s last five: W/W/L/W/W

Aston Villa’s last five: L/D/D/L/L

Key Stat: Aston Villa haven’t beaten a side from the top seven in the league this season.

Key Player: Olivier Giroud – The big Frenchman comes under a lot of criticism and should get more credit for the great job he does when leading the line for Arsenal – he is crucial.

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Arsenal vs. Aston Villa Prediction: Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa – The Gunners to cruise to victory and remain on track.