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: Swansea vs Watford

Competition: Premier League – Swansea City vs. Watford FC

Venue: Liberty Stadium – Date: Monday, January 18th – 20:00 GMT (15:00 ET)

Match Odds: Swansea City 6/4 – Draw 21/10 – Watford 2/1

Match Preview

Swansea City host Watford in this week’s Monday night fixture in the Premier League, with both teams looking to get back to winning ways after midweek defeats.

With just one win since October, Swansea have plummeted down to 17th position and are just one point above the relegation zone following their 4-2 defeat at home to relegation rivals Sunderland  on Wednesday.

That result really hasn’t helped matters for the struggling Swans, as they suffered their fourth loss at home and tenth defeat this season.

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The one positive they can take away from the defeat to Sunderland is that they managed to score more than one goal in a match in the Premier League for the first time since a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth in November.

They will be looking to seal all three points here against stiff opposition in Watford before they embark on consecutive away games to Everton and West Brom in the next two weeks.

Watford are on a run of three defeats in a row in the league, and with no win in four matches, they have slipped down to tenth place after a fantastic run during December.

A 2-0 defeat on the road to Southampton on Wednesday saw them fail to score for the first time since October. They were poor in that game and didn’t really look like the attacking side we have seen so often this season.

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The slump has come after a remarkable December for the Hornets. They picked up 10 points from a possible 15 last month, earning manager Quique Sanchez Flores the Manager of the Month award for December.

Odion Ighalo scooped the Player of the Month award and he will now need to reignite his impressive impressive partnership with Troy Deeney as they look to hurt a vulnerable Swansea defence to keep them on course for the top ten finish they will desperately want to attain.

The reverse fixture at Vicarage Road saw Watford win 1-0 thanks to an Odion Ighalo strike back in September. This will be the first game between the two in Wales since the pair played out a 1-1 draw during their Championship campaign in 2011.

Team News

Swansea City have no injuries to report, but Kyle Naughton looks set to miss out through suspension after picking up a red card against Sunderland that many perceived as harsh.

Watford have no fresh injury concerns. Lloyd Doyley is still sidelined with a neck injury, while Joel Ekstrand is also missing with an ACL injury. Nathan Ake is back from suspension and might return to the starting lineup.

Key Points 

Swansea’s last five: D/W/D/L/L

Watford’s last five: W/D/L/L/L

Key Stat: The last time the two teams played out a 0-0 draw was back in 1921, so expect goals in this one.

Key Player: Andre Ayew – The Ghanaian winger got amongst the goals against Sunderland with his seventh of the season and his fifth at the Liberty Stadium. He will need to be at his best on Monday night if Swansea are to get out of this horrid run of form.

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Score Prediction 

Swansea City 1-1 Watford – A draw seems the most likely outcome, with both teams likely to get on the scoresheet. A win for either side will be huge, more so for Swansea, but Watford are solid at the back and don’t concede often. Score draw.

Christian Eriksen fires Spurs to seventh with another late strike

Tottenham left the Liberty Stadium with all three points on Sunday evening having been on the back foot for large periods of the game.

They have to thank Christian Eriksen once again, as he popped up in the last minute of normal time to seal the win with an accurate strike into the bottom-left corner.

This marks the second time this season that Eriksen has won Spurs a match in the dying minutes as he also bagged the winner against Hull City a few weeks ago. So this begs the question, are they over reliant on the Danish superstar?

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He is Spurs’ joint top scorer with Nacer Chadli in the Premier League and for the second season running has looked like the player everybody was expecting him to be when Tottenham signed him last summer.

His form has been consistent and he regularly creates chances, averaging just over two per game.

This was another performance to cherish for Eriksen as he laid on an assist for young Harry Kane. And looked a threat whenever he got on the ball.

He has been played out of position on the left of midfield, despite being most effective in a more central berth but has kicked on in recent weeks and is shining in the Spurs side.

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Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino, will be hoping his other attacking midfielders can support the form of Eriksen. The likes of Nacer Chadli and Erik Lamela have failed as yet to convince the fans that they are worth the investment, especially Lamela.

Young Lamela came from AS Roma with the promise of being the ‘next Gareth Bale’. However, he spent much of last season on the sideline and has yet to register a Premier League goal. His performance today was also an indication of how much he is struggling to adapt to life in the Premier League, especially when compared to Eriksen.

Spurs look to be enduring yet another season in transition with another manager. However, Eriksen is providing hope that they can continue to climb the table if his form continues.

How important is Christian Eriksen to Spurs?