Aston Villa officially relegated for first time in 28 years

Aston Villa’s long-awaited relegation has been officially confirmed following the club’s 1-0 loss to Manchester United today, ending a run of 28 consecutive seasons in English football’s top flight.

The Villains have been simply dreadful this season with major struggles on and off the field confining them to their worst season in their 141-year history.

Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford may have scored the goal that confirmed Villa’s relegation today, but most fans knew they were doomed from December onwards.

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Villa have won just three games all season and are left 15 points adrift of Norwich in 17th place with four games to play. Their performances have been appalling and preparations for life in the Championship next term will now begin.

Interim manager Eric Black is unlikely to be the man in the dugout come August, but whoever takes over will be stepping into one of English football’s most troubled clubs, with major problems left to be addressed throughout the structure of the organisation.

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Black is the team’s fourth manager this season, following on from Tim Sherwood, Kevin MacDonald and Remi Garde, who were all unable to inspire a squad of players who look out of their depth in the Premier League.

Quality first-team players left the club last summer but none were replaced properly. Losing the likes of Ron Vlaar, Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke meant the season was always going to be tough but few could have anticipated just how bad things have been.

Table: Aston Villa have struggled enormously in every aspect this season.

Table: Aston Villa have struggled enormously in every aspect this season.

The Villains are one of only seven English clubs to have played in every Premier League season to this point but that run will now come to an end.

Two other Premier League clubs will join Villa in the Championship next term, with Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich all battling for their lives at the bottom of the table.

Aston Villa bounced straight back up following their last relegation in 1987, but a repeat of that achievement looks highly unlikely at this stage, with one of English football’s most historic clubs in complete disarray.

Do you think Aston Villa will bounce straight back up to the Premier League next season? 

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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.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Tottenham Hotspur

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: Villa Park – Sunday, March 13 – 16:00 GMT (11:00 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 13/2 – Draw 16/5 – Tottenham 4/9

Match Preview

Premier League strugglers Aston Villa welcome title chasing Tottenham Hotspur to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon in a game between two sides with very different aims.

Villa are on a four game losing streak coming into this one and have been leaking goals in recent games. They lost 4-0 to Manchester City last weekend despite being 0-0 at halftime and looked a depleted side.

Rémi Garde’s side sit bottom of the Premier League. They are nine points away from safety and although relegation is not yet confirmed they’re favourites for the drop.

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Tottenham come into this tie off the back of their 2-2 draw in the North London Derby last weekend – although it was a good point they will rue not taking all three from being in a winning position.

Spurs trail leaders Leicester City by five points but this title race is still wide open. As the season has proved any side is capable of taking points off of one-another so Mauricio Pochettino will be expecting nothing than maximum effort from his players here.

A top four finish is not yet guaranteed for Spurs despite how good of a season they have had. Even though they are pushing hard for their first title since the 1960/61 campaign they must still ensure they are keeping the distance between them and the sides below.

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Team News

Aston Villa have five injury concerns heading into this tie. Libor Kozak, Adama Traore, Jordan Amavi, Carlos Sanchez and Jack Grealish are all expected to be out.

Tottenham have just three injury concerns. Pochettino rested a number of his key players in their Europa League loss midweek but is still expecting to be without Clinton N’Jie and Jan Vertonghen, while Danny Rose is a doubt.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five: W/L/L/L/L

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/L/D

Key Stat: Aston Villa have conceded 15 goals in their last four games.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Tottenham goal-machine has netted 17 in the Premier League this season including that stunning effort against Arsenal last weekend, as always we expect him to be key and full of confidence.

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Score Prediction

Aston Villa 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur – Spurs should’t have too much trouble taking all three points here, as last weekend proved it’s a case of getting the first goal against Aston Villa. Hugo Lloris will be desperate to keep a clean sheet and Pochettino’s side have to keep applying the pressure to Leicester so if there is a slip up from the leaders they can capitalise and gain ground.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Everton

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Everton

Venue: Villa Park – Tuesday, March 1 – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 19/5 – Draw 13/5 – Everton 3/4

Match Preview

Aston Villa welcome Everton to Villa Park on Tuesday night as they look to keep any faint hopes of Premier League survival alive in front of their own fans.

The Villains are still rock bottom of the table and are eight points from safety with 11 games to play. It looks as if relegation is a certainty but a miracle finish to the season could give them a chance at somehow beating the drop.

They will need to win the majority of their remaining games to stand a chance, however, and that looks to be an impossible task. Remi Garde’s men fell 2-1 at Stoke on Saturday and didn’t show the spirit of a team fighting for their lives.

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They lost 6-0 to Liverpool in their last home game and although the home supporters deserve so much better from their team, they are unlikely to be given much to cheer about on Tuesday evening.

Everton travel to Villa off the back of a ten-day rest following their FA Cup win at Bournemouth and should be fresh for this clash after spending time in Dubai. They lost 1-0 at home to West Brom in their last league game, despite dominating the match, and will be out to get three points here.

Roberto Martinez’s side have been inconsistent all season but they are unbeaten in seven away trips and destroyed Aston Villa 4-0 in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park back in November.

They look to be in good shape to end the season strongly and will hope that three points on Tuesday can propel them into the top half of the league table.

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Team News

Aston Villa boss Remi Garde will be glad to welcome back Jordan Ayew following his three-game suspension, while Jack Grealish and Carlos Sanchez are both nearing returns from injury and could be in contention to make the squad. Libor Kozak, Adama Traore and Jordan Amavi are all definitely out.

Everton have had ten days to prepare for this game and should arrive fresh. Tony Hibbert and Tyias Browning remain sidelined through injury, while Muhamed Besic is a doubt and is unlikely to be risked.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five: D/L/W/L/L

Everton’s last five: D/L/W/W/L

Key Stat: Everton have only lost one away game all season and are now unbeaten in seven matches on the road.

Key Player: Ross Barkley – The Everton playmaker has been in good form this season and scored twice against Villa in the reverse fixture. He has five goals in his last six in all competitions and will look to haunt a struggling Villa defence here.

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Score Prediction

Aston Villa 0-3 Everton – Everton cruised past Villa in the reverse fixture and should prove to far too good for their opponents once again here. If Villa show spirit they could cause the Toffees backline problems, but they have looked like a relegated team for a long time and will likely be confined to their 18th loss of the season on Tuesday night.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Leicester City

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Leicester City

Venue: Villa Park – Saturday, January 16 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 23/10 – Draw 23/10 – Leicester City 6/5

Match Preview

Aston Villa welcome highflying Leicester City to Villa Park on Saturday night in a clash between two sides fighting at opposite ends of the Premier League.

Villa picked up their first league win since August on Tuesday night and their first under Rémi Garde. Although it’s a relief their three points have finally come there is much work to be done for Garde and co.

Garde’s remain rock bottom on 11 points and they must build on Tuesday’s win if they are to stand any chance of avoiding the drop.

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Leicester City come into this one off the back of their 1-0 away win over Tottenham Hotspur and are level on points at the top of the table.

Claudio Ranieri’s are in a prime position to finish in the top four with their current form in mind, and winning the Premier League is not unthinkable given how results are going this season.

Leicester need their star players to continue to perform at the highest level and goals will continue to come from all-over the field. They showed great resilience to take all three points on Wednesday night.

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Team News

Aston Villa have four injury concerns heading into this one. Alan Hutton, Jack Grealish, Jordan Amavi and Gabriel Agbonlahor are all racing to be fit. Rémi Garde is unlikely to change his starting XI after they picked up three points in midweek.

Leicester City have just two injury concerns. James Matthew and Jeffrey Schlupp are both doubts. Claudio Ranieri still has concerns over the fitness of Jamie Vardy and will be looking to give a rest at some point, but he will more than likely start.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five in the Premier League: D/D/L/L/W

Leicester City’s last five in the Premier League: W/L/D/D/W

Key Stat: Leicester City have won five of their last six Premier League away games and have kept three clean sheets on the bounce.

Key Player: Riyad Mahrez – The Leicester playmaker cannot be overlooked for key man in this one. He has bagged 13 goals in 20 games this season and always seems likely to make his side tick.

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Score Prediction

Aston Villa 1-2 Leicester City – Leicester to just edge it in a game which will not be as straightforward as it would seem on paper. Villa’s midweek win will have done wonders for their confidence and they will provide a tough task for Leicester in this tie.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Newcastle vs Aston Villa

Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Aston Villa

Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, December 19 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Newcastle 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Aston Villa 11/4

Match Preview

Newcastle host struggling Aston Villa in a huge Premier League clash on Saturday evening in a game between two sides already involved in an early season relegation fight.

The home side have picked up their form in the past two weeks, picking up wins against Liverpool and Tottenham in games that looked daunting beforehand.

Steve McClaren’s side are still embroiled in a relegation fight as they sit just two points above the drop zone and will see fixtures like this one as an absolute must win.

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Villa travel to Newcastle in crisis. They sit bottom of the table heading into Christmas and are eight points from safety. The odds are stacked against them and their recent form won’t exactly give travelling fans confidence this weekend.

The Villains haven’t won since the opening weekend and have lost 12 of 15 games since. They have just six points from 16 games and are in a real mess.

To put their terrible run into perspective, Newcastle have picked up as many points in their last two games as Villa have all season.

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Add in the fact that Newcastle’s recent record against Villa is excellent (they’ve not lost to Aston Villa in their last eight meetings, winning five), and it’s hard to see the visiting side picking up anything from Tyneside on Saturday.

Team News

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren has a worryingly long injury list at the worst time of the year. As many as ten first team names will miss this one in the shape of Massadio Haidara, Rolando Aarons, Curtis Good, Tim Krul, Gabriel Obertan, Steven Taylor, Cheick Tiote, Michael Williamson, Emmanuel Riviere and Jamaal Lascelles.

Aston Villa head coach Remi Garde is sweating over the fitness of Micah Richards ahead of this crunch clash. The English defender is likely to miss the game, while Jordan Amavi remains out for the season. Gary Gardner is also ruled out, while Jose Angel Crespo is a doubt.

Key Points

Newcastle’s last five: W/L/L/W/W

Aston Villa’s last five: D/L/L/D/L

Key Stat: Aston Villa have not won at Newcastle since 2005 and are winless against the Magpies in their last eight league games.

Key Player: Chancel Mbemba – The Newcastle centre-back has quietly been impressing on Tyneside since moving to the Premier League in the summer. He has completed more tackles than any other centre-back in the top flight and will look to shutout the Villa defence here.

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Score Prediction

Newcastle 2-0 Aston Villa – Newcastle have hardly been the best side in the Premier League this season but you don’t have to be to beat Aston Villa nowadays. Back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Spurs have lifted confidence among the Toon faithful and a win against Villa on Saturday should make it three from three.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Aston Villa vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Manchester City

Venue: Villa Park – Sunday, November 8 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Aston Villa 13/2 – Draw 15/4 – Manchester City 2/5

Match Preview

Aston Villa take on Manchester City as the Premier League’s bottom side look to beat the leaders at Villa Park on Sunday afternoon in what will be Remi Garde’s first game in charge of the Villains.

Garde arrives at Villa needing to fix things very quickly. The club are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League after picking up just four points from 11 games so far and are seemingly heading for relegation.

The Frenchman is facing an uphill battle and the visit of Manchester City gives him about as tough a challenge as he could have had in his first outing.

Aston Villa’s Premier League record: P11 – W1 – D1 – L9

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Villa fell 3-1 to Tottenham on Monday night and have now lost seven games in a row in the top flight. They have never lost eight consecutive Premier League games.

City travel to Villa Park as overwhelming favourites to pick up a ninth win in 12 league games and will be in fine spirits following Tuesday night’s 3-1 Champions League win at Sevilla.

Manuel Pellegrini is still set to be without star attackers Sergio Aguero and David Silva but the Citizens are unbeaten in four and managed to edge past Norwich 2-1 last weekend thanks to a late Yaya Toure penalty.

Manchester City’s Premier League record: P11 – W8 – D1 – L2

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They know a win here will keep them at the top of the table heading into the upcoming international break and they are fully expected to seal three points.

City beat Villa 2-0 in the same fixture last season before then winning 3-2 at the Etihad in April. They have won seven of the last eight league meetings between the sides.

Team News

Remi Garde could have a fully fit squad to choose his first starting lineup from. Micah Richards returns following suspension, while only doubts hang over Ashley Westwood and Gabriel Agbonlahor who both came off at Tottenham on Monday. Many will be watching Garde’s first team selection with interest.

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is still set to be without Sergio Aguero, while fellow Argentine Pablo Zabaleta is also still injured. David Silva could return but is doubtful to be risked, while the same applies to Samir Nasri. Former Villain Fabian Delph is back but is unlikely to start against his former club.

Key Points

Aston Villa’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/L/L/L

Manchester City’s last five in the Premier League: L/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Aston Villa have never lost eight consecutive Premier League games in a row. They would become just the fifth club in league history to lose at least eight in a row with defeat here.

Key Player: Vincent Kompany – Manchester City are a better side when their captain plays. They have conceded just one Premier League goal when the Belgian has started and will hope that record continues at Villa Park.

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Score Prediction

Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City – Tough to see Villa sealing a win in Remi Garde’s first game in charge. City will be too strong for the hosts but could be made to work for a win as the Villa players will be desperate to impress their new manager in a very tricky first game for the Frenchman.