Tag Archives: Aston Villa

2013/14 Premier League Season – the story so far (part 1)

Premier League Table - Jan 5th 2014
Premier League Table – Jan 5th 2014

 

It has been a football extravaganza over the past couple of weeks. I for one have been glued to the tv  – watching the drama unfold over the crazy Christmas schedule and the upsets of the FA Cup – there have been many highs and lows for all concerned – the teams, the managers and of course us, the fans.

So with the season now past the halfway point, this is where the drama really starts to unfold and we begin to see the stress and strains of the Premier League run in, and what will prove to be make or break for a lot of teams. But before the hullabaloo really gets going, lets look back on the first half of the 2013/14 season and the story so far (Part 1) –

Arsenal:
The gunners came out the gate running (in August), and caught many teams by surprise. They remain at the top of the table, but how long will they maintain this position? Theo Walcott is out for six months and their list of injuries continues to grow. The next few weeks will be critical to their title challenge and their fortunes may depend on their dealings in the Transfer window and how they perform during the crunch games against the bigger teams. I believe they will finish in the top four, but they will not be champions this season.

Continue reading 2013/14 Premier League Season – the story so far (part 1)

Aston Villa v Liverpool: Squad Sheets

Aston Villa vs Liverpool
Aston Villa vs Liverpool

It is always so hard to predict the early games of any season – new players getting used to their surroundings, some not quite match fit, while some teams are more prepared than others for the start of the season. And given the unpredictable form of these two sides last year who knows what will happen.

One thing we do know is, the two managers Paul Lambert and Brendan Rogers have a lot to prove. Lambert took a huge gamble last year when he ditched his experienced players and gambled with the clubs untested youngsters. The plan nearly backfired spectacularly, and many believe if it hadn’t been for the form of Christian Benteke, Villa would have been relegated. Thankfully for Villa fans, Lambert convinced Benteke to stay at the club this season, and the young man from Belgium has already scored 3 goals

Rogers, on the other hand, after suffering the worst start to a campaign last season (with 5 straight loses) has a point to prove. Liverpool’s fiercest rivals Everton finished above them in the table last season, a complete no-no if you are a Liverpool supporter, so this year Rogers has to get it right. It appears he is already heading in the right direction with an impressive opening day victory against Stoke last weekend…but that was Stoke, there will be much sterner challenges to come in the months ahead.

Two sides with a point to prove should make for an interesting game.

Match Facts:

Venue: Villa Park, Saturday August 24th

Last season’s result: Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 2

Aston Villa guide: WL

Liverpool form guide: W

Aston Villa leading scorer: Benteke – 3

Liverpool leading scorer: Sturridge – 1

Possible team line-ups:

Aston Villa 4-3-3: Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, Luna, El Ahmadi, Delph, Westwood, Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor

Aston Villa injuries: Sylla (ankle, August), N’Zogbia (unknown)

Manager: Paul Lambert

Liverpool 4-5-1: Mignolet, Toure, Agger, Enrique, Johnson, Gerrard, Lucas, Coutinho, Aspas, Henderson, Sturridge

Liverpool injuries: Caotes (knee, Mar)

Manager: Brendan Rogers

What to look out for:

In their opening two games Villa have caught the eye with a combination of a tightened defense, relentless effort in midfield and effective attacking contributions with the speed of Gabriel Agbonlahor and willingness of Andreas Weimann around the might of Christian Benteke. They were rightly aggrieved not to add to their points total at Chelsea in midweek, and Lambert will push his team to carry that form into their first home game against Liverpool.(source:Guardiannews.com)

Prediction: Aston Villa 2 Liverpool 2

Image source: birminghammail.co.uk

Aston Villa v Manchester City: Squad sheets

Arsenal v Aston Villa - Premier League

Aston Vila and Manchester City square up to one another, Monday February 4th, 2013 on what could be a season defining game.

For Manchester City anything less that a win would see them slip even further behind League leaders and their fiercest rivals, Manchester Utd, which now stands at a massive fifteen points. With only eleven games left of the 2012/13-season time is running out for last season’s champions to make up the deficit.

As for Aston Villa, things are looking very bleak. This week the club announced a loss of $26m in the year ending 31st May 2012 and head into the game with City deep within the relegation zone. Lose or draw against Manchester City means they will remain in the bottom three, and given the state of Villas current form it is safe to say the next few months are going to be pretty uncomfortable for Villa’s manager, players and fans. Should they get go down Villa will be one of the biggest clubs to be relegated from the Premier League, since it started in 1992. The financial fall out alone with be catastrophic.

Match Facts:

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham

Last season’s result: Aston Villa 0 Man City 1

Aston Villa form guide: LWDLDL

Manchester City form guide: WLDDWW

Aston Villa leading scorer: Benteke – 11

Manchester City leading scorer: Dzeko – 12

Possible team line-ups:

Aston Villa 4-2-3-1: Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, Baker, Westwood, Delph, Weimann, N’Zogbia, Benteke, Agbonlahor

Manager: Paul Lambert

Manchester City 4-2-3-1: Hart, K Toure, Nastasic, Clichy, Zabaleta, Barry, Y Toure, Tevez, Milner, Silva, Aguero

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Aston Villa subs from: Given, Ireland, El Ahmadi, Bent, Holman, Sylla, Bowery, Dawkins, Bannan, Bennett, Stevens, Lichaj, Herd

Aston Villa injuries: Albrighton (foot, Apr), Gardner (knee, Aug), Dunne (groin, unknown), Petrov (leukaemia, unknown)

Manchester City subs from: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Sinclair, Razak, Lescott, Nasri, Rodwell, Kompany, Maicon, Guidetti, García, Guidetti

Manchester City injuries: Richards (ankle, 16 Mar)

Additional Information:

  • Villa have scored 999 goals in the Premier League and could become the eighth club (after Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle and Everton) to reach 1,000
  • City have lost on just three of their past 16 visits to Villa Park in all competitions
  • Villa have more league games in March (35) than any other side in the history of the Premier League
  • This season, City have won 69% of games with Matija Nastasic in the side (11 of 16) and only 45% of those he has missed (five of 11)
  • Villa are the only side to have wasted a two-goal lead on three separate occasions this season (Source guardiannews.com)

Prediction: Aston Villa 0 Manchester City 3

(photo – Michael Regan/Getty Images)