Swansea v Aston Villa
Not even the most cynical of Villa fans would argue that a point was a great result against an in-form United. Although Agbonlahor is in contention after all, we’ve never done particularly well at the Liberty Stadium – and Garry Monk’s side have the extra motivation of the chance to move into a European qualifying position in the table.
Monk on Villa
“Aston Villa will be dangerous and we have to be aware of that. We have our own game plan and we’ll see what happens on the day.
“I’m expecting a very good contest but we’re confident going into the game to get the three points. If we give the kind of performance that we have been doing at home we should be firing on all cylinders.
“But in terms of how we are progressing, we’re in a good moment both as a club and as a team. We will embrace that and just try to keep improving.”
Lambert on Swansea
“Next up is Swansea and it will be a tough game. They are a good side, especially down at their place. It’s a game I am looking forward to because it’s always a good atmosphere there and a good pitch to play football.
“We go down there with a lot of confidence. But we also know it’s a difficult game. Garry Monk has done great there. I am sure he would agree that the foundations had been laid there before he went in.
“But you still have to go in there and manage players and cope with everything that gets thrown at you. He’s done really well.”
1st January 2013 Swansea City 2 Aston Villa 2
Villa were denied a vital win after Danny Graham netted a 90th minute equaliser for Swansea – who had almost 70% possession!
Villa haven’t won away at Swansea since 1970.
Swansea– Last five matches at home: W 3, D 1, L 1
Villa – Last five matches away: W1, D 2, L 2
One to Watch
Wilfried Bony – 2014’s Premier League top scorer, the Ivorian has two more goals in the calendar year than Aguero.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
You never know quite what to expect when Villa play Swansea. While a home game to Swansea gave Lambert his first league win for Villa, we’ve struggled against them since. That win in September 2012 was our only victory in our last six League attempts. Footballing fate seems to be against us as Villa have won just one of their last 13 League games played on Boxing Day. Villa’s low goal-scoring record this season, the lowest of all teams in the top four divisions, could again be a problem against Monk’s side, particularly as we’ve failed to score in the last three Boxing Day fixtures.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Guzan made some excellent saves against United and he will have to be in his best form here – especially as it will be his 100th Villa appearance. The American was one of several Villa players to impress against United – but can they maintain that performance against Swansea? While it was great to see Villa give their all against one of the traditional top four, it will be vital to treat Swansea with the same attitude, particularly given their impressive start to the season. Despite an unjust red card Villa kept their composure and ground out an important point, and such a professional approach will be needed at a ground where we lost 4-1 towards the end of last season…
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
With the rescinding of Agbonlahor’s red card and Benteke seemingly back to his best, we have a strike force who have a track record of causing problems for Swansea. Agbonlahor scored in both meetings last season while Benteke has scored in both of his league appearances against them. With the constantly improving defensive performances (who’d have thought we’d have kept it at 1-1 with 10 men against United?) we might finally be able to improve our poor Boxing Day record.
Carrying on the Boxing Day theme, Swansea have also failed to win in their two previous Boxing Day fixtures… Swansea tend to keep possession well at home, but with our pleasing new style of football, it might not be the walk in the park pundits are predicting for the Swans.
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