A win against Liverpool would have given Villa an essential boost, but a win in the Midlands derby against Stoke would prove even more vital and useful. Villa win and suddenly Stoke are only above them by one point, and like Sunderland, they have very little momentum. Wigan don’t mess around at this stage of the season, so the introduction of Stoke and Sunderland to the relegation battle would be massive for Villa’s chances of survival.

Match Difficulty Grade

B+ Even during times of poor form, the Britannia Stadium is a tough nut to crack with the physically of Stoke’s team, but Villa have started to dictate games in recent meetings. This is game is certainly winnable.

Form is Temporary

Current Premier League form table (last six games) – Stoke – 18th / Aston Villa – 13th

Stoke: Last five Premier League matches at home: W 1, D 2, L 2

Aston Villa: Last five Premier League matches away: W 1, D 3, L 2

In the last four meetings at the Britannia Stadium, Villa have drawn twice and lost twice.

Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

What is most worrying when looking at the statistics is that the last time Villa won on Stoke’s turf was on the 27thof August 1984. Admittedly they were playing at a different ground then, but the history of this fixture is a strange one. Two of the last four meetings in the Premier League at the Britannia were 0-0 draws, and despite a worrying position in the table, it’s realistic to call it a must-draw game for Villa. Another 0-0 would be fine, but Aston Villa have failed to keep a clean sheet in the league since December.

What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide

The best way for Villa to approach this game is to take it by the scruff of the neck and go for goals, as Stoke are firing blanks at the moment. As mentioned before, Villa have largely bossed games in recent times, only to be undone at the end, due to not taking their chances.  Villa must be clinical on Saturday, then the three points could be a reality, as Stoke have had just 94 shots on target all season, a joint-league low.

Why Villa are Totally 100% Going to Win

Christian Benteke is playing his first game at the Britannia. Even the stubborn defence of Stoke will struggle to deal with Benteke, who made it 14 League goals last weekend. Darren Bent is also fit and will add extra depth to an already decent strike force. What Villa have lacked in their defensive record has been overshadowed by recent displays of good quality attacking football, and up against a Stoke side that have failed to score in 14 matches and taken five points from 11 matches, there’s every reasons to be optimistic ahead of this Midlands clash. UTV.

Follow Lewis on Twitter on @rymondfootball

Follow MOMS on Twitter on @oldmansaid

 

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