Saturday’s game against QPR will undoubtedly be the Harry show. Yes, he managed them on Tuesday against Sunderland, but this match follows a week of Redknapp preparation. They will be hoping that their season starts here, but Villa will have other ideas.
By Lewis Rymond
Match Difficulty Grade
B Although Tuesday’s match wasn’t the most thrilling, Villa must be commended for their victory, especially given the pressure that they faced to do so. The QPR
game is effectively another six-pointer, and while the claret and blue faithful will be reassured by their managerial transition period, Redknapp and co. will see
this fixture as a starting block for success. Like last time, Lambert’s Lions will have to avoid complacency
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Recently the media have focused almost entirely on Darren Bent when it comes to Villa news, so it seems fitting to mention that Villa score an average of 1.23 goals when Bent starts, compared to 0.76 when he doesn’t. Last season Villa drew against QPR twice, and haven’t beaten QPR since 1996. In terms of Harry’s housewarming party at Loftus Road, he’s never lost a home debut match as a manager; winning two and drawing three. The personnel he inherits is also not short of players with the ability to bother Guzan’s goal – Djibril Cisse has scored four goals in six league matches against Aston Villa. Also, Villa haven’t recorded back-to-back wins since May 2011. Interestingly, in the Premier League, QPR are unbeaten against Villa at Loftus Road in five matches.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Goals! Benteke has been marvelous for the Villa but it would be great if the other players could add a few to their tally. Baker and Clark came very close to netting on Tuesday, so who knows? Certainly the midfield must begin to step up and contribute. Looking back to last season, it’s a fixture that provides notable goals – Bannan and N’Zogbia got their names on the scoresheet during the 2011/12 campaign and Bent bagged a 100th Premier League goal.
Why Villa are Totally 100% Going to Win
QPR are yet to win a game in the Premier League this season, and have lost two of their last five games. Our record is now looking better and we’ve won two games out of our last five. It’s a fixture that has recently contained plenty of goals, and it could be the ideal chance for the likes of Brett Holman, who came excruciatingly close against Arsenal, to score. Villa have done well with their inexperienced defensive lineup while Vlaar is sidelined, and looked composed and confident against Arsenal and Reading. If a few more players find their shooting boots, we will win against QPR, a side who have lost to both Reading and Southampton at home. Redknapp will be making his changes to his new side, but Villa will be coming into this match intending to replicate recent home success at Loftus Road.
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