Aston Villa vs Stoke City 2014
Lambert on the Stoke clash
“We have so much confidence now after the Chelsea win. You can sense it. You feel that if we’re bang on it, we’re a right good side. I hope that the Chelsea result catapults us forward.
“You try and aim above you. I know it is tough – but you always try to catch the next team. People have said the winner will be safe this weekend. I never think about that. I don’t just look at safety. You try to go as high as you can. How high? I don’t know. I haven’t pondered it in my mind in terms of being safe.”
Hughes on Villa
“They played really well against Chelsea and were good value. They’ve got a lot of energy and a lot of young players with that enthusiasm, drive and dynamic to their play.
“We are very close to each other in the league and so it’s a good match up between two evenly-matched sides. They’ve got good threats in key areas of the field and so have we.”
Form is Temporary
19th December 2009 Aston Villa 1 Stoke 0
The last few home matches against Stoke haven’t been particularly entertaining, but this match in the 2009/10 season involved a single goal from John Carew.
Aston Villa: Last five matches at home: W 3, L 2
Stoke: Last five league matches away: D 2, L 3
In the last five visits to Villa Park, Stoke haven’t won once.
One to Watch
Peter Odemwingie – Ex Baggies striker might have been subject to criticism over the last few months but he scored twice last week in their 3-1 win over West Ham.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
While our form against Stoke isn’t bad, it’s nothing spectacular. In fact, we’ve won just two of our 11 matches with Stoke in the league. Stoke have been poor travellers but their physical presence could cause problems for Villa’s defence, especially if there is any degree of complacency following the excellent Chelsea win. It seems somewhat overdramatic to mention relegation after the last few games, but we haven’t won three consecutive home games since 2007. Another win might just be too much to ask.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Despite the excellent results we’ve managed lately, the one worry for Villa fans is that we might take our foot off the gas and approach the game as a formality. In an ideal world, we’d play against every team in the same way we played against Chelsea. We have recorded good results against the big teams (Arsenal, Man City etc) but frustratingly,it’s the mid-table sides that often cause us problems. Consistency is key as the end of the season draws closer, and lets hope we see the performance of a team aiming to keep pushing up the table, rather than merely trying to stay up.
Why Villa have got this game in the bag
The confidence boost Villa gained from beating Chelsea should be invaluable, and could prove key to recording a third straight victory at home. History is on our side – we haven’t lost a top flight game against Stoke at Villa Park since 1965! Right now, Stoke have the second worst away form in the league, and staggeringly, they’ve only won once this season. While they’ve been known for defensive solidity, it seems the new style implemented by Mark Hughes has caused problems at the back – they’ve only kept a clean sheet once in their last 14 matches. If Villa can perform like they did against Chelsea, we should have no problems sweeping Stoke aside. UTV.
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