Aston Villa vs Sunderland 2013 Match Preview
Gus Poyet on Villa
“Villa are a very strange team to play against, they can change systems, play on the break, play direct or put three at the back.
“I’ve seen a few of their games and I’ve been surprised how quickly they’ve been able to change systems.
“That’s impressive. They can be struggling for 45 minutes, but then for the next 45, they are outstanding.
“I think it’s going to be a very interesting game because we need to win and they have been having ups and downs, even during the same game.
“They’ve had 20 minutes when they’ve played well in the last couple of games and that’s been enough.
“They have got options and we need to be ready for any situation. We need to be very good for 90 minutes.”
“It’s really important that we keep our shape and create chances. If you pay too much attention to them, you have to change yourselves as well, which is not the idea.
“There is a balance. We will have to see how high we can play up the pitch.
“They have got pace and are difficult to play against, but they’re at home and you can’t use pace if you haven’t got space.”
Larsson on THAT defeat:
“We still remember the pain as a squad, an experience like that won’t go away quickly. Neither should it. It’s in the back of our minds so we can never forget it.”
Form is Temporary
29 April 2013 Aston Villa 6 – 1 Sunderland
We don’t have to look far back for this one. A hat-trick from Benteke as well as goals from Vlaar, Weimann and Agbonlahor showed the world of football that Villa were staying firmly put in the Premier League.
Aston Villa: Last five League matches at home: W 2, L 3
Sunderland: Last five League matches away: L 5
In the last five Premier League meetings at Villa Park, Villa have won twice, drawn twice and lost once.
One to Watch
Wes Brown – After a sterling display against Manchester City that largely contributed to Sunderland’s home win and clean sheet, the rescinding of his red card against Stoke City, is a massive boost for the Black Cats when it comes to having any chance of keeping Christian Benteke quiet.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
The first half against West Brom brought back memories of all the worst moments from last season. It seemed that the defence had improved but it certainly looked suspect in the opening 45 minutes on Monday. While Sunderland lost their last game to Stoke, they had an early sending off, and have generally been playing better. They defended resolutely during their win against Manchester City and it might be tough to break them down on Saturday. We have the home advantage, but we’ve only won twice in our last five games at Villa Park.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Another 6-1 score line might be too much to ask, but we showed signs of improvement in terms of fashioning a result against Cardiff, so this represents a good opportunity to make it three home wins in five. Sunderland are the bottom club in the league, after all. If we see more of the Villa that played in the second-half against the Baggies, we’ll hopefully see some goals. A goal from Benteke would be nice too!
Why Villa have got this game in the bag
For starters, Poyet’s three away games in charge since taking over as Sunderland boss have yielded three defeats, three own goals and three red cards.Away trips don’t seem to suit them.
Paul Lambert is spoilt for choice with players returning from injury, and we now know that Gardner and Luna are back in training, while Albrighton has been recalled from his loan at Wigan.
Much has been made of Benteke’s goal drought lately, but we’ve been getting some welcome goals from midfield. Villa have a free-kick maestro in Bacuna, and a captain improving all the time in Ron Vlaar, who kept us in the game on Monday. With an almost full squad to choose from against a side with terrible away form, the three points should be ours. UTV.
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