Aston Villa vs Swansea 2015
Three wins on the trot under Sherwood has left Villa fans smiling again, and there’s a sense of optimism ahead of this match, which appears to be another ‘winnable’ fixture. Adapting to life after Bony, Swansea have been inconsistent lately. They were unlucky to lose to Liverpool though, and have always caused us problems…
Swansea have lost just one of their seven league matches against Villa
Sherwood on Swansea
“We know how they play. I thought they outplayed Liverpool the other night. I thought they were unlucky not to go in ahead at half-time.
“We know how they try and do things. They have a unique way of playing. But we just need to make sure we keep the ball off them. If they have it, we get it back as quickly as we can.
“We know we have got pace in our side that can hurt any team. We expect to hurt them on Saturday. If you let them play, they can hurt you. Our intention is not to let them play.
“You get higher up the field and put pressure on them. If they play through you with good play, we hold our hands up and say well done. But we hope and expect not to be saying that.
“They will be under immense pressure all over the field and especially higher up the field. If we win the ball back in their half we are only one pass away from Gabby or Christian putting the ball in the net again.”
Monk on Sherwood
“He’s gone in there and lifted the confidence of the group. They’ve got very good players but they weren’t playing to their full potential before Tim took over.
“He’s had an instant impact. He’s a very honest guy, very black and white.
“I did my coaching course with Tim so I know him pretty well. He’s had a fantastic start and I’m sure he’ll do well taking Aston Villa forward.”
28th December 2013 Villa 1 Swansea 1
Villa were on a pretty bad run of form at the time, so a point wasn’t a bad result. Agbonlahor opened the scoring 7 minutes in, only for Roland Lamah to equalise later in the half. The match wasn’t particularly entertaining for VIlla fans – Swansea had over 70% possession!
Villa– Last five matches at home: W 1, D 1, L 3
Swansea – Last five matches away: W 2, D 1, L 2
One to Watch
Ki Sung-yueng – Once a purported transfer target for Villa, the Korean could be a key figure in the midfield battle on Saturday
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Nobody would have expected a 4-0 win away at Sunderland, and there are more and more signs that Villa will start next season as a Premier League team thanks to the attacking football implemented by Sherwood.
The manager has helped turn some torrid stats around and Villa have been finding the back of the net with a regularity not seen under Lambert.
Still, there’s a lot of work to be done and a third consecutive league victory will be a big ask, particularly when we consider the fact that no Villa manager has won three league games in a row since O’Neill in April 2010.
Swansea represent a bigger challenge than the Baggies and Sunderland and we’ve still only won once in our last five home games in the league.
The pressure is off Swansea as they sit ninth in the league and our record against them is worrying – Swansea have lost just one of their seven league matches against Villa.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Under Sherwood, it seems that Villa tend to have a stronger half in each game. Against the Baggies in the league, the first half was much better while the opposite was the case in the Cup match. VIlla’s first half against Sunderland was better than the second, although that was more about controlling the match.
Villa have scored the highest proportion of first-half goals in the Premier League this season at 79%, so hopefully we continue to show the new-found team character and maintain consistency throughout the match.
Swansea are one of the league’s worst at dropping points from winning positions (16) so hopefully Villa can keep that attacking intensity throughout the match.
It would also be nice to see Grealish involved again as he returns from suspension.
Villa have scored more goals in our last two league games than we managed in the previous 13 matches.
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Confidence is bound to be high for Villa and teams will be fearful of our attacking threat now that it is being properly utilised. That we have scored more goals in our last two league games (6) than we managed in the previous 13 matches is a testament to the good job Sherwood has done so far.
Getting the best out of our strikers has been key to Sherwood’s last few matches and hopefully the in-form attackers can take advantage of any complacency that might creep into Garry Monk’s side, as they sit comfortably in mid-table.
Both Benteke and Agbonlahor will be fancying their chances after scoring two each last weekend and both have done well against the Swans in the past – Benteke has scored in two of his three matches against Swansea while Agbonlahor has scored in two of his last three league encounters against them.
It will be interesting to see how Villa stand up to the test of Swansea. Now that Villa Park finally has a feel-good factor back, lets hope we see a performance that keeps the smiles on Villa faces and eases us further away from the drop zone.
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