Paul Lambert described Monday’s draw against Southampton as a ‘big point,’ but it will mean nothing if we don’t take all three from in-form Burnley. It’s another pressure game for the Villa manager, particularly following the sudden departure of Roy Keane…
Sean Dyche on Villa
“There’s a big expectation on a club like that. There are some realities for them as well. They’re missing a couple of players that have become really big players for them, particularly Benteke and Delph.
“It’s a young side maturing. Make no mistake – I think they’re a good side. I was down there on Monday and they’re giving everything.
“‘Probably like ourselves at times, they’re trying to find that extra bit of quality and moment of clarity to score a goal and win a game. They’ve experienced it enough over the last couple of seasons to be able to do that.”
Lambert on Villa injuries
“Everybody is the same. They are doing well but no-one will return. It’s more or less the same as Monday against Southampton.
“It’s Vlaar’s calf, not what is was the last time. It’s a strain. It’s the same calf but a different part.
“Philippe has a calf problem and it’s Christian’s last game banned. Fabian is doing well in his rehab but is a few weeks away. Nathan will be out for longer.
“Six players out for our club is hard. If you lose six players even if you’re a top club it’s a big, big chunk.”
21st November 2009 Burnley 1 Aston Villa 1
A goal from Stephen Caldwell early on must have shocked Villa at the time but at least current free agent Emile Heskey got a 86th minute equaliser
Villa failed to win at Turf Moor in both 2004 and 2009 in recent(ish) years
Burnley – Last five matches at home: W 1, D 2, L 2
Villa – Last five matches away: W1, D 1, L 3
One to Watch
Danny Ings – back from injury, the striker has bagged three goals in his last two games
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Villa’s draw against Southampton was a decent result, if not a good performance. Burnley however will be full of confidence. Despite struggling for goals and points early in the season they approach this match looking for a third consecutive win.
It would also appear that Turf Moor is something of a bogey ground for Villa too – we haven’t won there since 1936 (in 23 attempts). To make things even more difficult, Burnley have kept three clean sheets in their last five home games. Burnley’s form is the opposite of Villa’s. If the season had started in September, Burnley would be 15th – while Villa would be 20th.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
Villa need to be more clinical. We’re no longer a team that creates a lot of chances so we need to at least hit the target when we get the opportunity. Weimann’s chance against Southampton occured moments before Southampton scored and turned into something of a game-changer.
Now that Callum Robinson is back from his successful loan spell, perhaps he can add to the players putting in a good shift while other first-teamers are absent. Villa will have to approach the game positively. Burnley, on the back of two victories, don’t need to rush forward – the pressure’s been relieved from them temporarily after two wins. If Villa continue their defensive approach to games you can bank on another dull draw so let’s hope for some attacking enterprise.
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Despite their good run, Premier League wins aren’t something Burnley are used to. With that in mind, hopefully a degree of complacency will creep into the performances of Dyche’s men. Okore and Clark did at least look solid at the back on Monday, so if a little more attacking flair is introduced there’s no reason we can’t take all three points.
Agbonlahor’s pace will be a useful asset against Burnley’s defenders. If you switch off when facing Gabby, who on Monday became the 48th player in Premier League history to score over 70 goals, you could be embarrassed. Just ask Fraser Forster. Lambert recently said he’ll work as hard as he can to make sure he has another 100 games to manage for Villa, but if he is to have a Pardew-esque change of fortunes, Turf Moor would be a good place to start.
Follow Lewis on Twitter here