Aston Villa vs Cardiff City Match Preview
Peter Whittingham on his former team Villa
“It means an awful lot – Aston Villa played a massive part in my career. I came through the youth set-up at Villa. They played a massive part in my career and made me the player I am today. It’s going to be a great occasion and a match from which we can earn three points.
“Villa have a lot of young players and it will take time. They will make mistakes, but the manager (Paul Lambert) knows what he is doing. He will nurture them and Villa will be okay in the long run.
“It’s a massive club with a great history. But our job is to do all we can to win and that’s what I am focused on.
“At Premier League level you have a longer run to think about your last match. That’s fine if you are winning, not so good after a defeat. But we all relish life at Premier League level. I am enjoying playing for Cardiff City. Our squad is unreal.
“We have big matches coming up against Manchester United and Arsenal, but it’s all about Villa right now. It’s about beating teams in and around us and Villa are among those.”
Lambert on Benteke’s form
“People have to remember Christian is still a young guy, still learning, and he has only just come back from injury. He’s had chances against Everton and West Ham, so you can’t label anything against him.
“I’d be more worried if he wasn’t getting chances, but the thing is he is getting them, so I’ve no worries about him whatsoever.
“Everyone has to help, just as everyone has to help defensively. It’s a team game, we’re in it together. It’s true what they say – you win together, you lose together, and Christian is part of the whole thing, along with everybody else.”
Form is Temporary:
23 September 2009 Aston Villa 1 – 0 Cardiff (League Cup)
A cheeky back-heeled goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor (who is likely to miss Saturday’s game) was the difference in this League Cup meeting. It was the last time Villa and Cardiff met and was the first in a long while.
Aston Villa: Last five League matches at home: W 1, L 4
Cardiff City: Last five League matches away: W 1, D 2, L 2
Villa, as you might expect, have never played Cardiff in the Premier League
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
A point is always decent on the road, but there’s no denying Villa’s performance against West Ham was a little lacking. Perhaps we were struggled without the pace of Agbonlahor, who unfortunately looks to be absent from this encounter, too. We haven’t scored in four games now, a worrying stat that is quite contrasting to the Villa side that scored goals for fun towards the end of last season. In fact, we’ve gone over six hours without a goal! It will be tough to find the goal-scoring touch against Cardiff, who have been solid on the road and picked up impressive points away at Hull, Fulham and Norwich. Cardiff will be full of optimism after beating their Welsh rivals, and seeing Villa’s dire home record, they be keen on more than just a point.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
With both Agbonlahor and Weimann injured, it’s up to the rest of the squad to make up for their absence. There have been calls to see more of what Tonev and Helenius can add to the side; now could be the perfect time for them to impress with question marks still very much above their heads. More importantly, let’s hope we see a goal or two from Benteke, who came incredibly close with his header that crashed against the bar at West Ham. Any Benteke run without scoring brings Villa fans out in rashes, so it would be great to see him get back on track in front of the Holte End.
Why Villa have got this game in the bag
While we may miss the energy of Agbonlahor it’s important to remember that Delph is set to return to the side, who’s been impressing Villa fans all season. Despite being ignored by Roy Hodgson, all Villa fans would tell you we’re a better side with him in the team. His presence in midfield should allow us to keep the ball a bit better and help provide some service to Benteke and whoever will be up there with him (Kozak?). We really should be winning this game and halt dropping further down the table. The team always respond to a good crowd atmosphere, and Benteke’s presence always lifts the fans at Villa Park. We haven’t been the favourite in many games this season, but hopefully we’ll play like one against Cardiff. UTV.
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