The Villa Appetiser: Derby v Aston Villa 2017
After another draw against Millwall, the pressure’s on Villa to get the three points against Gary Rowett’s men.
As well as playing against ex-Villans Scott Carson and Curtis Davis, Villa may face a more recent ex-Villa player in Andi Weimann, a player the Derby manager likes, and he’ll undoubtedly have a point to prove.
It will be just the fifth time the sides have met in the league outside of the top flight at Derby.
Can we get the three points?
4th in the league table with the 8th best home record.
Last five matches at home: W 3, L 2
5th in league table with 7th best away record.
Last five matches away: W 2, D 2, L 1
Rowett on Villa
“This game will be an interesting one between two good teams although, if I am honest, I think it will be a cagey game and one where everyone, the team and the fans, might need to be patient.
“That’s not because I think Villa won’t come and attack, because I think that they will. I just don’t think it’ll be one of those games that opens up after five or ten minutes.
“I feel that they will be mindful of our pace in the forward areas so they won’t want to give us too much space.
“We’ll also have the same feelings about them with the quality they have in the attacking third such as Albert Adomah and Robert Snodgrass; they don’t concede many goals and can cause problems for any defence.
“There’s a lot of experience and know-how in the Championship in both squads and I think there are some similarities between us in terms of how we play.”
Weimann on Villa
“I’m going to look forward to that, because I’ve not played against them yet. I’m really excited.
“It will be a big game, obviously because of the table but also because our home games are really important to us.
“We want to pick up as many points as we can at home.”
Bruce on Derby
“They have got some good players who have been there or thereabouts over the last few years but haven’t quite made it.
“Gary has done an excellent job, we know what to expect from a Gary Rowett side – what he demands, a very, very good game at the top end of the Championship.
“It should be an excellent game with a big crowd all to look forward to, it’s a very, very difficult place to play but a very enjoyable place.
“Touch wood, I haven’t done too badly in the past there, so let’s hope that continues.”
22 December 2001 – Derby 3 Villa 1
A goal from Fabrizio Ravanelli came just moments after Angel opened the scoring in this Premier League encounter.
Two more goals from Carbone and Christie helped Derby get the win – this match was the last time the Rams recorded a victory against us.
One to Watch
Matej Vydra – Five goals in his last five games have taken his tally to 12 in the Championship this season, and half of these have been scored at home.
derby have lost only two of their last 14 Championship fixtures
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
When Villa last faced Derby away, things were very different. Gestede and McCormack started up front for Villa, with Kozak replacing Gestede after just 28 minutes.
Those three players no longer feature for Villa, but it’s interesting to compare our strikers then to our injury-depleted side now!
In the absence of Kodjia and Hogan, we have relied upon Davis, who has played 1,270 minutes as a teenager in league matches for Villa this season.
The last player to play more minutes as a teenager in a league season was James Milner in 2005/06, with 1,361 minutes. It shows how much we’re asking from our players due to injuries, and the draw against Millwall was perhaps a performance of players that need a rest.
On the subject of forwards, ex-Villa player Weimann will be keen to put in a good display against us after missing both fixtures for Derby last season due to injury, and a loan spell at Wolves.
Samba will not feature tomorrow due to another injury, but Bruce has hinted Mile Jedinak will have a part to play – though not necessarily in defence. Our only other option is Elphick, assuming Richards will not be considered.
They have lost only two of their last 14 Championship fixtures, although interestingly, both defeats came at home (against Ipswich and Reading).
On paper, it looks a tougher away game than Leeds.
“There’s a lot of experience and know-how in the Championship in both squads and I think there are some similarities between us in terms of how we play” – rowett ON VILLA
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
The away draw against Leeds the other week felt like a game we would have lost last season, and you could have put the Millwall stalemate in that category, too.
Defensive improvement has really helped us this season, even without John Terry, and this new-found resilience always gives us a chance away from home. Historical stats suggest our defensive performance could be decent, too.
We haven’t conceded a goal in any of our last four league meetings with the Rams – and haven’t conceded in the last seven hours and seven minutes against Derby.
Despite our eternal injury struggle, we’ve lost just two of our last 18 Championship games, and thanks to Steve Bruce’s record, we can be fairly confident of a good result.
Bruce has won five of six managerial visits to Derby. The most recent, and the most memorable, was in the 2015/16 Championship play-offs, when his Hull side won 3-0.
Despite yet another different centre back partnership, at least our injury situation is improving a little.
Hopefully a return for Jedinak and Hogan involvement can help us to a good result.
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