The Villa Appetiser: Aston Villa v Sheffield Wednesday 2017
While at the start of the season both teams would have been described as promotion contenders, Villa have fared better, with Wednesday disappointingly sitting in 14th place.
Wednesday played host to and beat us in our first Championship game last season but we’ve certainly moved on from that 1-0 defeat under Di Matteo. After a mid-week win, things are looking much better.
With away form improving we’re looking like a strong side – can Villa add to the pressure on Carvalhal?
Steve Bruce on Sheffield Wednesday
“We can’t get carried away. We must keep going.
“We are Aston Villa so we must be there or thereabouts.
“We are doing okay – that’s all it is.
“We have had a decent start which has given us a decent platform.
“[Sheffield Wednesday] won’t be easy. I watched them at Hillsborough the other night. They are a good side.
“They have been there or thereabouts for the last couple of years.
“It will be a good yardstick for us.”
Carlos Carvalhal on Villa
“They didn’t start well.
“Villa is one of the teams that, probably all the people will agree that, is probably the best team, the best players, the best coach in the competition.
“When we go and play in that stadium means it will probably, in theory, be the more difficult game of the season.
“We like this kind of challenge, we are Sheffield Wednesday, and we go to all the places to win the three points.”
05 October 1912 – Villa 10 Sheffield Wednesday 0
Oh, the good old days! If Villa fans could live to at least around 110-years-old, they would have remembered Harry Hampton netting five times as Villa went on to better even the 8-1 scoreline at Villa Park five-years earlier. The funny thing was though, Villa had lost 3-0 away to Wednesday eight months earlier. Some turn around!
Villa – Last five matches at home: W 3, D 2
Sheffield Wednesday – Last five matches away: D 2, L 3
One to Watch
Gary Hooper – The forward has netted seven times for Wednesday this season.
only derby have taken more points than villa in the last six games
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Villa played well despite the absence of Kodjia on Wednesday, but he’ll be a big miss this weekend.
Wednesday are not in the form they were in last season and could look to frustrate Villa – a scenario in which we’d miss the ability of Kodjia.
It’s refreshing that we have found ways of scoring goals without our main man, but he’s always capable of a moment of magic, and he scored the two goals in the corresponding fixture last season.
On a similar note, Wednesday’s Jordan Rhodes ended a run of 24 league matches without a goal with a strike against Millwall in the week. That 2-1 win could give them a bit of confidence now that the one-time Villa target is off the mark.
Gary Hooper hasn’t been goal shy though, with the seven goals to his name this season, giving him an impressive one-in-two ratio (although he hasn’t scored in the last four games).
Sheffield Wednesday’s away form this season has been surprisingly poor (one win in seven), but the history books are on their side – they have not lost four consecutive away matches since 2014…
“Villa is one of the teams that, probably all the people will agree that, is probably the best team, the best players, the best coach in the competition.” – carvalhal on villa
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
There isn’t too much in the way of cynicism in this article because frankly, the statistics are good – perhaps even ominously so!
Wednesday’s Carvalhal is a man under pressure – and seems to be enduring what other teams who finished in the play-off places last season have encountered this time around.
A 2-1 win over 10 man Millwall mid-week may have taken some of the pressure off, but Wednesday are some way off where they want to be.
Put it this way, currently it’s better to play Wednesday, than it is to play United, when it comes to the Sheffield clubs.
Villa on the other hand are among the league’s form teams – only Derby have taken more points than us in the last six games. During the six game run, we’ve scored nine, and conceded just three. The Wolves defeat is beginning to look like just a bad day at the office!
Sheffield Wednesday have won just once away from home this season, with a recent away trip resulting in a defeat to bottom club Bolton.
Villa have historically enjoyed home meetings with Wednesday in the second division, and apart from a 1-0 loss at Hillsborough last season, Villa have won six of their last seven league matches against Saturday’s opponents.
In the mid-week article we spoke of Bruce’s poor record against Preston, which thankfully wasn’t continued. Against Wednesday however, the Villa manager has historically done well. In eight of his 12 managerial meetings with Wednesday (including the 2016 Championship play-off final!), Bruce has prevailed.
There’s a feel-good factor at Villa at the minute, and we’re starting to look like a team capable of promotion. Saturday will be another difficult test of Villa’s credentials – hopefully we can get another win to continue our good home form and start looking at those automatic promotion places going into the international break.
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