The Villa Appetiser: Fulham v Aston Villa 2017
Unfortunately the last two performances have dampened Villa’s spirits, but there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves.
Just under 48 hours after our defeat to Reading, we’re back in action – and it’s televised…
Can Villa realistically take anything from high-flying Fulham?
Bruce on Fulham
“We have been asked to play twice in 48 hours which is a huge disadvantage.
“We will deal with it. We don’t want to start making excuses.
“We have Fulham, who are arguably the form side at the moment.
“We have to make sure we are ready and be in the best physical condition that we can.”
and on the rest of the season
“The lads have picked themselves over the last few weeks because they have put a hell of a good run together.
“We will see what they are like on Sunday.
“I want us to finish strongly. I don’t want the season to peter away.
“We have the derby with Blues coming, the potential champions Brighton on the last day of the season…so it’s all still to play for.
Fulham’s Tom Cairney on Villa
“They were a Premier League team last season and they’ve spent big.
“They’ve spent a lot of money and have got plenty of talent and ability, people who know how to win Championship games, so it will be tough but if we turn up then not many teams can live with us.
“I was hoping that Villa would do us a little favour yesterday [against Reading] but it wasn’t to be and it looks like we’re going to have to do everything on our own at the moment.
“It’s still in our hands so we’ve just got to go into it with the same attitude we had Friday and get another three points.”
8th December 2013 Fulham 2 Villa 0
First half goals from Sidwell and Berbatov were enough to secure the points for the home team the last time we headed to Craven Cottage.
Fulham – Last five matches at home: W 2, D 2, L 1
Villa – Last five matches away: W 2, D 1, L 2
One to Watch
Tom Cairney – the midfielder is amongst Fulham’s top performers this season with 10 goals and 10 assists.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
It was a disappointing end to our run of good form – with Villa seemingly back to looking like a team a fair way off promotion.
Reading are a decent team but didn’t have to work too hard for their win on Saturday, and let’s not forget they lost 7-1 the weekend before.
Craven Cottage was never somewhere that Villa enjoyed visiting in the Premier League – we have won just one of our last 10 league visits there, drawing five times, and losing four of the other occasions. In addition to this, we’ve failed to score in the last three meetings.
We haven’t done the double over many teams in the Championship this season, and the history books tell us a Fulham double will be unlikely. Fulham haven’t lost both league games in a season against Villa since the 2009-10 season…
Monday Football is all well and good, but we haven’t won an away league game on a Monday since 2009!
These are hardly good omens when you consider our fortune when the TV cameras are about, and Fulham’s impressive form of late…
“They’ve spent a lot of money and have got plenty of talent and ability…but if we turn up then not many teams can live with us” – Fulham BOSS
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
Our away form has been a thorn in our side all season, but with the recent improvement in performances, there was at least an upturn in results on the road.
Televised fixtures such as defeats at Forest and Brentford might still linger in the memory, but since then we’ve won two out of five. Hardly groundbreaking, but a hint that we could take something from the game.
If we didn’t have the goals of Kodjia (and perhaps Chester!) who knows where we’d be. There might be a chance for the goalscoring to be shared on Monday though, as Lansbury has scored a brace in each of his last two Championship away games at Fulham…
While our chances might not look great on paper, it certainly looks like there could be goals.
Bizarrely, none of Fulham’s last 123 league matches at Craven Cottage have ended 0-0. It gets weirder.
The last time a goalless draw occurred was in the 2011-12 season – against Alex McLeish’s Villa!
If something positive is to come from the Reading game, at least we might see a bit of rotation in the squad.
With the pressure on 7th placed Fulham to move into the play-offs, it could be a cagey game, but there’s no reason why we can’t take all three points.
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