It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Premier League season was beginning but as we reach its final day, the game between Aston Villa and Burnley will be effectively nothing more than a shoot around.
Having guaranteed their league survival last weekend, Aston Villa can finish off their good season-ending run under Tim Sherwood with a victory in front of their own fans this weekend. The club can still finish above Leicester City in 14th place if results go their way, alternatively they could finish in 17th should they lose to Burnley and Newcastle United get the win they need.
Unfortunately for Burnley, their sole season in the Premier League comes to an end on Sunday afternoon having already been confirmed to relegation. Sean Dyche will be determined to see his team end on a high however and it should not be assumed that Villa are going to have an easy time of it after kick-off.
Kieran Richardson could return for Villa this weekend if he can pass a late fitness test. Nathan Baker could also play after recovering from a knee injury. However, Chris Herd and Ciaran Clark will have no part to play against Burnley.
Dean Marney and Kevin Long are Burnley’s only injuries but their respective seasons have been long since over.
Villa have only played Burnley at home in the Premier League once before, a game they won 5-2.
Sherwood’s side have won seven points from their last three league matches.
Burnley have not won away to Villa in the top-flight since 1967.
The Lancashire side have scored just 27 goals in the league this year, fewer than any other team.
Benteke has really come into form since Sherwood’s arrival at the club. In 28 appearances in the league, he has scored 13 goals. According to Squawka.com, he has created 32 chances for his team-mates this season but has only been able contribute two assists. The striker has won half of all the duels he has been involved in and unsurprisingly, his greatest success is when he fights for the ball in the air. However, this is the only winning percentage that Benteke has when it comes to duels. The Belgian has returned to the level of performances fans grew to expect from him during his first season at Villa. They will hope he can keep it up against Burnley on Sunday.
In what looks likely to be Ings’ last appearance for Burnley, fans will be hoping that he can help them finish with pride. In 32 league appearances, Ings has scored 10 of the club’s 27 league goals this season. According to Squawka.com, he has been further able to assist on four goals as a result of the 34 chances he has created. The striker is slightly worse than his Villa counterpart at duels, winning 45% of them. However, he is most successful when taking on opponents as opposed to winning headers. Ings hasn’t exactly lit up the Premier League this season but he will still have to be watched closely on Sunday.
The game might not have a lot to play for but it should still be a relatively good match. Unfortunately for Burnley fans, I think Villa have luck on their side and will win the game 2-0.