Swansea travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa in round ten of this season’s Premier League. The hosts are without a win in eight Premier League games after the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth. Remarkably, losing by two goals at Chelsea is Villa’s heaviest defeat of the season. Their six other losses have come by one goal, but it is the manner of those setbacks that have infuriated the club’s supporters. Despite their recent run, Villa are just four points from safety, with the damage being limited due to a quartet of teams above them failing to pick up results on a consistent basis. However, manager Tim Sherwood remains upbeat about his team and says things must turn around quickly.
We’re not where we want to be in the table at the moment. I think we’ve played some good stuff in a lot of the games this season, but we just haven’t been getting the results. Most of our matches have been incredibly tight. There’s been nothing in a lot of them. Now though it’s about getting a win. We’re fully focused on three points. That’s all we’re concentrating on.
… he told the club’s official website, www.avfc.co.uk.
As for the Swans, they are without a win in five, losing three and drawing two with the 1-0 home defeat to Stoke on Monday night fresh in memory. A defeat would leave Villa further in trouble and a defeat for Swansea could potentially leave them close to the bottom three depending on the results elsewhere. Manager Garry Monk is confident his team can end a five-match winless run, citing last season’s upturn in fortunes at a similar stage as evidence of the team’s unity.
We had a very similar period last season – there was a run of games where we were indifferent. We used our unity to get through it. Things were talked about outside, but we don’t listen. We had a period where we went to Southampton, got the result, and that was due to our unity.We are in a difficult run, there is no denying that, but we have shown what we are capable of and getting back. These are good players.
… he said.
Aston Villa – Tim Sherwood could have Gabriel Agbonlahor and defender Ciaran Clark back for the weekend however midfielder Gary Gardner and defender Jores Okore will sit this one out due to injuries.
Swansea – There are no injury concerns for the Swans as Gary Monk will have his entire squad fit and available for this match.
Aston Villa possible XI: Guzan; Hutton, Richards, Lescott, Amavi; Gueye, Westwood, Gil; Grealish, Sinclair, Gestede.
Swansea City possible XI: Fabianski; Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Cork, Shelvey; Sigurdsson, Ayew, Montero; Gomis.
- Aston Villa have won only one of their eight Barclays Premier League meetings with Swansea City (D3 L4), losing each of the last three and failing to score in the last two.
- Swansea have collected only two points from their last five Barclays Premier League away matches (D2 L3).
- Tim Sherwood has lost 14 of his 22 Barclays Premier League matches in charge of Aston Villa – Paul Lambert did not lose his 14th match in charge of Villa in the competition until his 28th fixture.
- The Villans have failed to score in four of their last five Barclays Premier League home matches.
- There have only been six goals scored from direct free-kicks in the Barclays Premier League so far this season and half of these have been netted against Swansea (3).
- Jonjo Shelvey has attempted the most shots (27 – incl. blocked) without scoring in the Barclays Premier League this season.
- Bafétimbi Gomis has now failed to score in five successive Barclays Premier League appearances after scoring nine goals in his previous 10 matches in the competition.
- Swansea have seen their opponents reduced to 10 men on four occasions this season; more often than any other Barclays Premier League team.
- No player has attempted more dribbles in the Barclays Premier League this season than Swansea’s Jefferson Montero (62), while Villa’s Jordan Amavi has attempted the second most (58).
- Swansea are now winless in five Barclays Premier League matches (D2 L3); they have not gone six without a win in the competition since March 2014.
Head To Head
Villa have won just once in eight attempts since Swansea’s promotion to the Premier League, which came in September 2012. Swansea have prevailed in the last three, with the most recent fixture in March ending in a 1-0 success at Villa.
Rudy Gestede – Aston Villa
Gestede was brought in to replace Christian Benteke at Villa but former Villa man Paul Merson has recently said Gestede is not good enough to take Benteke’s place; whether Merson is right or not is too early to debate. Gestede has enough qualities to offer to this Villa side. He’s their main man and they’ve gotta simply trust him. The towering striker has scored three goals from five games this season averaging 2.4 shots per game. He has also managed to win 7.1 aerial duels a game which goes to show how powerful in air he is. “Get good balls in there and he will score!” will be the message from Sherwood to Gestede’s team mates.
Andre Ayew – Swansea City
Ayew prepares to face his brother Jordan’s side, with only one goal in mind – three points. Since arriving on a free transfer to the Welsh side, Ayew has managed to score four times including goals against last season’s champions Chelsea and Manchester United. He was also named the Premier League’s Player of the Month for August. However, much like his team, Andre has also faded since his bright start to the season. He hasn’t scored since his goal against the Red Devils and with the team struggling, it is indeed time for him to step up and show what he can do.
I expect Villa’s winless run to continue. Sorry Villa fans, I may be wrong but Villa are going down this season and I thoroughly expect Swansea to pick up all three points here.
Aston Villa 0-2 Swansea City.
BetVictor – 21/10 in favour of a home win
Paddy Power – 12/5 for a draw.