Stoke – A. Villa 06.04.2013
Relegation-threatened Aston Villa will be looking for an important win when they travel to Britannia Stadium this week, but that is easier said then done. Stoke are in desperate need of a victory following a five-match winless run, and they could be in all sorts of problems if they fail to win this game.
Stoke have long ago established themselves as a genuine mid table side, but if their poor showings continue for few more weeks, they could easily get relegated. The Potters have been winless since beating Reading at home at the beginning of February, so Toni Pulis’ men will have to show a massive improvement if they are to beat Aston Villa and escape the danger zone. Despite sitting in 13th place at the moment, Stoke are considered to be a side that rarely disappoint at their Britannia Stadium and this is certainly a game that could turn this season around. Stoke have played some very good games this season against bottom table sides, and there is a good chance their dismal run will come to an end against inexperienced Villa side. The Potters’ physical approach and their dangerous set-pieces are likely to prove too much for Paul Lambert’s side.
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Aston Villa looked to be heading to the Championship just few months ago, but the Villans have raised their game considerably over the last few weeks, making sure they are still within a touching distance of safety. The team currently occupy 18th place in the Premier League standings and they are level on points with Wigan, who are also in the dangerous zone. However, Aston Villa face all kinds of problems when they leave Villa Park, having won just one of last eight games in the road. Paul Lambert’s men have collected a total of 14 points on the travels in the league and have failed to win at Stoke, who are a real force to be reckoned with at home, since their return to the elite division. Aston Villa’s performances have been mostly average this season, so given that several important defenders are still missing, I believe that Villa are in for yet another defeat on the travels.