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Premier League

  • 8 December 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: R. East
  • • Attendance: 30110

Aston Villa - Stoke Preview: Resurgent Villans take on in-form Potters

Paul Lambert's side are unbeaten in the past three, however, Tony Pulis' side have won four of their past five games and are on a strong run themselves.



Lowton, Clark, Baker, Lichaj
Holman, Ireland, Westwood
Benteke, Agbonlahor

Shotton, Shawcross, Huth, Cameron
Whelan, Whitehead, N'Zonzi, Etherington
Walters, Jones

Aston Villa will have to make do without three players as Richard Dunne (groin), Chris Herd (knee) and Gary Gardner (ACL) are all set to miss out.

However, there could be some good news for Paul Lambert, as Joe Bennett (knee), Charles N'Zogbia (knee), Ron Vlaar (calf) and Enda Stevens (ankle) could all return this weekend.

In contrast, Stoke have a clean bill of health. as Peter Crouch (mouth) and Michael Owen (hamstring) could make a return to the squad.

Charlie Adam has a one-match suspension, while Rory Delap (hernia) and Marc Wilson (broken leg) miss out.

  • The last time Aston Villa beat Stoke in the Premier League was 19 December 2009. The score that day was 1-0.
  • Paul Lambert's side are unbeaten in their last three games, including a goalless draw against Arsenal.
  • Peter Crouch's (pictured, right) potential absence from the squad is a huge loss for Tony Pulis, as he has scored or assisted seven of Stoke's 14 goals this season.
  • The Potters are weak away from the Britannia Stadium but they finally managed to break a run of 16 Premier League games without an away win last time out when they beat West Brom 1-0.
  • Stoke are unbeaten in their last five games, winning four of them. They are going for four consecutive wins the Premier League for the first time since last season.

Players to watch

C. Benteke

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Belgium international continues up front in place of England striker Darren Bent and has shown his worth to the Villans in recent weeks, bullying defenders with his strength and aerial presence. If Villa are to avoid slogging out a relegation battle come May, this man will need to be firing on all cylinders. However, with the likes of Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross in the opposition defence, this may be Benteke’s biggest test yet.

S. N'Zonzi

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Looks to be a shrewd buy by Tony Pulis and has settled in well at the Britannia. His tireless work-rate and hard-hitting challenges exemplify Stoke’s style of play and he’ll need to be on top of his game on Saturday in order to prevent the hosts’ midfield from creating any chances for Christian Benteke.

Editor's Prediction

If the match pans out like previous meetings then it looks like it could have draw written all over it. However, Stoke are on a good run of form at the moment and could just clinch it.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Aston Villa

Stoke City


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
Stoke City FC STO
Stoke City FC Stoke City

Top 3 Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 1
Stoke City FC STO
Aston Villa FC AST
0 - 1
Stoke City FC STO
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 2
Stoke City FC STO