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Premier League

  • 28 December 2013
  • • 20:30
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: R. East
  • • Attendance: 37028
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Aston Villa - Swansea City Preview: Hosts on four-game losing streak

Aston Villa - Swansea City Preview: Hosts on four-game losing streak

A goal-shy Christian Benteke has coincided with a severe drop in form for the Villans, while the Swans are similarly struggling after picking up just two points from a possible 12

Aston Villa and Swansea City will finish 2013 as they started it when they meet at Villa Park on Saturday.

The sides played out a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium on January 1, with Danny Graham's injury-time equaliser earning Michael Laudrup's side a point.

Swansea head to the Midlands almost a year to the day as the second team in two days to visit Villa Park, with Crystal Palace earning a surprise 1-0 win there on Boxing Day.

ASTON VILLA LATEST
4/1 Aston Villa and Swansea are 4/1 with bet365 to be drawing at HT & FT
Laudrup's charges will now look to inflict a sixth home league defeat on Paul Lambert's side, who have lost four consecutive top-flight fixtures.

But the Welsh club have struggled on their travels this season with only three wins and seven goals in nine games away from the Liberty.

Swansea also slipped to a 1-0 defeat on Boxing Day, at Chelsea, but long-serving midfielder Leon Britton was encouraged by their showing at Stamford Bridge.

"We were hanging in there in the first half, but in the second half we played quite well and we finished the game quite strongly," Britton said after returning from a broken toe to play 90 minutes in the game.

"When it's 1-0 you are in with a chance of getting something. We believed a bit more in the second half.

"We were disappointed to lose but we can take things from this game for the Aston Villa match. We can be encouraged by the performance.

"Villa lost too against Crystal Palace so they will be looking to put that right at home.

"But we have to go there and be confident. We have won there in the past so we know what it takes to win there."

Both sides have won once in their four Premier League meetings, with the other two ending in draws. Villa won the corresponding fixture 2-0 last season.

Christian Benteke sealed that victory in September 2012, but the Belgium international will not feature in this game after being ruled out until the new year with a knee injury.

Paul Lambert is also without Joe Bennett (back), Jores Okore (knee) and Charles N'Zogbia (calf).

The visitors are also missing their main striking threat, with Michu undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.

The Spaniard is joined on the sidelines by goalkeeper Michel Vorm and Nathan Dyer (both knee).

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