EPL Preview: Aston Villa - Fulham
Alex McLeish's side misses defender RIchard Dunne and top scorer Darren Bent having won only one of its last eight league matches, while the Cottagers look for a 4th straight win
By Arthur Virgo
Hutton, Collins, Cuellar, Warnock
Albrighton, Ireland, N’Zogbia
Baird, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise
Ruiz, Dembele, Duff
Villa’s squad is stretched with top scorer Darren Bent having suffered potentially season-ending ankle ligament damage, and experienced center back Richard Dunne ruled out with a broken collarbone.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is likely to start up front on his own and Carlos Cuellar is set to retain his place at center back alongside James Collins.
The Cottagers could start Chris Baird at right back, with Aaron Hughes struggling to overcome a calf injury, Stephen Kelly ruled out with a thigh problem, and Zdenek Grygera out for the season with knee ligament damage.
In attack, Bryan Ruiz is set to return after recovering from virus. Former Real Madrid midfielder Mahamadou Diarra could make his first start for the Cottagers in midfield if Clint Dempsey is moved further forward.
||DID YOU KNOW|
- Aston Villa have lost top-scorer Darren Bent (nine goals) for the season with ankle ligament damage, and Gabriel Agbonlahor takes up the position as main striker with five in the league so far.
- McLeish's side has won just one of its last eight Premier League matches, losing three, while winning none of its last seven league matches at Villa Park, losing five.
- If Villa fails to win this match it will equal its worst-ever run without a win at home in the top flight, which was set in 1921.
- In recent history the fixture has produced mostly draws: nine of the last 14 Premier League games between the two have ended as draws including the last three.
- Only Villa has drawn more games than Fulham this season with 12 compared to the Cottagers’ 9.
- Fulham's 5-0 victory last Sunday against Wolves was the first time it has won three successive games since 2008 when it avoided relegation. It now sits eighth in the Premier League.
- Adding to the threat posed by Pavel Pogrebnyak’s (pictured right) five goals in three games, Clint Dempsey is the 7th leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 12 goals, the most from a midfielder, and has 18 in all competitions.
- Fulham's recent victory away over QPR ended a run of seven away matches without a win.
- Fulham has however won none of its last 12 visits to Villa Park in the league, drawing six and losing six.
Top 3 Predictions
Aston Villa 0-2 Fulham
- 20.46 %
Aston Villa 1-1 Fulham
- 13.64 %
Aston Villa 1-2 Fulham
- 11.36 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Apr 5, 2014||Aston Villa 1 - Fulham 2|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Dec 8, 2013||Fulham 2 - Aston Villa 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Apr 13, 2013||Aston Villa 1 - Fulham 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Oct 20, 2012||Fulham 1 - Aston Villa 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Mar 10, 2012||Aston Villa 1 - Fulham 0|
|Apr 12, 2014||Crystal Palace 1 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|Apr 5, 2014||Aston Villa 1 - Fulham 2||EPL|
|Mar 29, 2014||Manchester United 4 - Aston Villa 1||EPL|
|Mar 23, 2014||Aston Villa 1 - Stoke 4||EPL|
|Mar 15, 2014||Aston Villa 1 - Chelsea 0||EPL|
|24||Carlos Javier Cuéllar||Defender|
|3||John Arne Riise||Defender|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed