Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Swansea
Recently appointed boss Paul Lambert takes charge of his first league game at Villa Park when he comes up against a Swans side facing an injury crisis in defense
By James McManus
Lichaj, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett
Holman, Ireland, Westwood, N'Zogbia
Angel Rangel, Tate, Williams, Davies
Britton, De Guzman
Routledge, Graham, Dyer
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert could be set to hand a debut to deadline day signing Christian Benteke, with his forward options bolstered even further by the return of Gabriel Agbonlahor from injury.
Fellow new boys Joe Bennett and Ashley Westwood could also be handed their first starts for their new club, while Richard Dunne will miss the game with a groin strain and Marc Albrighton has only just begun training again after suffering from a broken foot in pre-season.
Elsewhere, Karim El Ahmadi has picked up a groin strain and both Gary Gardner and Stiliyan Petrov are long-term absentees.
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has an altogether different proposition on his hands, with a swathe of defensive withdrawals leaving him something of a selection headache going into the game.
Neil Taylor's fractured ankle has all but ruled him out for the rest of the season and Dwight Tiendalli, who has since been signed as cover, will likely start on the bench due to his lack of match fitness.
Meanwhile, center back Chico Flores will begin the first of his three-game ban after his red card against Sunderland, Kyle Bartley will miss out after suffering a ruptured quad muscle during mid-week and Garry Monk has a back injury.
The exciting Pablo Hernandez looks set to start the game on the bench, owing to Dyer and Routledge's superb form of late and Ki-Sung Yeung will likely join him there.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Darren Bent is still yet to get off the mark under his new manager in the Premier League.
- Aston Villa has not won a league game in its last 13 attempts, which is a club record in the Premier League.
- Villa also has not scored more than one goal in any of its last 11 outings in the league.
- Including Alex McLeish's time in charge last term and Paul Lambert's now, Villa hasn't emerged victorious on home soil from its last six attempts.
- This is only the 20th meeting between the sides. Aston Villa has won 14, Swansea four and there has been just one draw.
- Swansea won this fixture 2-0 last season, with wingers Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge grabbing the goals.
- Michael Laudrup's side is the league's top scorers at present with 10 goals from its opening four games.
- Summer signing Michu (pictured right) has scored 18 of his last 19 league goals from inside the penalty area.
- If Swansea manage to win the game, it will be its best ever start to a new league season, a record that has stood since the 1981-82 campaign.
Top 3 Predictions
Aston Villa 1-2 Swansea City
- 16.04 %
Aston Villa 0-2 Swansea City
- 13.37 %
Aston Villa 1-3 Swansea City
- 9.36 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Jan 1, 2013||Swansea City 2 - Aston Villa 2|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Sep 15, 2012||Aston Villa 2 - Swansea City 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Jan 2, 2012||Aston Villa 0 - Swansea City 2|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Nov 27, 2011||Swansea City 0 - Aston Villa 0|
|May 19, 2013||Wigan Athletic 2 - Aston Villa 2||EPL|
|May 11, 2013||Aston Villa 1 - Chelsea 2||EPL|
|May 4, 2013||Norwich City 1 - Aston Villa 2||EPL|
|Apr 29, 2013||Aston Villa 6 - Sunderland 1||EPL|
|Apr 22, 2013||Manchester United 3 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|8||Karim El Ahmadi||Midfielder|
|21||Jordan Nathaniel Bowery||Striker|
|20||Jonathan De Guzmán||Midfielder|
Times In EDT
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed